John Fetterman will be PA’s next U.S. Senator, winning the biggest race of 2022 for Dems
Fetterman held a slim lead throughout the night, and with most outstanding ballots coming from Democratic strongholds, his win was sealed.
Pennsylvania now has two Democratic U.S. senators for the first time in 2009 as John Fetterman has been the projected winner — and declared victory — in the race for Pat Toomey’s vacant seat.
After MSNBC and NBC News projected Fetterman the winner around 1 a.m. on Wednesday morning, the candidate declared victory himself in a tweet not much later.
“It’s official. I will be the next U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania,” Fetterman wrote on Twitter. “We bet on Pennsylvania — and you didn’t let us down.”
The longtime Democratic frontrunner in the race did not win handily, especially in the aftermath of Fetterman and Oz’s debate two weeks ago, but he did hold a thin margin throughout the entirety of Election Night.
There are still outstanding votes to count in many PA counties, but because a majority of them are from Democratic strongholds — the most left in Philadelphia — Fetterman’s path to victory was all but confirmed.
Around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Fetterman greeted supporters at his victory party in Pittsburgh. During his speech, the U.S. Senator-elect profusely thanked his supporters, the voters and his family, especially his wife and Second Lady of PA Gisele Fetterman.
“She saved my life six months ago,” Fetterman said of Gisele, who then recounted how she knew the signs of his stroke “coming out of a Sheetz bathroom.”
Fetterman’s stroke happened on the eve of the Democratic primaries and didn’t set him back much against his same-party competition, but Oz and his campaign keyed in on it and the PA Lieutenant Governor’s recovery.
Whether many agreed with Oz’s tactics, it did make the race much closer in the end, but wasn’t enough.
On the national scale, Fetterman’s win is major insurance for Democrats against losing both chambers of Congress in 2022. The red wave predicted by Republicans did not happen, but they still look poised to take the House by a slim margin.
In the Senate, if Democrats pick up wins in both Georgia — where it is likely going to a runoff between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker — and Nevada, they will have actually added to their advantage in the chamber.
That’s huge on a number of issues, even without the House.