Pennsylvania Republican Senate nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz is receiving help from a surprising corner of the electorate as his race against Pennsylvania Lt. Governor and Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman enters its final stretch.
According to a poll from Emerson College and The Hill, the celebrity cardiologist boasts 43% support from the voting population while Fetterman boasts 45% — a difference within the survey’s margin of error, placing Oz in a statistical tie after months of lagging his rival. The poll showed that 46.2% of Hispanics back Oz, while only 32.1% back Fetterman — an extraordinarily unexpected outcome given that President Joe Biden won 65% of the Hispanic vote in the Keystone State two years ago, according to exit polls from NBC News.
Indeed, Hispanics have seen a rapid shift toward favoring the Republican Party over the past two years. Although former President Donald Trump and other past Republican candidates, such as Mitt Romney and John McCain, have failed to compete with their Democratic counterparts in winning the Hispanic vote, the two parties now hold a statistical tie among the racial group in generic ballot polls for the 2022 midterm cycle — a significant change from the group breaking for the Democrats by a 40% margin in the 2018 midterms.
A nationwide poll from Quinnipiac released earlier this year placed Biden’s approval rating among Hispanics at a slim 26% — marking a 43% decline since his inauguration. In Pennsylvania, roughly 39% of Hispanics currently approve of Biden, showing that disapproval of the commander-in-chief is higher among Hispanics than any other racial group in Pennsylvania, according to the Emerson poll.
Hispanics were also more likely than any other demographic to identify economic matters such as inflation, jobs, and taxes as issues impacting their votes. Price levels between August 2021 and August 2022 rose 8.3%, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, marking a slight moderation from an 8.5% year-over-year increase in July and a 9.1% year-over-year increase in June.
In another reversal from the 2020 election results, over 51% of Hispanics in Pennsylvania said that they would vote for Trump over Biden in 2024.
Fetterman has faced criticism for his lengthy history of backing monitored injection sites and drug decriminalization, as well as his support of pro-abortion federal legislative proposals such as the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would supersede state-level abortion regulations. There is a significant generational divide among Hispanics with respect to abortion; while 29% of Latinos who spoke only Spanish at home said that abortion should be legal, 63% of Latinos who spoke only English at home said the same, according to a poll from Axios conducted days before news that the Supreme Court was poised to overturn Roe v. Wade.
A recent survey from Fox News showed Fetterman leading Oz by 45% to 41% — a result within the poll’s margin of error and a significant decline from the 11% advantage over Oz that Fetterman boasted in the same survey as of late July. Roughly 34% of voters are “extremely or very worried” that the stroke Fetterman suffered days before the primary election will render him unable to complete his duties in the Senate — an 11% increase since three months ago.