A USA Today Network/Suffolk University poll in Pennsylvania released this week suggests a clear U.S. Senate frontrunner -- with a tighter race for governor.
According to the Suffolk University Political Research Center, Democrat John Fetterman holds a 9-point lead over Republican Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania's closely watched U.S. Senate race. The two are seeking to fill the seat being vacated by Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey.
In the state's gubernatorial race, Democrat Josh Shapiro has a 4-point advantage over Republican Doug Mastriano, which is within the poll's plus or minus 4.4-percentage-point margin of error. Green Party candidate Christina “PK” DiGiulio and Libertarian Party candidate Matt Hackenburg are polling at just 1% each.
The early leads for Fetterman and Shapiro come despite a Republican surge that's reduced Democrats' registration lead from 8 percentage points to 4 percentage points since 2018 in the state.
Fetterman and Shapiro also seem to be bucking the headwinds of a poor economy and disapproval of President Joe Biden. More than 44% of poll respondents said economic conditions in Pennsylvania are poor, while 36% said they are fair and just 16% said they are good.
"I use the words 'thread the needle' because I always think of campaigns as patchwork, as a political fabrics," Suffolk University Political Research Center Director David Paleologos said. "It's really a fine line given Biden's disapproval rate and the dire state of the economy."