Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor and U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman speaks during a rally in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 24, 2022.
Hannah Beier | Reuters
President Joe Biden will host a fundraiser with Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman in Philadelphia next week, a senior administration official told CNBC on Tuesday.
Biden’s appearance with the Democratic Senate hopeful, set for Oct. 20, comes as Fetterman’s Republican rival, Dr. Mehmet Oz, gains some ground in the polls less than a month from the Nov. 8 midterm elections.
But Oz, a celebrity doctor backed by former President Donald Trump, is still trailing Fetterman, according to polls of the pivotal Senate race. Fetterman hopes to maintain both his polling edge and his massive fundraising advantage over Oz in the final weeks of the election.
The candidates are vying for the seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey. The election in the swing state, where Biden narrowly beat Trump in 2020, could decide which party controls the Senate.
Democrats hope to cling to their razor-thin majority in the chamber, where the parties are split 50-50 and Vice President Kamala Harris gets a tie-breaking vote. Republicans, competing in midterm elections that tend to favor the party not in the White House, seek to win control of both the House and the Senate.
Biden and Fetterman will appear at a reception in support of the Fetterman Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee between Fetterman and the state’s Democratic Party, according to an invitation first reported by a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter.
Fetterman’s campaign has outraised his opponent’s. Outside groups have also spent more in attacks on Oz than they have against the Democratic lieutenant governor.
Oz announced last week that $7 million of the $17 million he raised last quarter came from his own pocket. Fetterman, meanwhile, touted that he self-funded none of the $22 million that his campaign raised in the same period.
Oz’s campaign, in a statement on news of the fundraiser, aimed to blame both Biden and Fetterman for high gas prices and crime.
“The Biden-Fetterman agenda has given us higher prices at the pump and more-dangerous streets,” said the statement from Oz campaign spokeswoman Brittany Yanick.
A spokesman for Fetterman’s campaign did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on the event.