Several recent surveys have shown Republican Pennsylvania Senate candidate Mehmet Oz polling within four points of Democrat John Fetterman, after Oz trailed by more than six points throughout most of the summer.
Polls conducted in mid-to-late September by The Trafalgar Group, Franklin & Marshall College, WTXF Philadelphia, Fox News, and Emerson College have found Fetterman leading by two, three, or four points. The Pennsylvania lieutenant governor leads Oz by 4.1 points in the RealClearPolitics average and six points in the FiveThirtyEight average.
“We’re seeing all these races tighten, especially with Biden’s numbers,” Trafalgar Group chief pollster Robert Cahaly told the Daily Caller in September. “What is helping is when Oz talks about crime, when they talk about Fetterman wanting to empty the prisons.”
Pennsylvania Senate Polling Trends
Fox: Fetterman +11 –> Fetterman +4
F&M: Fetterman +13 –> Fetterman +4
Trafalgar: Fetterman +4 –> Fetterman +2
Emerson: Fetterman +4 –> Fetterman +2
✅ Average: 5 point polling shift towards Dr. Oz from August pic.twitter.com/O7lJxYJcOp
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) September 30, 2022
Polls showed Fetterman leading Oz by double digits after both candidates secured their nominations, even as a serious stroke kept the Democrat off the campaign trail. Fetterman has struggled to speak at times in several appearances, and has delayed a debate with Oz until late October. Fetterman and his campaign have said that he is still working to more fully regain his auditory processing and speech functions.
Although Oz struggled early with a series of gaffes, he has focused more on crime and Fetterman’s long-standing support for releasing large numbers of prisoners and previous support for decriminalizing drugs. Oz has also held campaign events in inner-city Philadelphia, and appeared with former President Donald Trump in early September. (RELATED: Can Dr. Oz Turn His Campaign Around?)
Oz has also begun to close the cash gap between the two candidates. Although Fetterman out-raised Oz both in- and out-of-state through the first two quarters of 2022, the Oz campaign is scheduled to outspend Fetterman’s operation on advertising by $6 million in October. The Senate Leadership Fund, aligned with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, announced a $3.67 million ad buy supporting Oz in early September.
Most elections analysts consider control of the upper chamber to be a toss-up, with Pennsylvania a likely tipping-point state. FiveThirtyEight gives Democrats a 68% chance to control the Senate, with the most likely scenario a 51-49 split.