McCormick, Oz running neck-and-neck in Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary: poll
Former hedge fund manager Dave McCormick and celebrity cardiothoracic surgeon Mehmet Oz are running neck-and-neck in the Pennsylvania Senate GOP primary, according to a new The Hill/Emerson College poll.
The survey shows McCormick winning 18 percent support among likely GOP primary voters, with Oz right behind at 17 percent, a difference that falls within the survey’s margin of error. Conservative commentator Kathy Barnette trails in third with 10 percent, and no other candidate breaks double digits, though 33 percent of likely primary voters remain undecided.
The survey tracks with other polls that show McCormick and Oz running closely and a substantial swath of voters remaining undecided.
When the latest poll takes into account who undecided voters say they’re leaning toward, McCormick’s lead over Oz increases to 27-21.
“McCormick has a strong base of support across most demographics, whereas Oz seems to lack a clear base,” said Executive Director of Emerson College Polling Spencer Kimball.
The poll comes amid an increasingly bitter primary battle between McCormick and Oz, who jumped into the race late after the withdrawal of Sean Parnell, the Republican who won former President Trump’s endorsement last year before dropping out after a lost custody battle for his children.
Attack lines have largely been drawn over Oz’s dual citizenship with Turkey and shallow roots in Pennsylvania and McCormick’s business ties to China. Oz has said he’ll revoke his Turkish citizenship if he’s elected.
The bloody primary is taking place in one of the most significant Senate races in the country to replace retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R). Holding Toomey’s seat is a top priority for Republicans as they try to topple the Democratic majority, while flipping the seat would be a huge boon for Democratic efforts to pad their control.
Pennsylvania narrowly went for Trump in 2016 before flipping back to President Biden in 2020. However, the national political environment is anticipated to favor the GOP this year amid Biden’s low approval ratings, inflation, high gas prices, the coronavirus pandemic and more.
The Hill/Emerson College poll surveyed 1,000 likely GOP primary voters from April 3-4 and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
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