Second-quarter fundraising numbers are now available for the Senate campaigns of both Pennsylvania Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman and GOP contender Mehmet Oz, otherwise known as Dr. Oz — and Fetterman far out-raised Oz. It wasn’t close.
Across the second quarter of this year, Fetterman — who polling suggests has a great shot at winning the Pennsylvania seat for which he and Oz are running — raised $11 million. Oz, meanwhile, raised just $3.8 million in the second quarter, and most of that money — $2.2 million of it, in fact — was a loan from the candidate himself. What he brought in from outside donors was thus substantially lower, totaling some $1.6 million. Oz also contributed $12 million to fueling his barely successful GOP primary campaign. Before the primary ended, Oz got an endorsement from former President Trump, whose Save America PAC donated $1 million in support of the Oz campaign. Specifically, that Trump money went towards American Leadership Action, a super PAC that supports Oz’s campaign but is legally barred from directly coordinating with it.
“Just like in the primary, Dr. Oz’s campaign will have ample resources to get its message out,” campaign spokesperson Brittany Yanick recently remarked. Is that true, though? Or is the Fetterman campaign going to be able to out-spend the Oz campaign by considerable margins? Shouldn’t someone trying to represent the people of Pennsylvania point to evidence of widespread support among those residents rather than relying to that extent on streams of outside money like that housed at the super PAC? The Fetterman campaign closed the second quarter with a considerable increase in their total cash on hand, essentially meaning their money in the bank: the campaign had $5.5 million, a significant increase from the $1.3 million on hand from the end of the first quarter. The average second quarter donation to the Fetterman campaign was about $30.
There are other signs of problems in fundraising by Trump-endorsed candidates. In the ongoing Ohio Senate race, Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan’s campaign is far out-raising Republican J.D. Vance, whose campaign has relied to a considerable extent on a super PAC mostly funded by billionaire Peter Thiel. Vance’s campaign brought in about $1 million in the second quarter, although the overall total slightly rises when considering his fundraising committees together. Not all the money from those committees goes to his campaign, but even adding what he managed to gain from it leaves Vance far behind Ryan, who raised $9.1 million in the second quarter. That’s a dramatic difference. Trump himself recently saw his fundraising slightly fall: available numbers put Trump’s overall total for the first half of this year below $50 million for the first time in a six-month period since he left office and below the overall six-month total raised by Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis.
“I think it shows what we’ve known all along: he’s a phony and a fraud,” Ryan spokesperson Izzi Levy said of Trump goon J.D. Vance after the new fundraising numbers emerged. “He’s flailing and he can’t keep up with Tim’s grassroots movement. They’re playing a shell game. They don’t want people to see how bad they’re doing.”