Apr 13, 2022 - Politics & Policy

First look: McCormick’s Q1 haul in PA GOP primary

Dave McCormick, Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Pennsylvania, conducts a campaign event at Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays in Coplay, Pa., on Tuesday, January 25, 2022.
Dave McCormick, Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Pennsylvania, at a January campaign event at Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays in Coplay, Pa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Pennsylvania Republican Dave McCormick's U.S. Senate campaign raised more than $4.3 million in the first three months of the year, his campaign tells Axios.

Why it matters: That substantial haul leaves McCormick in a strong position to compete ahead of a May 17 primary in which his chief rival, celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, scored former President Trump's endorsement last week.

  • A source close to the campaign said it will be reporting additional self-funding from McCormick.
  • Oz has not yet reported his first-quarter fundraising totals. His campaign declined to provide details ahead of a Friday filing deadline.

By the numbers: McCormick's campaign says about $1 million of its Q1 haul came from Pennsylvania donors. The campaign says it got donations from all 67 of the state's counties.

  • It did not preview what portion came from small-dollar donors, a common metric of grassroots support.
  • McCormick also enjoys the backing of a deep-pocketed super PAC backed by some major GOP donors.

What they're saying: "In what is the most expensive primary in the country for the majority-flipping seat in the Senate, no one’s fundraising is stronger than Dave McCormick," campaign spokesperson Jess Szymanski told Axios in a statement.

  • The campaign's in-state fundraising, she said, "far outpaces any other candidate from either party in this Senate race.”

Between the lines: Polling prior to Trump's endorsement showed McCormick running ahead in the primary field. Oz and his supporters, including Sean Hannity and former first lady Melania Trump, are looking to the former president's backing to shake up the race.

  • Oz also enjoys personal financial largesse. On the day he entered the race, he loaned his campaign $5.2 million.

The big picture: The Pennsylvania race is expected to be one of the most expensive Senate contests in U.S. history.

  • On the Democratic side, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has seen significant fundraising success. He raised $3.1 million in Q1 of this year — and more than $15 million since February 2021.
  • Rep. Conor Lamb raised nearly $4 million in the final five months of 2021. He has yet to report numbers for Q1 of this year.
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