Times Chronicle & Public Spirit

Poll shows tight GOP races

Primary contests for governor, U.S. Senate unsettled

- By Karen Shuey kshuey@readingeag­le.com

Less than two weeks before Pennsylvan­ia’s primary election, a new Franklin & Marshall College Poll found there is little clarity about which candidates have an advantage in the hotly contested races for the Republican nomination for the open U.S. Senate seat and gubernator­ial post.

On the Democratic side of the ballot, however, the primary race for U.S. Senate is clearer with Lt. Gov. John Fetterman maintainin­g his frontrunne­r status over his top rival, U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb.

While the poll provides a snapshot on where the races stand now, poll director Berwood Yost cautioned that in every primary race there is a sizable pool of undecided voters and warned that many voters who have a preference might change their minds — making it difficult to suggest who might win.

The Republican races

While the race for the U.S. Senate seat appeared to be narrowing around two candidates in the same poll just one month ago, a third candidate has been making a strong push in the final weeks of the race to climb to the top of the pack.

The survey found the top two choices are are still celebrity physician Mehmet Oz with 18% support and former hedge fund chief executive David McCormick with 16% backing. But conservati­ve commentato­r Kathy Barnette has pulled away from the rest of the pack sitting in third place with 12% support.

Trump administra­tion Ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands polls at 5%, and Montgomery County real estate developer Jeff Bartos stands at 2%.

Two in 5 Republican­s say they are still undecided about whom they will support, and among those who have chosen a candidate, more than half say they could change their mind.

Like the Senate race, the contest to represent the Republican

Party in the race to be the next governor is wide open.

State Sen. Doug Mastriano has an advantage over the rest of the field with 20% support. But trailing closely behind are former

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