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Let’s Support John Fetterman for PA-SEN!


Candidate Background

Fetterman actually had a wealthy and privileged upbringing, minus having the teenaged parents part. His parents were conservative Republicans and made a living off of the insurance business. How could a son stray so far away from his roots to become a working class champion?

  • He went to Albright College and then the University of Connecticut to earn an MBA. He was fully expected to join his father’s insurance business and make partner. However, a close friend died in a car crash and that changed Fetterman’s life. 
  • He joined Big Brothers Big Sisters, and he connected with an 8 year old who’s parents were dead or dying of AIDS. He eventually settled in the Pittsburgh area and joined the Americorps, where he spent time teaching GED classes to those interested.
  • He did go to Harvard University and earned a Master in Public Policy degree. This set him up to become the mayor of the small town of Braddock, and then Lieutenant Governor of the state of Pennsylvania, and hopefully a senator from the same state.

There is so much more I could write about, both flattering and unflattering, but I will stop here. His campaign website and other sources were very helpful in constructing his story.

Fetterman generally doesn’t wear suits, except as part of his official duties as Lt. Governor.

Signature Issues

Fetterman is definitely described as a progressive populist (from the perspective of American politics). He has a five point plan, which is a start of his far ranging campaign.

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He has progressive positions on many more issues as well, and don’t let the three below limit his positions. I’ve chosen what makes him unique, because I’ve written so much about the same issues so many times. He will be solid on your typical Democratic issues as well.

Cannabis Legalization: Fetterman has called for cannabis to be legalized at the federal level. He cites that enough states have voted upon this during ballot measures for it to be enacted nationwide and to be popular. He would work to expunge the records of those convicted for possession at the federal level as well. He would allow for businesses to use the normal finance system for loans.

Rural Investment: Fetterman will fight for better loan opportunities for farmers, and for the right to repair your machinery and grow your own crops without interference from Monsanto or Big Ag. He would work on increasing rural broadband so that rural communities aren’t left out of the information economy. Hopefully he walks the walk on this issue, because Rural America is neglected.

Smart Global Leadership: Fetterman is a throwback to the GW Bush era, where many Democrats ran on ending forever wars and for restraining our Defense budget where possible. At the same time, he supports our State department and diplomacy and being the “arsenal of democracy”. He is for lessening the influence of China through manufacturing critical supply chain components here.


Elections History

Recent Elections — 

2020 President: Joe Biden (D) 50.0%, TFG (R-inc) 48.8%

2016 Senate: Pat Toomey (R-inc) 48.8%, Katie McGinty (D) 47.3%

2022 PVI: R+2

2022 Race Rating: Tossup

Pennsylvania is described as being part of the “blue wall” of swing states that Democratic candidates must win in order to win the presidential election. Until TFG cracked the blue wall in 2016, Pennsylvania was choosing the Democratic Party consistently albeit narrowly since 1992. Scranton Joe Biden re-formed the blue wall, but it is clear that from now on Pennsylvania will be on a razor’s edge politically and contested in every election.

This Senate seat has an interesting history attached to it. It was long the seat in which moderate Republican Sen. Arlen Specter sat in the Senate from. In 2009, Democrats got their filibuster proof majority for a few months when Specter defected from the Republican Party to our side. It wasn’t enough to save his political career, because “honey badger” Rep. Joe Sestak knocked him out in the primary. Sestak would go on to lose narrowly in a bad year for our side in 2010 to future Sen. Pat Toomey.

Toomey,  who headed the Club for Growth at one point, significantly moderated his positions on some issues once in the Senate. As the GQP became more rabid, he became part of the “moderate” faction such as it exists in the GQP Senate. That was enough for him to get re-elected in 2016 in a major disappointment to our side. Toomey sealed his political career by voting to convict TFG in the 1/6 impeachment trial. He promptly retired, leaving this seat as open for the 2022 election.

Don’t be fooled by the polls. Pennsylvania is a sharply divided state and this will be a very close race. Fetterman has some unique strengths, but he also has a few weaknesses which I will not bring up here. Needless to say, his coalition will be similar to the one Biden put together to win the state in 2020, which is pictured below.

County level results for 2020 presidential race in Pennsylvania. The polarized state is clearly seen here.
2020 map of presidential results in PA.

Political Tour of the State

James Carville nailed the politics of Pennsylvania with the infamous quote saying “Philadelphia in the east, Pittsburgh in the west, and Alabama in the middle”. The truth is a little more complicated than that, but the general point still stands. This state is extremely polarized, and getting only more so. Here’s where to watch election returns from in the state in November.

Here’s where this race will be won in Pennsylvania.

  • Pittsburgh Metro Area: This is one of the Democratic anchors of the state, and it is the home base of Fetterman. He will likely overperform here due to his working class image and ties to this part of the state. He will need upwards of 60% of the vote in this county to win statewide, and likely a bit more as a cushion. 
  • Philadelphia Metro Area: This metro area is the other Democratic anchor in the state, and it spans five counties (Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware, and Philadelphia). I expect Fetterman to underperform a little bit for various reasons, but he needs to run up the score in the metro area to defeat the “Alabama in the middle”.
  • Lehigh and Wyoming Valleys: The eastern and northeastern sections of Pennsylvania are part of the Rust Belt. Allentown/Bethlehem and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton are key components to our statewide coalition, but they trended towards the GQP in the era of TFG. If anyone can overperform expectations here, it is Fetterman. He needs to win these areas to win statewide.
  • Penn State, Harrisburg, and Erie: Some parts of the middle actually vote for Democratic candidates in spite of Carville’s remark. All three cities vote nearly 50-50, and it will be important for Fetterman to use his working class persona to win these areas. I expect unprecedented turnout in a midterm from Penn State in particular.

Here’s where we need to keep the margins down, or we lose.

  • Central Pennsylvania: There’s not much to like in central Pennsylvania in terms of Democratic precincts. The area is much like Alabama politically, and it is the strongest place in terms of GQP vote in the state. Fetterman must limit the margins as much as possible in order to win the state. He may find unlikely voters here, as Dr. Oz is a terrible fit for these voters.
  • Southwestern Pennsylvania: This part of the state used to be a Democratic bastion much like West Virginia in the days of coal and union strength. Those days are gone now, and this section of the state regularly votes for the GQP in statewide and federal elections. Even as Fetterman has a working class persona, I doubt it will make much of a dent. But any extra margin helps!
  • York and Lancaster Counties: These two counties are very slowly trending in our direction as bedroom communities for both Baltimore and Philadelphia, but that political transformation hasn’t happened yet. Fetterman will do well in the cities of York and Lancaster, but once you get outside the cities, the precincts turn beet red very quickly.
ERIE, PA - AUGUST 12: Democratic Senate candidate Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D-PA) speaks during a rally as his wife Gisele Barreto Fetterman looks on at the Bayfront Convention Center on August 12, 2022 in Erie, Pennsylvania. Fetterman made his return to the campaign trail in Erie after recovering from a stroke he suffered in May. (Photo by Nate Smallwood/Getty Images)

Activism — Help How You Can!

John Fetterman has been aggressively fundraising for this Senate seat, and his hauls are very vigorous for a challenger. He raised a grand total of $10.88 MILLION for Quarter 2, but much of it went to defeating his primary opposition. Dr. Oz raised a combined total of $5.05 MILLION from donors and self-funding during the same time period, but much of that went to winning the primary as well.

Both of the candidates have a reduced amount of cash on hand, although reports say that the Oz campaign is floundering, while the Fetterman campaign is robust once again. These totals are a snapshot in time, and that snapshot says that Fetterman had $5.5 MILLION at the end of June while the celebrity Dr. Oz had only $1.13 MILLION. So far, dark money has largely stayed out of the race, but I expect that to change as we get closer to November.

DONATE TO JOHN FETTERMAN HERE

Volunteers are always needed for any campaign. Fetterman likely has a lot of volunteers, but there are never enough — especially for a geographically diverse and large state such as Pennsylvania. Canvassing is super important the closer we get to election day, and there are parts of the state that will need it. https://johnfetterman.com/volunteer/ is the place to sign up for a shift or three.

Fetterman needs to teach candidates and the party big wigs lessons in how to dominate social media. The only comparable candidate I have seen is Sen. Jon Ossoff, who ran a masterful online campaign two years ago. Even if he loses (I hope not!), there are lessons to be learned from his campaign. He has 797k followers on Twitter, which is off the charts for a challenger.

His other social media is extremely engaging as well. Some may write him off as a troll, but I see him as extremely message disciplined and poking at every vulnerability his opponent has (granted, his opponent has so many of them). Even if you don’t like Fetterman (I’m not a fan), follow him just to learn how to use social media in modern campaigns.

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Here are his other social media accounts: 

Facebook — JohnFettermanPA

Instagram — johnfetterman

He also has a YouTube channel, which features many of his ads and thoughts on issues. He uses the shorts quite a bit. He has so much material there that it is hard to select what to post here…


While I do not understand his popularity personally, I appreciate that Fetterman has some strengths that other candidates in the Democratic Party do not have. He screams authenticity and sincerity when so many candidates talk out of both sides of their mouths. He will be a culture shock to the Senate if he is elected, and Majority Savers looks forward to that happening just to see the faces of GQP Senators. Here’s to hoping he is indeed our 51st vote.

How to find all Majority Savers’ diaries:

To find all past and future diaries of the Majority Savers group, go to their Diaries List. (We suggest that you Bookmark that page.) The home page of the Majority Savers group is here.

John Fetterman for PA-SEN

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Written by Politixia

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