Public opinion polls in Pennsylvania have been scarce and theoretically there is still time to turn the Democratic race upside down. But so far, there’s little evidence that issues about his past or his persona have tarnished the enthusiasm for Mr. Fetterman among many Democratic primary voters.
He unsuccessfully ran for the Senate in 2016, but built a devoted following, and after beating a sitting party to win his party’s nomination for lieutenant governor, he was a visible presence across the country. He had attracted national attention as mayor of Braddock, a struggling former steel town he worked to revive. But he attracted new attention as a cable television fixture as Pennsylvania’s 2020 votes were counted.
His campaign has had an overwhelming fundraising advantage, ahead of television advertising and early entry into the race. Rep. Conor Lamb — the polished Western Pennsylvania moderate who has emerged as his closest rival — later joined the race, garnering notable institutional support, but struggled to break through the state whether Mr. Fetterman was effectively in negative territory. define terms.
On Thursday night, while he was doing the rounds at The Holy Hound, those in attendance were clamoring for selfies and offering him chips or a beer – Mr Fetterman, who often holds campaign events in breweries and bars, woefully declined. “Hello yes!” he replied a young participant who asked for a photo. He thanked another supporter who had already voted for ‘triple awesome’.
“I feel like I can have a beer with Fetterman and we click,” said Robert Keebler, 45, a union worker in suburban Pittsburgh.
Mr. Fetterman is widely regarded as a progressive candidate who promotes such things as raising the minimum wage, legalizing marijuana and eliminating the filibusterand fighting for voting rights, abortion rights and protection for LGBTQ people.
“Some people, you know, will say, ‘The Democrats! The culture wars! What are you going to do?’ I’m like, ‘Bring it on!’” said Mr. Fetterman in York, “If you’re having fun or getting your voters excited by bullying gay and trans kids, you know, it’s time for a new kind of job.”