Dr. Oz and Mr. McCormick, both first-time candidates, worked hard to transform themselves from members of the East Coast elite, with middle-of-the-road politics, into credible champions of the MAGA movement.
Understand the 2022 Midterm Elections
Why are these midterms so important? This year’s races could tip the balance of power in Congress to Republicans, hobbling President Biden’s agenda for the second half of his term. They will also test former President Donald J. Trump’s role as a G.O.P. kingmaker. Here’s what to know:
Dr. Oz is a professor emeritus of surgery at Columbia University, but he called for the firing of Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert. He pledged to oppose nearly all abortions, despite having once held the opposite view. And on the eve of the election, he held a telephone town hall with the gun-rights absolutist Ted Nugent, even though he once helped write columns that called for gun controls.
Mr. McCormick, an Iraq War veteran who had criticized isolationism and backed an occasional Democrat, was quoted during the campaign as opposing “the weakness and wokeness that you see across the country.”
Mr. McCormick and his allies attacked Dr. Oz as a “Hollywood liberal” and for having served in the Turkish army as a dual citizen. Dr. Oz said he would give up Turkish citizenship if elected to the Senate.
Dr. Oz was also criticized as a carpetbagger who had moved to Pennsylvania to run for office. The American-born son of Turkish immigrants, Dr. Oz received his medical degree and a business degree from the University of Pennsylvania in the 1980s. His career was spent in New York, and for three decades, he lived in Northern New Jersey.
He only registered to vote in Pennsylvania in 2020 and has said that around the same time, he moved to a home owned by his in-laws in Bryn Athyn, Pa., a Philadelphia suburb. Last year, he and his wife, Lisa, bought a home nearby, according to a financial statement he filed in April, which put his personal fortune between $76 million and $300 million. If elected, he would be one of the wealthiest members of the Senate. He has already poured $12 million of his own money into his quest.
Both Dr. Oz and Mr. McCormick competed aggressively for Mr. Trump’s endorsement. In deciding on Dr. Oz less than six weeks before the election, the former president cited the popularity of the long-running “Dr. Oz Show” with women. Women “are drawn to Dr. Oz for his advice and counsel,” Mr. Trump said. “I have seen this many times over the years.”
Though “The Dr. Oz Show” has been criticized for a long history of offering viewers dubious medical advice, Mr. Trump was politically on-target about the electoral importance of women, especially in the suburbs. They have been key swing voters in recent Pennsylvania elections, notably in Mr. Trump’s defeat in 2020.
Blake Hounshell contributed reporting.