Fetterman has wide lead among Democrats in Pennsylvania Senate race, with Oz, McCormick in tight race for GOP nomination: poll

Fetterman has wide lead among Democrats in Pennsylvania Senate race, with Oz, McCormick in tight race for GOP nomination: poll
Literature for Conor Lamb and John Fetterman appear on a table where both Democratic candidates for Senate were speaking at a Centre County Democratic breakfast event at a hotel at the Mountain View Country Club in Boalsburg, Pa., on April 9, 2022.AP Photo/Marc Levy
  • John Fetterman leads the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate race in the latest Franklin & Marshall poll.
  • The lieutenant governor has 53% support, followed by Rep. Lamb at 14% and state Rep. Kenyatta at 4%.

With just over a week to go before Pennsylvania's marquee Senate primaries on May 17, Democrats appear poised to nominate the state's lieutenant governor, John Fetterman, to be their party's nominee, while former television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund executive David McCormick are locked in a tight race on the Republican side.

According to the most recent survey conducted by Franklin & Marshall College, Fetterman has a 53%-14% lead over his closest challenger, Rep. Conor Lamb. State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta came in third place, with 4% support, while Jenkintown councilwoman Alex Khalil registered with 1% of the vote.

While Fetterman has long boasted a significant advantage in most major polling, 22% of Democratic voters remain undecided in the Franklin & Marshall survey, and 51% of respondents who had a preferred candidate indicated that they could change their minds before the primary date.

The poll included responses from 357 Democrats and was conducted from April 20 through May 1.

In a Franklin & Marshall poll released last month, Fetterman led Lamb 41%-17%, with Kenyatta at 4% support.


Fetterman — the former mayor of the borough of Braddock who has made his focus on working-class voters the centerpiece of his campaign — has long been seen as the frontrunner in the race. However, Lamb, a moderate lawmaker who represents a swath of southwestern Pennsylvania anchored in the Pittsburgh suburbs, and Kenyatta, a Philadelphia native who has also focused on kitchen-table issues, have both waged spirited campaigns in what represents one of the best Democratic Senate pickup opportunities in the country this fall.

Among Republicans, the race is much more fractured, with Oz sitting at 18% and McCormick at 16%, followed by conservative commentator Kathy Barnette at 12%, former US ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands at 5%, and real estate developer Jeff Bartos at 2%.

Oz was endorsed by former President Donald Trump in April, but the show of support has so far not moved a significant amount of voters in the polling; in last's month survey, Oz led McCormick 16%-15%. McCormick has continued to hammer Oz on his conservative credentials in recent weeks and has sought to make himself out to be the more reliable Make America Great Again ally in the race.

Trump visited the state last Friday to stump for Oz at a rally, but as Insider's Jake Lahut reported, the cardiothoracic surgeon received a frosty reception from many of the attendees throughout the event.

A whopping 39% of the GOP electorate is undecided, and 57% who expressed support for a candidate said they could change their minds in the coming days.


Barnette saw a notable increase in support from last month's Franklin & Marshall poll, when she sat at 7% support.

The most recent poll included responses from 325 Republicans.

Republicans are angling to hold on to the seat being vacated by two-term GOP Sen. Pat Toomey in what is expected to be highly favorable political climate for the party this November.

However, the Senate race is expected to be close — President Joe Biden won Pennsylvania in 2020 by 1%, while Trump in 2016 won the state by less than 1% against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The state will also feature a hotly-contested open gubernatorial race, as incumbent Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is term-limited and cannot seek reelection.


Also, with the leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion that could potentially topple Roe v. Wade, abortion is certain to play a major role in federal and state races in Pennsylvania this year.