According to a Franklin & Marshall College poll, John Fetterman, Democratic Senate candidate, had a narrow lead over Dr. Mehmet O prior to his “painful” debate performance on Tuesday.
From October 14 to 23, the poll found that Fetterman received 49% support from likely voters while Oz got 45%. Three days after the poll closed Oz and Fetterman met in public for their first and only debate. Many viewers called it “painful” for Fetterman.
On the campaign trail, the senator candidate suffered a stroke and has had difficulty following conversations and communicating effectively over the past months. His campaign refused to release his medical records, despite the fact that his condition was publicly displayed to voters on Tuesday evening.
Fetterman’s performance was not well-received, even by media people who are sympathetic to Democrats.
“John Fetterman has a severely impaired ability to communicate. “Pennsylvania voters will be discussing this obvious fact even though many media outlets will not,” Joe Scarborough, MSNBC host, wrote during the debate. This is a difficult thing to see, regardless of your political affiliation.
“There’s no way to feel empathy or understanding for Fetterman’s recovery and health, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is extremely painful to watch,” Olivia Nuzzi, New York Magazine correspondent, tweeted.
According to the Franklin & Marshall poll, voters were more supportive of Fetterman on social issues than Oz but more trust Oz on economic issues. Inflation was also a popular issue.
However, the survey showed that Republican voters are dissatisfied in their candidates in the state. Oz and Doug Mastriano polled well ahead of a “generic Republican” candidate.
Franklin & Marshall surveyed 620 Pennsylvania registered voters online and over the phone. The poll included 280 Democrats and 254 Republicans, as well as 86 Independents. There was a margin for error of 5.3%.