Republicans reportedly freaking out about Dr. Oz's performance in Pennsylvania Senate race
Dr. Oz, heart surgeon & television personality speaks, at the Web Summit, Lisbon. (Shutterstock.com)

The GOP establishment's hopes for Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz are fading, POLITICO reports.

The uncertainty comes after weeks of lackluster polling and fundraising for Oz. In a donor call last week, a National Republican Senatorial Committee official described Oz's performance as "an alarm bell," adding his image is "freaking everybody out."

"On the call, NRSC officials sought to calm nerves and assure financial backers that Republicans could still take back the Senate majority even without an Oz victory. The GOP only needs to unseat one Democrat this fall in order to win the Senate, which is currently split 50-50," POLITICO's Holly Otterbein and Natalie Allison report. "But Republicans also must defend other crucial swing states such as Wisconsin and North Carolina, while trying to flip the likes of Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and New Hampshire. Failing to hold onto retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey’s seat in Pennsylvania would be a major blow to the party."

The NRSC officials on the call “brought to everyone’s attention that there’s definitely a path to winning the Senate even if Oz loses, and that seemed to be a very big concern on the call — is that Oz just has not hit his stride as a candidate,” the person on the call told POLITICO. “The viewpoint was it’s more important to reallocate money to seats that we feel we can win.”

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Oz has been trailing Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman in the polls fairly consistently. But the NRSC official on the call tried to ease the minds of donors and argued that Republicans could win back the Senate without Pennsylvania if necessary.

“We have a path with Pennsylvania, and don’t worry, we have a path without Pennsylvania,” an NRSC official said.

Speaking to POLITICO, NRSC spokesman Chris Hartline said that the committee is committed to the Pennsylvania race.

“Dr. Oz has been campaigning around the state talking to voters about their struggles dealing with Joe Biden and John Fetterman’s failed agenda while Fetterman hasn’t been seen in public in 3 months,” Hartline said. “The NRSC is supporting Oz’s campaign in whatever ways we can, as we do with all Republican Senate campaigns, and we look forward to a big win in November.”

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