By David Wright and Dan Merica, CNN
(CNN) — Mehmet Oz, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, loaned his campaign an additional $1 million on Oct. 20, according to a filing with the FEC.
Oz has loaned his campaign money from his personal fortune throughout his candidacy – including $7 million in the last third quarter – and his latest loan of $1 million brings his cycle total to more than 22. millions of dollars. Earlier this month, his opponent, Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, said none of his take came from his personal bank account.
Oz has been consistently outplayed by his opponent, and Fetterman is banking on his financial advantage over Oz to pull him through the final weeks of the midterm campaign and secure one of the Democrats’ best chances of flipping a Senate seat. Adding to Fetterman’s advantage, President Joe Biden and other notable party members, including Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, raised money for the Democratic nominee this week.
In the third quarter, from July to September, Fetterman raised $22 million, while Oz raised about $8.9 million in addition to the $7 million he loaned to his campaign.
At the end of the quarter entering October, Fetterman had a slight lead over Oz, from around $4.2 million to around $2.5 million. And in the final two and a half weeks of the race, Democrats are expected to outspend Republicans by about $25.6 million to $18.7 million on air, according to AdImpact’s latest totals.
Despite the significant fundraising advantage, Fetterman finds himself in a close race with Trump-backed Oz. After some polls found the Democrat with a double-digit lead over the summer, an average of CNN polls earlier this month showed Fetterman had the support of 50% of likely voters compared to 45% for Oz.
With nearly two weeks left before the midterm elections, Fetterman and Oz focused on undecided female voters in suburban Philadelphia, where Biden edged out Trump by nearly 300,000 votes.
In Chester County, near Philadelphia, Fetterman touted his support for the codification of Roe v. Wade Saturday.
“If you believe it’s your choice, I certainly know it’s your choice, and he’s the kind of person in this campaign who is going to lean into that and join in supporting whatever it is. takes to have my vote if this would be something that would help codify Roe v. Wade,” Fetterman told an audience at a campaign event.
“It’s shocking. I’m 53 and all my life it was always assumed that would never really change,” Fetterman said of abortion rights.
The two Senate candidates will square off in their first and only debate on Tuesday.
“I conceded everything in my power to make sure he could participate in this debate. It’s the only one he would agree to. It has closed captions – everything it has need,” Oz said on Fox Saturday. “I just want him to show up on Tuesday so we can talk to Pennsylvania about our policies and let them see how extreme his positions have been.”
At Saturday’s campaign event outside Philadelphia, Fetterman said he uses captioning to “be accurate” during the conversation.
“It’s the elephant in the room,” Fetterman said of his stroke recovery. “Luckily I got to the hospital quickly, in about 20 minutes, and it turned out to be the best stroke center in the state. If it had happened in any other part of the Pennsylvania…I wouldn’t have the honor of sitting on a stage with you right now. And that’s the truth.”
This practice was effectively a dry run for the debate, in which the same technology will be used. In addition to technology, Fetterman laid the groundwork for possible narratives to use when the two clash.
Fetterman argued that Oz “wouldn’t understand” what inflation does to average people and linked him to Trump-backed conservative gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano.
“You can’t really fight inflation if you don’t really understand what inflation is or experience it yourself,” Fetterman said. “With Dr. Oz, who owns 10 gigantic mansions who wouldn’t understand what it’s really like and what it’s really like. He’s a man who literally doesn’t understand how to shop.”
CNN contacted the Oz campaign for a response.
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