(The Hill) – Former President Trump is urging celebrity physician Mehmet Oz to declare victory in Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate primary even as the race remains too close to call.

In a post on Truth Social, the social media platform Trump founded last year, the former president said Oz should proclaim himself the winner of the contest, arguing that doing so would make it “much harder for them to cheat with the ballots that they ‘just happened to find.’”

Oz, whom Trump endorsed last month, is deadlocked with former hedge fund CEO David McCormick in the Republican Senate primary, with fewer than 3,000 votes separating the two. 

If Oz and McCormick finish within 0.5 percentage points of each other, it would trigger an automatic recount under Pennsylvania’s election rules. 

Trump’s insistence that Oz declares victory in the race echoes his own false claim that widespread election fraud cost him his 2020 bid for a second term in the White House. The former president declared victory on election night with multiple states yet to be called and then repeatedly insisted that fraudulent ballots contributed to President Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania and other states.

While the GOP Senate primary in Pennsylvania remains too close to call, the race is seen as a must-win for Trump, especially after a handful of his endorsed candidates suffered losses elsewhere on Tuesday.

In North Carolina, for instance, Rep. Madison Cawthorn was denied a second term in the House after losing the GOP primary in the state’s 11th Congressional District. Similarly, Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, whom Trump had also endorsed, fell to incumbent Gov. Brad Little in the state’s Republican gubernatorial primary.

Get daily updates on local news, weather and sports by signing up for the WTAJ Newsletter.

If Oz ultimately falls short in Pennsylvania, it would likely deal a blow to Trump’s status as a kingmaker among Republicans.