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Fetterman Has Issue Edge over Oz

Fetterman Has Issue Edge over Oz

Pennsylvania

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate stronger than his party’s fundamentals

West Long Branch, NJ – Democrat John Fetterman is viewed more favorably and is more trusted on key issues than Republican Mehmet Oz, in the race for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania. Fetterman is also performing a few points stronger than his party in general. The Monmouth (“Mon-muth”) University Poll finds that economic concerns are a bigger factor in voters’ Senate choice than rights and democratic processes, but the latter group is more motivated to turn out at this stage of the campaign.

Fetterman has a positive personal rating of 47% favorable to 42% unfavorable. Just under half of the electorate will either definitely (32%) or probably (17%) vote for him in November.  Oz has a net negative personal rating of 36% favorable to 52% unfavorable. About 4 in 10 will either definitely (23%) or probably (16%) vote for him. Slightly more Pennsylvania voters say they definitely will not vote for Oz (45%) than completely rule out Fetterman (38%).

“Fetterman has the edge when you look at basic candidate preferences. Oz will need to overcome his personal negatives or shift the issue picture to stay competitive,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Bread and butter concerns are driving factors for most Pennsylvania voters. Top issues facing the country according to the commonwealth’s electorate are the economy (30%) and inflation (31%) along with gas prices specifically (7%). Other issues include illegal immigration (14%), abortion (13%), democracy, voting and elections (11%), and crime (9%). When asked directly which set of issues are a bigger factor in their U.S. Senate vote, 52% point to concerns about the economy and cost of living while 38% are more focused on concerns about fundamental rights and the democratic process. Republicans prioritize the economy (72%) and Democrats prioritize rights (59%).

When asked who they trust more on jobs, the economy and cost of living, 41% of voters choose Fetterman and 36% pick Oz. The Democrat also has larger advantages on “defending your values” (43% to 34% for Oz), as well as abortion (44% to 26%) and gun control (40% to 30%). The two candidates run even on being trusted to handle immigration (34% Fetterman to 34% Oz).

“The economy is an issue which could help Oz, but Fetterman currently has enough crossover appeal to negate it. In fact, the poll shows Fetterman is running stronger than the Democratic fundamentals in Pennsylvania would suggest,” said Murray.

Comparing favorability ratings for the two political parties finds them running about even – 45% favorable for the Democratic Party and 43% favorable for the Republican Party. The same is true at the presidential level – 43% have a favorable view of Joe Biden and 43% have a favorable view of Donald Trump. When asked about their preference for party control of Congress, Pennsylvania voters are divided at 47% for the Republicans and 46% for the Democrats.

The poll does not attempt to predict turnout, but various voter history metrics suggest Fetterman is in better position than Oz heading into November. Among those who voted in the 2020 presidential election, just under half definitely (32%) or probably (16%) support the Democrat and 4 in 10 definitely (25%) or probably (16%) support Oz. Among those who voted in last year’s judicial and local races – an election that saw about one-third of registered voters turn out – Fetterman also has an edge (36% definite and 15% probable) over Oz (29% definite and 13% probable).

Oz seems to have a slight, albeit not significant, edge in voter motivation among soft supporters. Among probable supporters of the two candidates, high motivation stands at 56% for those in the Oz camp and 45% among those inclined toward Fetterman. Among those who will definitely vote for Oz, 81% say they are extremely motivated to vote this year. This sentiment stands at 78% among definite Fetterman voters. On the other hand, while more voters are focused on economic concerns than on democratic processes, the latter group is more likely to be extremely motivated than the former this year (72% versus 56%). This dynamic has the potential to help Fetterman with turnout.

“Recent court rulings on abortion and guns have not vaulted those areas to the top of Pennsylvania’s issue list, but they do seem to be motivating a key group of voters who currently back the Democrat. The question is whether they actually show up in November. A shift in this dynamic, particularly if the underlying partisan fundamentals become more of a drag on Fetterman than they are now, can make this a much tighter race,” said Murray.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from September 8 to 12, 2022 with 605 Pennsylvania registered voters. The question results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 4.0 percentage points. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

QUESTIONS AND RESULTS     

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

1.Would you say things in the country are going in the right direction, or have they gotten off on the wrong track?

 Sept.
2022
Right direction24%
Wrong track70%
(VOL) Depends3%
(VOL) Don’t know3%
 (n)(605)

2.In your opinion, what are the most important one or two issues facing the country right now?  [LIST WAS NOT READ] [Note: Results add to more than 100% because multiple responses were accepted.]

 Sept.
2022
Economy (general)30%
Inflation, increasing prices31%
Gas prices specifically7%
Health care, health insurance6%
Abortion13%
Education, schools4%
Crime, violence9%
Gun control, 2nd Amendment4%
Race, equity4%
Illegal immigration14%
Terrorism, national security4%
Environment, climate change7%
Covid, pandemic1%
Democracy, voting, elections11%
Joe Biden6%
Donald Trump4%
Divided country, extremism7%
Taxes, spending, big government2%
Poverty, food security3%
Morality, values1%
Rights, liberties2%
Other5%
Nothing/no answer3%
   (n)(605)

3.Would you rather see the Republicans or the Democrats in control of Congress, or doesn’t this matter to you? [CHOICES WERE ROTATED] [If DOES NOT MATTER: If you had to lean one way or the other would you pick the Republicans or the Democrats?]

 Sept.
2022
Republicans 40%
Not matter, but lean Rep7%
Democrats 38%
Not matter, but lean Dem8%
Does not matter, no lean5%
(VOL) Don’t know1%
 (n)(605)

4.Is it very important, somewhat important, or only a little important to have [Republicans/Democrats] in control of Congress? [CHOICE READ FROM Q3]

 Sept.
2022
Very important65%
Somewhat important18%
Only a little important 8%
(VOL) Don’t know / Does not matter who controls Congress (from Q3)8%
 (n)(605)

5/6.I am going to read you a list of candidates running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania this year.  For each one, please tell me if you have definitely heard of them, not sure if you’ve heard of them, or if you’ve definitely not heard of them?
[If DEFINITELY HEARD OF:] For each of the following, please tell me if you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable opinion of them. [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

 
Very
favorable

Somewhat
favorable

Somewhat
unfavorable

Very
unfavorable

Heard of, no opinion (VOL)

Not sure if heard of

Definitely not heard of


(n)
Mehmet Oz, the Republican16%20%12%40%2%1%9%(605)
John Fetterman, the Democrat29%18%11%31%3%1%7%(605)
Erik Gerhardt, the Libertarian0%4%4%1%2%7%82%(605)
Richard Weiss, of the Green Party0%3%2%0%4%7%84%(605)
Daniel Wassmer, of the Keystone Party0%3%1%1%2%5%89%(605)

[QUESTIONS 7 & 8 WERE ROTATED]

7.How likely are you to vote for Mehmet Oz in the election for U.S. Senate – will you definitely vote for him, probably vote for him, probably not vote for him, or definitely not vote for him?

 Sept.
2022
Definitely23%
Probably16%
Probably not11%
Definitely not45%
(VOL) Don’t know5%
 (n)(605)

8.How likely are you to vote for John Fetterman in the election for U.S. Senate – will you definitely vote for him, probably vote for him, probably not vote for him, or definitely not vote for him?

 Sept.
2022
Definitely32%
Probably17%
Probably not9%
Definitely not38%
(VOL) Don’t know4%
 (n)(605)

9.Which is more important to you in deciding who to support for Senate this year – concerns about fundamental rights and the democratic process OR concerns about the economy and cost of living? [CHOICES WERE ROTATED]

 Sept.
2022
Concerns about fundamental rights and the democratic process38%
Concerns about the economy and cost of living52%
(VOL) Both equally8%
(VOL) Don’t know2%
 (n)(605)

10.Who do you trust more on [READ ITEM] – Mehmet Oz, John Fetterman, both equally, or neither one? [ITEMS WERE ROTATED] [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

 Mehmet
Oz
John
Fetterman
Both
equally
Neither
one
(VOL) Don’t
know

(n)
Immigration34%34%4%21%7%(605)
Gun control30%40%4%19%7%(605)
Abortion26%44%2%21%7%(605)
Jobs, the economy and cost of living36%41%4%16%4%(605)
Defending your values34%43%2%17%3%(605)

[Q11-16 held for future release.]

[QUESTIONS 17 & 18 WERE ROTATED]

17.Is your general impression of the Republican Party very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable?

 Sept.
2022
Very favorable18%
Somewhat favorable25%
Somewhat unfavorable20%
Very unfavorable35%
(VOL) Don’t know2%
 (n)(605)

18.Is your general impression of the Democratic Party very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable?

 Sept.
2022
Very favorable15%
Somewhat favorable30%
Somewhat unfavorable17%
Very unfavorable36%
(VOL) Don’t know2%
 (n)(605)

[QUESTIONS 19 & 20 WERE ROTATED]

19.Is your general impression of Donald Trump very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable?

 Sept.
2022
Very favorable20%
Somewhat favorable23%
Somewhat unfavorable7%
Very unfavorable49%
(VOL) Don’t know1%
 (n)(605)

20.Is your general impression of Joe Biden very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable?

 Sept.
2022
Very favorable16%
Somewhat favorable27%
Somewhat unfavorable12%
Very unfavorable44%
(VOL) Don’t know1%
 (n)(605)

21.Thinking about Joe Biden’s presidency so far, would you say he is doing a lot better than you thought he would, a little better than you thought, a lot worse than you thought, a little worse than you thought, or has he accomplished about what you thought he would?

 Sept.
2022
Lot better7%
Little better15%
Lot worse38%
Little worse13%
 About what you thought 26%
(VOL) Don’t know2%
 (n)(605)

22.How motivated are you to vote in this year’s election – extremely motivated, very motivated, somewhat motivated, or not motivated?

 Sept.
2022
Extremely motivated64%
Very motivated21%
Somewhat motivated10%
Not motivated4%
(VOL) Don’t know1%
 (n)(605)

23.Compared to past elections for U.S. Senate and Congress, are you more enthusiastic than usual, less enthusiastic, or about the same as past elections?

 Sept.
2022
More enthusiastic42%
Less enthusiastic10%
About the same48%
(VOL) Don’t know1%
 (n)(605)

24.Do you feel optimistic or pessimistic about the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections? [Is that very or somewhat optimistic/pessimistic?]

 Sept.
2022
Very optimistic20%
Somewhat optimistic48%
Somewhat pessimistic20%
Very pessimistic7%
(VOL) Don’t know5%
 (n)(605)

25.Looking back at the 2020 presidential election, do you believe Joe Biden won the 2020 election fair and square, or do you believe that he only won it due to voter fraud?

 Sept.
2022
Fair and square62%
Due to voter fraud32%
(VOL) Don’t know5%
 (n)(605)

[QUESTIONS 26 & 27 WERE ROTATED]

26.If Joe Biden runs for president in 2024, would you definitely vote for him, probably vote for him, probably not vote for him, or definitely not vote for him?

 Sept.
2022
Definitely17%
Probably22%
Probably not10%
Definitely not48%
(VOL) Don’t know3%
 (n)(605)

27.If Donald Trump runs for president in 2024, would you definitely vote for him, probably vote for him, probably not vote for him, or definitely not vote for him?

 Sept.
2022
Definitely22%
Probably18%
Probably not7%
Definitely not52%
(VOL) Don’t know2%
 (n)(605)

METHODOLOGY

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from September 8 to 12, 2022 with a probability-based random sample of 605 Pennsylvania voters drawn from a list of active registered voters who participated in at least one general election since 2016 or have newly registered since the 2020 election. This includes 183 contacted by a live interviewer on a landline telephone and 422 contacted by a live interviewer on a cell phone, in English. Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. The full sample is weighted for party registration, age, gender, race, education, and region based on state voter registration list information and U.S. Census information (CPS 2018 supplement). Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field) and Aristotle (voter sample). For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 4.0 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design). Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

DEMOGRAPHICS (weighted)
REGISTERED VOTERS
 
Party Registration
42% Republican
13% Other/none
45% Democrat
 
Self-Reported Party
34% Republican
34% Independent
32% Democrat
 
47% Male
53% Female
 
21% 18-34
22% 35-49
29% 50-64
28% 65+
 
84% White, non-Hispanic
10% Black
  2% Hispanic
  3% Asian/other
 
62% No degree
38% 4 year degree
 

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and crosstabs by key demographic groups.