(NewsNation) — Pennsylvania’s Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and his Republican challenger Dr. Mehmet Oz faced off in a high-stakes debate Tuesday evening. After it wrapped up, NewsNation’s Chris Cuomo asked voters at a watch party in Philadelphia to weigh in on the debate.
Juliana, a Conservative undergraduate student, says she came into the debate undecided and that abortion is an issue of importance for her.
“I do believe that life starts at conception. I do also want the least amount of federal government intervention in our public and private affairs as possible. But I also do believe that Oz is not mitigating the rights or beliefs based on his opinion in the debate,” Juliana said.
During the debate, Oz and Fetterman seemed to be split down party lines on the topic. Democratic candidate John Fetterman said he supports codifying Roe v. Wade, and his Republican challenger Mehmet Oz believes abortion restrictions should be left up to individual states.
Even with his comments in the debate, Juliana says Oz has her vote. Jessica, a Democrat, says she also focused on what candidates had to say about abortion restrictions.
“I want to have control over my own maternal health choices. Honestly, I was pleased to hear from Oz that he would vote against a federal abortion ban. That kind of surprised me and definitely drew a line in the sand between him and Mastriano, who I think is a very dangerous person to be in the governor’s seat in Pennsylvania,” Jessica said.
Another Democratic voter said she’s airing on the side of Fetterman.
“I thought it was really brave of him to come out there dealing with what he’s dealing with (…) I think it’s important that we see people in their human state. That is the human way to have struggles. I really felt what he was going through and felt like that was probably the best choice for me,” Najah, a podcaster and mother of three, said.
After Fetterman suffered his stroke, Najah believes what is in his head and in his heart is intact, and the way he was speaking in the debate was just a function of what he is dealing with right now.
Eric, an independent, said before the debate he was leaning toward Fetterman, but now he has changed to Oz’s side.
“I felt that Fetterman just looked like he didn’t have command of the facts. I do think his condition, unfortunately, is going to affect his ability to do the job. I thought Oz was pretty clear on the issues, and I thought he presented himself well. He definitely threw out some plans, where I didn’t see any plans coming out of Fetterman,” Eric said.
Fetterman has a narrow lead in the tight race with Oz. As of Monday, Fetterman had a 53% chance of winning the Senate seat over Oz’s 47%, according to Decision Desk HQ’s election model. Some analysts believe the polls could see a shift following the debate.