John Fetterman--who won his first election in 2005 by a single provisional ballot in a race in which fewer than 1,000 people vote--has just won one of the most important Senate races in the nation, media outlets are projecting.
He beat out GOP challenger Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon best known for hosting a medical talk show promoting "miracle" weight-loss drugs and other dubious science. Fetterman will take over retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey's open seat in January.
Fetterman, currently the lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, got his political start as the mayor of Braddock, a struggling post-industrial steel town nine miles east of Pittsburgh.
In three terms as mayor there, the six-foot-eight, 300-pound, tattooed and goateed social worker attempted to revitalize the community through both his official post, and via a nonprofit he founded called Braddock Redux. Through those channels, he opened a community center for after-school programs, oversaw a drop in the town's murder rate, and incentivized an influx of new art, businesses, and resources. Later, as lieutenant governor, he prioritized his role on the state's pardon board to give second chances to incarcerated individuals showing good behavior.
The Democratic win was far from guaranteed. Despite polling strongly through early October, even holding a double-digit lead over Oz in mid-August, Fetterman's campaign took a nosedive around the start of early voting. Some attributed the decline to Fetterman's poor performance during his sole debate against Oz on October 25.
Fetterman, who suffered a stroke in May, struggles with aphasia--a speech condition that does not affect intellect, but has caused him to mix up words, conjugate them incorrectly, and sometimes forget them. The stroke's impact was especially apparent when debating Oz, a polished Daytime Emmy winner.
The right pounced on Fetterman's slip-ups during the match-up. "Holy shit, Fetterman is fried," Donald Trump Jr. tweeted during the debate.
While exit polls showed roughly half of Pennsylvania voters felt Fetterman was healthy enough to serve, a greater margin--6 in 10--felt Oz hadn't lived long enough in the state. Oz, who had never before run for public office, is from New Jersey and established residency in Pennsylvania only shortly before declaring his Senate campaign--a point on which Fetterman never missed a chance to chastise his opponent.
Some voters, including conservative ones, were similarly flummoxed by that fact. "When we heard Oz was running, it was a disappointment, because he's not a Pennsylvanian," one Republican Pennsylvania woman told me.
Outside of the the issue of Pennsylvania roots, Fetterman's support for abortion rights played a clear role in his win. According to an October poll by Fox News, abortion ranked only behind inflation and American democracy as a top issue for voters.
To some extent, Fetterman's success was less about issues and more about vibes. This is a guy who wears gym shorts to meet the president of the United States. He may as well be a brand ambassador for Carhartt hoodies. Dozens of Pennsylvania voters told me that was a major selling point.
"I like that he's not afraid to look like a Pennsylvanian," said Alexis Martin, a Fetterman fan.
Orginally, I titled this blog "John Fetterman Defeated Snake Oil Salesman Dr. Oz For a Senate Seat," but I figured let's go with some wordplay. I don't know how many readers this blog will get, but I included the Mother Jones article just to expose it to more people and give some more background, so I don't have to.
I am fucking souped off this news. When it broke, it felt like similar to like a playoff win (too bad Philly couldn't get 2 more). I can't lie; I did a couple fist pumps when I first heard. I fucking love this guy and am so excited. Talk about running a perfect campaign. Someday they'll teach about how John Fetterman used the internet and trolling to defeat Dr. Oz for a U.S. Senate seat (as long the GQP hasn't outlawed history).
I've been closely following this race. I'm a big man who stumbles with his words once in a while that supports freedom, equality, health care, protecting the working class, and rocking comfortable clothing; of course, I was quickly drawn to John Fetterman. There's a significant difference between recovering from a stroke and clearly having CTE, like the pretend cop in Georgia.
There's still a long way to go in determining who's gonna control each house of our bicameral legislature (I did teach Civics last year until..), but as of now, I'm somewhat encouraged. I don't wanna see social security and medicare slashed or 10-year-old rape victims forced to give birth. Despite being a woke pussy lib cuck sjw, I'm a low-key God guy, and legit have included hoping the Democrats keep the house and get a real majority in the Senate (fuck you, Manchin and Sinema) to really get shit done in my nightly prayers. Maybe they work after all???
Yes, it's a huge bummer to see absolute scumbags like MTG and DeSantis' support grow, but Bobo is on the ropes, and the great commonwealth of Pennsylvania decided they rather have a good working class man represent them as opposed to an upper-crust snake oil salesman who doesn't even live in PA. Fetterman is the better man. Bring your cruditÃ© back to the Jersey Shore, Oz!
I'm v glad to see Rhody stay blue, but this is wayyyy too close for comfort.
Obviously the new title is a play on one of my favorite Pearl Jam songs, but "Better Man" is about dreaming in color (specifically red...good thing PA didn't do the same), and being unable to find a better man. In this case they clearly did and it's currently 2:20 am as I type this, but I think it might be time for Ole Dozie to write another parody song; it's been far too long. ** music note emoji**
"Oz, you're not even from P-A, you lost to John Fettermaaannnnn. Yinzers didn't believe a word you said, you lost to Fettermaaannnnn"