F&M Stories

The Economy Weighs on Voters, According to April F&M Poll

More than one in three or 36% of respondents to the April Franklin & Marshall College Poll say they are "worse off" financially than a year ago, reflecting their views expressed in the March poll.

With little more than a month before Pennsylvania's crowded May 17 primary election, many Republicans and conservatives say they are "worse off," while 26% of Democrats and 40% of independents say they are "worse off," according to the poll, conducted March 30 to April 10.

Three quarters of the registered voters in Pennsylvania who say they are "worse off" financially this year than last also say the state is "on the wrong track," while 29% of voters believe the state is "headed in the right direction."

About 33% of registered voters believe President Joe Biden is doing an "excellent" or "good job," a rating similar to President Donald Trump's and lower than President Barack Obama's in Pennsylvania at this same point in their terms.

"I think the real problem for Democrats is the number of young voters who view Biden poorly," F&M Poll Director Berwood Yost said. "He's just got a problem, that's all you can say."

In the U.S. Senate Democratic primary race, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman now leads Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb, 41% to 17%, with 26% undecided. Among Democrats, Fetterman's lead over Lamb is wider, 49% to 13%.

In the Republican field for Senate, Mehmet Oz has 16% and David McCormick share similar support. The poll, which was tabulated before Trump's recent endorsement of Oz, shows Oz leading McCormick, 16% to 15% with more than 43% of voters saying they are undecided.

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 785 registered Pennsylvania voters, including 356 Democrats, 317 Republicans and 112 independents. The sample error is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.

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