Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz is narrowly leading his Democratic opponent, John Fetterman, in a new survey from Emerson College Polling and The Hill conducted after last week’s highly watched debate.
The poll, released Thursday, finds Oz leading Fetterman 48 percent to 46 percent among very likely voters, well within the survey’s 3-point margin of error. Four percent said they were undecided. The poll marks a steady improvement for Oz, whose support has increased by 5 points since September. Fetterman’s support has only ticked up by 1 point.
Additionally, 54 percent of Pennsylvania voters said they expected Oz to win the election, while 47 percent said the same about Fetterman.
Previous surveys from Emerson College Polling and The Hill have seen Fetterman consistently leading Oz.
But the latest data comes just over one week after Fetterman came face-to-face with Oz in Pennsylvania’s first and only Senate debate this cycle, during which the Democrat had a rocky performance as a result of his ongoing recovery from a stroke he suffered in May. Oz, on the other hand, appeared in his element due to his experience in television, something Fetterman’s campaign acknowledged going into the debate.
Fifty percent of voters said the debate worsened their opinion of Fetterman, while 20 percent said it improved their opinion of him. Another 31 percent said it made no difference. Forty-four percent of voters said the debate improved their opinion of Oz, while 25 percent said it worsened their opinion of the Republican candidate. Thirty percent said it made no difference in their opinion of him.
“Of those who say they have heard, seen, or read a lot about the debate, Oz leads Fetterman 55 percent to 41 percent,” said Spencer Kimball, the executive director of Emerson College polling. But “among those who have heard, seen, or read only a little or nothing about the debate,” Fetterman leads by 56 percent to 28 percent margin.
However, not all post-debate polling has shown Oz leading.
A Monmouth University survey released Wednesday showed that 48 percent of respondents said they would definitely or probably vote for Fetterman, while 44 percent said they would definitely or probably vote for Oz.
The RealClearPolitics polling average shows Fetterman leading by 1.2 points.
Fetterman could stand to benefit from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro’s presence on the ticket, given Shapiro’s wide lead in that race. The Emerson College-The Hill poll showed Shapiro leading his GOP opponent, Doug Mastriano, 50 percent to 41 percent.
But there is still the possibility of ticket-splitters on Election Day.
“About 9% of those voting for Shapiro for Governor split their ticket and plan to support Oz for Senate,” Kimball noted.
The Emerson College-The Hill poll was conducted on Oct. 28 through 21 among 1,000 very likely voters. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.