In the high-stakes Pennsylvania Senate race in which Democrat and current Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman is running against Trump-backed Republican Mehmet Oz, aka Dr. Oz, for the seat that retiring Republican Pat Toomey is vacating, the Democratic nominee is continuing to share impressive fundraising numbers.
Within roughly a day of a debate between Fetterman and Oz, Fetterman’s campaign shared that it had raised over $2 million. The campaign said it would use some of its more recent haul to spotlight comments Oz made during the debate in which he essentially played right into the (accurate) Democratic characterization of the Republican stance on abortion. “I want women, doctors, local political leaders letting the democracy that’s always allowed our nation to thrive to put the best ideas forward so states can decide for themselves,” Oz said. Why shouldn’t just women and doctors be left with making medical decisions? What makes “political leaders” qualified? Fetterman also criticized Oz during the debate for relying in substantial part on his own money to fuel his campaign. In data from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) ending October 19, $22.8 million in personal loans from Oz to his campaign are included.
Fetterman hasn’t loaned his Senate campaign anything at all. Excluding the personal loans from Oz to his campaign, Fetterman has far out-raised his Republican challenger in the course of the race. His total individual contributions, ending September 30, were $46.5 million, while Oz’s total ending in the middle of October was $15 million.
A much higher portion of Oz’s donations were from people who gave a total of more than $200 in this electoral cycle. Over 65 percent of Oz’s individual donations were itemized, meaning in that category, while Fetterman’s donations in that group were under half of his total, indicating more small-dollar support. Polling in the race suggests the election is close. With Election Day quickly approaching and early voting in Pennsylvania already underway, there is now public polling showing Oz in the lead, suggesting the contest has gotten closer. Adding to the Democratic Senate majority could allow the party to secure enough votes to make necessary alterations to the chamber’s procedural rules allowing the passage of protections for abortion and voting rights.
“This is a gigantic show of support for John and his debate performance. We’re honored and grateful for the support heading into the last two weeks of the race. Our campaign will put this money behind making sure as many Pennsylvania women as possible hear Dr. Oz’s radical belief that ‘local political leaders’ should have a say in their personal healthcare decisions,” Fetterman’s campaign manager Brendan McPhillips said this week. That was this past Wednesday.