What’s in store for John Fetterman before the Pennsylvania general election?

  • John Fetterman could be a midterms hero for the Democrats.
  • The lieutenant governor with a goatee, 6’8, closed the nomination for the Pennsylvania Senate race.
  • He could turn the seat for the Democrats, but there are several headwinds against the party.

Pennsylvania Lt. gov. John Fetterman waits for an opponent in what will be one of the most hotly contested races of the 2022 midterms.

A November win for Fetterman would remove the GOP board seat for the Senate, with Senator Pat Toomey retiring.

As Fetterman celebrated away from supporters on Tuesday night after a pacemaker procedure, he awaited the results of the GOP’s primary race between frontrunners David McCormick and Dr. Mehmet Oz. At press time, the couple remained neck and neck with thousands of votes left.

Whether Fetterman takes on Trump-backed Oz or former hedge fund CEO McCormick — who described his campaign as “the one and only, America First candidate” — his strengths will still be the same and the national climate could make it a tough race for any Democrat, longtime Pennsylvania pollster G. Terry Madonna told Insider.

“He’s a different kind of politician,” Madonna, the co-creator of the Franklin & Marshall College survey, said in a telephone interview.

“Six foot eight, baggy shorts, t-shirts, tattoos – a strong progressive, there’s no doubt about it – but he doesn’t fit into the traditional genre of a politician,” he continued. “So my way of thinking about this is that since he’s going to have a certain appeal to curing some of the non-traditional voters — uh, especially millennials and younger voters.”

Despite all those unique qualities, Madonna added that Fetterman would likely face the same headwinds as other major Democratic candidates: inflation, supply chain problems and President Joe Biden’s poor approval rating.

Key areas for Fetterman include counties around Philadelphia — which President Joe Biden won as Republicans race across the country in 2021 — and his old stomping grounds in Western Pennsylvania, where he served as mayor of Braddock from 2006 to 2019.

Fetterman appeals to many for his non-traditional style — an asset amid the Democratic Party’s watered-down national brand — and that will likely help keep Fetterman’s momentum going, Madonna said.

“I think that has a certain appeal in the era we live in,” Madonna said, “where voters look at conventional politicians and think, well, it’s the same old, same old.”

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