The one and only debate in the Pennsylvania Senate race was held this week, and the Democratic nominee, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is still recovering from a stroke he suffered in May, finally revealed the full extent of his struggles with an exceptionally poor — and painful to watch — performance against his Republican opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Now former President Barack Obama has swooped in to try and save the floundering Fetterman campaign with a short ad that is now airing across the state of Pennsylvania, the Daily Caller reported.
The ad comes as Fetterman, who had already seen his once-massive polling lead over Oz slipping away even before the disastrous debate, is now on the verge of actually falling behind his GOP rival.
Obama cuts an ad
Axios was the first to report on the 15-second ad former President Obama cut on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and in support of Fetterman and other Democratic candidates in Pennsylvania.
“In Pennsylvania, you’ve got some important choices to make this year,” Obama said. “So when the fate of our democracy, and a woman’s right to choose are on the line, vote Democrat on November 8th.”
Axios noted separately that, in addition to the Pennsylvania ad, Obama would also make in-person campaign appearances to support Democratic candidates in Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin over the next few days.
Fetterman’s once-huge polling lead is now gone
Whether that brief ad from former President Obama will help move the needle in favor of Fetterman is unknown, but what is incredibly clear is that Fetterman can use all of the assistance he can get as his campaign has all but nose-dived in the aftermath of the debate debacle.
According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls — which ranks the Pennsylvania race a “toss-up” but projects that Oz will win — Fetterman’s nearly nine-point lead in mid-August has evaporated to just 0.3 points currently.
A similar story is told by FiveThirtyEight‘s aggregate of polls, which showed Fetterman with a 12-point lead in mid-August has now been reduced to just one point. Further, both of those sites showed that while Fetterman led all of the polls before the debate on Oct. 25, Oz has been in the lead in all of the polls that have come out after that event.
Biden and Harris are rushing in to try and save Fetterman
The Daily Caller noted that the very real possibility of Fetterman losing to Oz in Pennsylvania has also prompted the White House to schedule last-minute campaign appearances in his support by both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
That has the risk of backfiring on Democrats, though, as Axios noted that both Biden and Harris have largely kept their distance from competitive races this election cycle due to their dismal approval ratings and concerns that, rather than be assets for vulnerable candidates in tight spots, they would instead be liabilities that will hurt more than help.