Two new polls of the U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania suggest that the race may be closer than previous polls — and pundits — have suggested.
The race between Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) and Trump-endorsed Dr. Mehmet Oz (R) is being closely watched. Sen. Pat Toomey (R) is retiring, giving Democrats an opportunity to pick up a seat and thwart Republican ambitions to take control of the upper chamber of Congress.
Fetterman has led Oz in most polls, often by double digits. However, the race may be tightening.
One poll, by former Republican internal pollster Carleton Polling, suggests that Fetterman is less than one point ahead:
?NEW #PASEN POLL SHOWS INCREDIBLY TIGHT RACE?@DrOz 45.9%@JohnFetterman 46.3%
Conducted 8/15-8/19, 2,800 Likely Voters
Carleton was the most accurate Senate internal in 2020. Consider giving us a follow to support our new public polling journey.
— Carleton Polling (@CarletonPolling) August 20, 2022
Carleton adds that Oz was down 2.6% in the previous month, so the gap appears to be narrowing.
Another poll, by the Tragalfar Group, shows Oz within 5 points of Fetterman:
New independent@trafalgar_group #PASen #Poll (8/14-18) shows #Fetterman w/the lead #papol:
See Report: https://t.co/jZ24Ij6ljj pic.twitter.com/ypQQRL8ReI
— Robert C. Cahaly (@RobertCahaly) August 21, 2022
Currently, Fetterman is seen as having the advantage; the RealClearPolitics poll average has him up 7.5 points.
Oz was badly damaged in a tough primary contest that saw him cast as an outsider who had taken left-wing positions on social issues in the past. Fetterman was knocked off the campaign trail by a stroke, and appeared to have trouble speaking at his first post-recovery campaign appearance, but has held onto a dogged lead.
Fetterman has sought to capitalize on Oz’s recent reference to vegetables as “crudité,” reinforcing suspicions that he is an elitist who cannot relate to the state’s working-class population. But being the frontrunner also has its disadvantages: recent video surfaced in which Fetterman admits having chased an innocent black jogger down his street and pulling a gun on him.
In 2013, Democrat John Fetterman said he “did the right thing” by chasing down an unarmed Black jogger and pulling a shotgun on him. pic.twitter.com/j4dHUeKdRX
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 17, 2022
Fetterman has also come under fire for his radical views, such as that reducing prison population by one-third would not make Pennsylvania less safe.
Observers had suggested, prior to the new polls, that Oz might be making headway through old-fashioned, in-person campaigning, beyond the glare of the media lights and skirmishes on social media.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.