F&M Stories

Dissatisfied Voters Preparing to Cast Ballots, According to May F&M Poll

Voters are headed to the polls for the May 17 primary election increasingly worried about their own economics and frustrated with President Joe Biden's performance, according to the latest Franklin & Marshall College Poll.

"There's been little change in the mood of Pennsylvania's registered voters since our March and April polls," F&M Poll Director Berwood Yost said.

More than two in five, or 43% of the respondents to the May survey say they are "worse off" financially than a year ago, reflecting their views expressed in those two previous polls.

At 24%, concerns about the economy, including unemployment, personal finances, and gas prices, remain the most mentioned problems facing Pennsylvania, according to the latest poll, conducted between April 20 and May 1.

About 33% of registered voters believe President Joe Biden is doing an "excellent" or "good job," a rating unchanged since last month's poll.

In the U.S. Senate Democratic primary race, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman increased his lead in the last month over Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb. Fetterman moved from 41% in April to 53%, while Lamb dropped from 17% to 14%, with 22% undecided.

Fetterman's favorability rating is 67% while Lamb's is 46%.

In the Republican field for Senate, Mehmet Oz and David McCormick share similar support, 18% and 16% respectively, with more than 39% of voters saying they are undecided.

In the GOP primary race for governor, state Sen. Doug Mastriano leads a contested field of four candidates at 20% while 34% of Republican voters are undecided. Attorney General Josh Shapiro faces no opposition in the Democratic primary for governor.

For more about primary elections in general, including why there are so many candidates in primaries, check out the F&M Poll's May 2021 newsletter.

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 interviews with 792 registered Pennsylvania voters, including 357 Democrats, 352 Republicans and 110 independents. The sample error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

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