Election 2022: John Fetterman-Dr. Mehmet Oz’s Pennsylvania Senate race narrows in new CBS poll

Party bases are consolidating around their candidates in the Pennsylvania Senate race, maintaining a toss contest with Lt. Gov. John Fetterman ahead by two points ahead of their debate Tuesday night. He led by five points a month ago.

To the extent that there is a change in attitude, it is partly driven by more Republicans “going home” to Dr Mehmet Oz: the percentage of Republicans saying they would vote for their candidate is down up 94% from 87% last month.

In Tuesday night’s debate, the economy, gas prices, crime and abortion are among the top issues people want to hear about – and most don’t think it’s important to hear. talk about Fetterman’s health or the Oz residence.


Last month voters said a debate was somewhat important — especially Republicans — and today voters are somewhat likely to watch it. Thirty percent of voters overall say they are very likely to tune in. (Perhaps it will increase once again that Pennsylvanians, at least in the Philadelphia area, will remember that the World Series doesn’t start until Friday.) And they want to hear about the economy, police and crime, the gasoline prices and abortion.



Both candidates are enthusiastic. The voters of Oz are no more enthusiastic about him than before, even though they support him. And fewer Fetterman supporters are very enthusiastic about Fetterman, even though they support him. As with many contests, supporters are often reminded by campaigns of reasons to feel negative about the opposition, and that certainly seems to be the case here.




The potential electorate has become more partisan than last month – that is, the set of likely voters is more dominated by those who associate themselves with Republicans or Democrats – including those who say they will certainly vote or have already voted. More than nine in 10 supporters of each candidate say they would not consider voting the other way.

This is consistent with a turnout-driven campaign in which few voters switch sides and fewer self-identified independent likely voters remain. Those in the mix are more for Fetterman. Meanwhile, some voters, mostly Democrats, have already reported voting by mail, which is reflected in the main estimate.

This month, a slightly smaller majority say Fetterman is healthy enough to serve, pushed by Republicans who are saying ‘no’ in greater numbers now – only a quarter of Republicans say he is – suggesting again that the campaign themes work with party bases, but not so much beyond them.


The economy and inflation remain the primary concerns by wide margins. Crime is essentially unchanged in relative importance from last month. (That’s just two points higher and remains below the economy and inflation, which also show gradual increases.) However, this question seems to give supporters some cover and may help Oz with the base of the GOP. While Republicans run ads about Fetterman’s approach to crime and criminal justice, it’s Republicans and Oz voters who are most likely to say the topic matters more. For Democrats and Independents, the topic matters comparatively less.


Similarly, with ads run by Democrats about Oz’s views on abortion, it’s Democrats who are most likely to say the issue matters. He tops the list of importance for Democrats, and Fetterman maintains a large lead among voters who say abortion is very important.

This CBS News/YouGov Battleground Tracker survey was conducted among a statewide representative sample of 1,084 registered voters in Pennsylvania surveyed between October 21-24, 2022. The sample was weighted based on gender, age, race, education, and geographic region based on the United States. Census Current Population Survey, as well as the 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error is ±4.1 points.


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