10/27/2022 Peter Durantine

F&M Poll: Big Voter Turnout Expected

Two in three, or 66%, of registered Pennsylvania voters are “very interested” in the congressional midterm elections, an 11% increase since September, according to the latest Franklin & Marshall College Poll.

While abortion is the second biggest concern among voters, their top concern is the economy, which has given Republicans an issue in the campaign and is reflected on the generic ballot that shows voters favor the GOP, 46% to 41%.

“I think the big thing is thing is that Republicans should be performing better and winning these races, but Republican voters are just not happy with their candidates,” F&M Poll Director Berwood Yost said. “They are way underperforming.” 

In the gubernatorial race, Democrat Josh Shapiro increased his lead over Republican Doug Mastriano, 58% to 36%. In September’s poll, the state’s attorney general was leading the state senator 52% to 42%.

While Republican Mehmet Oz has narrowed the gap against Democrat John Fetterman in the U.S. Senate race, the heart surgeon and TV celebrity still trails the lieutenant governor, who is leading 49% to 45%.

The poll for the Nov. 8 congressional elections, which historically favor the political party out of power, was conducted Oct. 14-23. 

On the “worse off/better off” question, 49% of respondents said they are “worse off” financially than a year ago, which is a decrease from the September survey, when 53% said they were “worse off.”  About 10% said “better off.”

About 36% of registered voters believe President Joe Biden is doing an “excellent” or “good” job, which is similar to Presidents Donald Trump or Barack Obama at this point in their terms.

The F&M poll showed that 90% of Pennsylvania’s registered voters are “certain” about who they will vote for in the upcoming election with 10% saying they “do not know.” 

The 66% of Pennsylvania’s registered voters who are “very interested” in the election is similar to the interest expressed before the 2018 midterm elections, when 59% of voters cast a ballot.

“The turnout won’t be similar to the 2020 election, but it could be as high as in the 2018 midterm elections,” Yost said. 

The F&M Poll, like all surveys, is a snapshot of a specific point in time, not a forecast. All polls have variability; voters change their minds; and events after a survey can sometimes influence voters’ decisions, including whether to vote at all.

Conducted by F&M’s Center for Opinion Research, the poll reflects responses from 620 registered Pennsylvania voters, including 280 Democrats, 254 Republicans and 86 independents. The sample error is plus or minus 5.3 percentage points.

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