By Dan Merica, CNN
Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman raised $22 million in the third quarter of 2022, according to the Pennsylvania lieutenant governor’s campaign, overshadowing what his Republican opponent, Mehmet Oz, said he raised over the same period.
The Pennsylvania contest to replace retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey represents one of Democrats’ best chances to flip a Senate seat this year. Polling has shown the race tightening in recent weeks, as Republicans increase their spending and home in on a trio of attack lines: Crime, the broader economy and Fetterman’s health following a stroke in May.
Fetterman is banking on his financial advantage over Oz — the Democrat has been the stronger fundraiser all cycle — to pull him through the final weeks of the midterm campaign.
Oz announced this week that he raised $17.2 million over the same three-month span ending September 30, a figure that included a $7 million personal loan. Fetterman also significantly outraised the celebrity doctor in the second quarter of the year, bringing in nearly $11 million compared with Oz’s almost $5.5 million ($3.2 million of which he loaned his campaign).
Despite the significant fundraising advantage, Fetterman finds himself in a close race with Oz. After some polls found the Democrat with a double-digit lead over the summer, a CNN Poll of Polls average now shows Fetterman with the support of 50% of likely voters compared with 45% for Oz.
Fetterman on Thursday touted the fact that none of his haul came from his personal bank account, noting that his campaign received 595,000 donations from over 330,000 unique donors in the third quarter. In total, Fetterman has now raised over $48 million this cycle, coming from nearly 1.5 million donations from about 550,000 unique donors.
“The right wing continues to throw everything it has at us, and we’re not just still standing, we’re still winning,” Fetterman said in a statement provided to CNN. “We don’t have millions and millions of dollars to self-fund our campaign, this movement is powered by all of you.”
For Fetterman, the money is needed, as outside groups such as the Senate Leadership Fund have made keeping the seat in Republican hands a priority. As of Wednesday, the super PAC, which has close ties to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, had spent $18.2 million on the race, according to ad tracker AdImpact, and has $15.6 million in reservations through Election Day.
But Fetterman is far from alone in the Senate race. Senate Majority PAC, the competing Democratic outside group, had spent $13.5 million on the race as of Wednesday and has $19.6 million in reservations, according to AdImpact.
“We’re going up against an ultra-millionaire who has poured millions of dollars of his own money into this campaign,” said Brendan McPhillips, Fetterman’s campaign manager. “The people of Pennsylvania have John’s back and that’s something even Dr. Oz’s millions could never buy.”
Oz’s campaign has defended its own fundraising, with Michael Adams, the GOP nominee’s national finance director, saying this week that Oz “will not be outworked when it comes to making sure he has the resources to tell voters his positive message of fixing the economy, creating jobs, and cleaning up our streets.”
“We’re proud of our success this quarter — and we’re just getting started,” Adams added.
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