6/14/2018 Peter Durantine

F&M Poll: Democrats Gov. Wolf, Sen. Casey Well Ahead of GOP Opponents

With Pennsylvania’s primary behind them, the state’s leading Democratic incumbents, Gov. Tom Wolf and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, each have double-digit leads over their Republican challengers for the November election, according to the latest Franklin & Marshall College Poll.

“The race will tighten up, but the question is by how much,” said the poll’s co-director and chief methodologist, Berwood Yost. “There are still a lot of undecided Republicans and independents.”

In the gubernatorial race, Wolf leads Republican Scott Wagner 48 percent to 29 percent among registered voters with 23 percent undecided. Casey leads GOP Congressman Lou Barletta in the Senate contest 44 percent to 27 percent with 28 percent undecided. 

“It’s going to be a real challenge for Wagner and Barletta to beat Wolf and Casey,” said F&M Poll Director Terry Madonna. “Neither Wolf or Casey have what I call a ‘debilitating factor’ in their tenure, no overwhelming or devastating negative.”  

The poll reported that more than half the state’s registered voters, 55 percent, are “very interested” in the 2018 mid-term elections. More Democrats (62 percent) than Republicans (50 percent) or independents (41 percent) say they are “very interested” in voting this fall. 

The poll was conducted June 4-10.

More than two in five or 45 percent of registered voters believe Wolf is doing an “excellent” or “good” job as governor, which is similar to what the last poll, conducted in March, reported. More than two in five or 42 percent believe Casey is doing an “excellent” or “good” job as senator, which is higher by 5 points from the March poll.

President Donald Trump’s approval rating by Pennsylvania voters increased 5 percentage points from the March poll. More than one in three or 35 percent believe he has done an “excellent” or “good” job.

On the question regarding the tax cuts Trump signed into law last year, 59 percent of Pennsylvania voters said they have seen no increase in household income because of the legislation, according to the poll.

On state issues, the poll showed 72 percent of voters believe state government needs to be reformed; 69 percent support an independent commission to redraw the boundaries for state legislative districts; and 45 percent believe the state is headed in the right direction.

Conducted by the Center for Opinion Research at F&M, the poll reflects interviews with 472 Pennsylvania registered voters, including 224 Democrats, 185 Republicans and 63 independents. The sample error is plus or minus 6.5 percentage points. 

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