Republican Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz has taken the lead in the race, according to a new poll.
The poll of 750 likely voters, conducted by independent pollster InsiderAdvantage on October 26, the day after Pennsylvania’s key Senate debate, showed Oz with a lead of just under three points against Democratic candidate John Fetterman. The poll also found that a majority of voters thought that Oz won the debate. The poll comes after previous polls showed Fetterman with slight leads as the race has gotten much tighter in recent weeks.
According to the poll, Oz holds a 2.7-point lead over Fetterman, 47.5% to 44.8%. 3.6% of voters were undecided. Looking at the poll’s crosstabs, Oz leads with a number of key groups: he holds a two-point lead among white voters, 47.7% to 45.7%; he leads among 18-39 year-old voters, 46.9%-44%; among 40-64 year-olds, Oz has a 14-point lead, 53.4%-39.4%; Oz also pulled in nearly two thirds of independent voters, 65.9%, while Fetterman pulled in just 22.5%.
The poll included two bonus questions relating to the Senate debate on on October 25. When asked, “[h]ave you personally seen or listened to at least part of the debate, either live or in the media afterwards?” most voters, 83.2%, said they had, while 16.5% said they haven’t.
The poll then asked: “Regardless of which candidate you are voting for, who do you believe won the debate itself, John Fetterman or Mehmet Oz?” Voters claimed Oz won by more than a 2-to-1 margin; 53.6% of voters said Oz won the debate, while just 20.5% said Fetterman won; 25.9% were undecided.
InsiderAdvantage also polled the governor’s race, and showed that Democrat Josh Shapiro leads Republican Doug Mastriano, 50.2%-41.8%.
The InsiderAdvantage poll came after Oz and Fetterman debated on Tuesday. The two nominees exchanged barbs on a variety of topics, from abortion and crime to fracking and inflation, as the Democrat painted his opponent as a liar and the Republican argued that his rival is radically progressive.
Fetterman, who suffered a stroke days before the primary elections that placed him in the hospital and removed him from the campaign trail for months, faltered and provided choppy responses as Oz, a veteran television host, aggressively pressed his opponent and occasionally exceeded his time limits.
Fetterman’s performance was met with fallout from observers on both sides of the aisle, who pointed out that Fetterman’s stroke had seriously impaired his ability to communicate; some commentators blasted Fetterman’s team for exposing him to nationwide ridicule, while others lamented that even with weeks of prep time and significant accommodations, he still struggled to answer questions effectively.
The InsiderAdvantage poll followed another poll that showed Oz with a 4.5-point lead. The poll of 1,013 likely voters, conducted by market research firm Wick between October 9-13, found that Oz led by 4.5 points over Fetterman, 49.1%-44.6%. Another 3.4% are voting for someone else, and 2.9% are undecided. Among those undecided voters, Oz held a sizable lead, 59%-41%.
InsiderAdvantage previously showed Oz and Fetterman tied at 46% in another poll the firm conducted in partnership with Fox 29 Philadelphia. InsiderAdvantage chairman Matt Towery said in a statement to Fox 29 that Oz’s surge was coming largely from self-described independent voters, who are breaking for Oz by twenty points; Oz was also leading with Hispanics, and was taking 14% of the black vote away from Fetterman as well.