Small-donor giving to Fetterman drives record $22 million fundraising haul
John Fetterman pictured in 2019.. - TIM TAI/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Driven largely by small donations averaging just $33 each, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman's most recent fundraising haul blew past previous records for the state, his campaign said Thursday, reaching $22 million for the third quarter of 2022.

Fetterman's fundraising "shattered" the campaign's second quarter total, which stood at $11 million—another record-breaking sum at the time.

"This is by far the most money any Pennsylvania Senate candidate has ever raised in one quarterly fundraising period—doubling Fetterman's second quarter total," the lieutenant governor's campaign said.

More than 330,000 unique donors gave more than 595,000 contributions this quarter to Fetterman, who is running against Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz to fill Sen. Pat Toomey's (R-Pa.) seat.

Fetterman has denounced Oz for his long history of peddling unproven and dangerous supplements to viewers of his TV show, an endeavor for which Oz earned about $10 million per year; his opposition to abortion rights as the Republican Party plans to pass a nationwide abortion ban; and for owning a home in New Jersey while not yet living in a house he purchased in Pennsylvania after announcing his Senate campaign.

Oz has drawn condemnation for attacking Fetterman, who suffered a stroke earlier this year just before winning the Democratic primary, over his health issues, and denouncing him as a "radical."

"The right wing continues to throw everything it has at us, and we're not just still standing, we're still winning," said Fetterman Thursday. "We don't have millions and millions of dollars to self-fund our campaign, this movement is powered by all of you."

"That's what our small-dollar donors have done for us, and we need to continue to keep it up if we want to flip this seat blue," he added. "Thank you for your continued support."

In August, the Bucks County Courier Times reported that nearly 70% of the $19 million Oz had raised by that point had come from Oz's personal wealth.

"Zero dollars of Fetterman's massive quarterly haul," said the Fetterman campaign, "were self-funded."

Fetterman has raised a total of $48 million, receiving nearly 1.5 million donations from roughly 550,000 unique donors.

The lieutenant governor's appeal to small donors helped propel him to victory in the primary election as well. More than 63% of the $15 million he raised during the primary came from small individual contributions under $200, while his centrist opponent, Rep. Conor Lamb, received more than 84% of his campaign contributions from large donors.

Now, said campaign manager Brendan McPhillips, Fetterman is "going up against an ultra-millionaire who has poured millions of dollars of his own money into this campaign, and who has the backing of the special interest groups that are terrified of John."

"The people of Pennsylvania have John's back and that's something even Dr. Oz's millions could never buy," said McPhillips.

In recent polls, Fetterman is leading Oz by an average of more than four percentage points.