Former hedge fund CEO David McCormick has a clear advantage in Pennsylvania’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate, including besting television celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz — although many primary voters remain undecided.
A Fox News survey of Pennsylvania GOP primary voters finds McCormick tops Oz by 9 points (24%-15%). Others receive support in the single digits, including Kathy Barnette and Jeff Bartos (9% each), and Carla Sands (6%). Nearly one-third (31%) are unsure which candidate they will support in the May 17 primary.
However, McCormick’s lead is not rock solid: only 22% of his backers are certain they will support him at the ballot box, while 77% may change their mind. Nearly twice as many Oz supporters, 40%, feel sure to back him (59% could change).
“McCormick has a lead and he’s running well across the state,” says Daron Shaw, a Republican who conducts the Fox News survey with Democrat Chris Anderson. “But the main feature of the contest right now is that Republican voters have not yet honed in on the candidates.”
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When choosing their senate candidate, more of these primary voters say economic (59%) and immigration issues (53%) will be “extremely” important to their decision than say the same about social issues (38%) or COVID-19 policies (29%).
GOP Sen. Pat Toomey announced his retirement in Oct. 2020, creating the open seat. Republican primary voters in the Keystone State have mixed feelings about him: 45% favorable vs. 41% unfavorable. It’s notable that 15% of GOP primary voters are unable to rate the two-term senator.
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Former President Trump is much more popular, with 82% having a favorable view of him — including 65% feeling “strongly” positive.
Primary voters who view Trump favorably are 28 points more likely to be interested in the upcoming election than those with a negative opinion of him (82% vs. 54%).
Trump hasn’t made another endorsement in the senate primary since his preferred candidate, Sean Parnell, dropped out last November.
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McCormick received endorsements from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Trump’s former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Oz picked up the backing of Pennsylvania State Sen. Mike Regan in early March.
In the gubernatorial contest, there’s no clear front-runner to replace term-limited Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. Four candidates receive double-digit support: Lou Barletta (19%), Doug Mastriano (18%), Dave White (14%), and Bill McSwain (11%). One-quarter (25%) are undecided.
Conducted March 2-6, 2022 under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R), this Fox News Poll includes telephone interviews (landline and cellphone) with live interviewers among 960 Pennsylvania Republican primary voters and has an overall margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points. Randomly selected from a statewide voter file of registered Pennsylvania voters, respondents were screened to identify potential participants in the Republican primary elections.