The latest Emerson College Polling/The Hill survey of Pennsylvania voters finds Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman with a two point lead over Mehmet Oz, 45% to 43% in the race for US Senate. Eight percent are undecided and 5% plan to vote for someone else. Since last month, Fetterman’s four point lead has shrunk to two points. Despite a two point lead on the ballot, a majority of Pennsylvania voters (55%) expect Fetterman to win the election while 45% expect Oz to win, regardless of whom they support. 

Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling, said, “There is a gender divide in the race for US Senate: men break for Oz over Fetterman by six points, while women voters break for Fetterman by seven.”

Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro leads Republican State Senator Doug Mastriano in the gubernatorial election by ten points, 51% to 41%. Since August, Shapiro has extended his three point lead to ten points. Sixty-one percent of Pennsylvania voters expect Shapiro to win this November. 

Voters were asked about two focal points of the Pennsylvania Senate campaigns: Fetterman’s recent stroke and Mehmet Oz’s longtime New Jersey residence. Regarding Fetterman’s stroke, 59% of voters say it makes no difference on their vote, 27% say it makes them less likely to support Fetterman, and 14% say it makes them more likely. Since the August Emerson Pennsylvania poll, the share of voters who say Fetterman’s stroke makes no difference on their vote has decreased by nine percentage points, 68% to 59%, and the share of voters who say it makes them less likely to support him has increased by five points to 19%. 

Regarding Oz’s New Jersey residence, 47% say it makes no difference, 39% say it makes them less likely, and 14% say it makes them more likely to support Oz. Since the August Emerson Pennsylvania poll, the share of voters who say they are less likely to support Oz because of his residence decreased by 12 points from 51% to 39%.

Eighty-three percent of voters find it somewhat important (18%) or very important (65%) for the candidates running for either Governor or US Senate to participate in a debate prior to the November election. Seventeen percent find it not too important (11%) or not at all important (6%). 

President Biden holds a 43% approval among Pennsylvania voters, while 51% disapprove of the job he is doing. 

“Since last month, President Biden’s approval in Pennsylvania has increased by four points and his disapproval has dropped by six. This movement in favor of Democrats is not seen evenly in the race for US Senate and Governor, where Fetterman’s race is tightening and Shapiro’s lead is extending,” Kimball said. 

In a hypothetical election between President Biden and former President Trump, Trump leads Biden among Pennsylvania voters 46% to 45%; 6% would support someone else and 3% are undecided.  Concerning the recent FBI search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate 38% of voters said it makes them more  likely to support Trump in 2024,  33% say it makes them less likely to support Trump in 2024, and 29% say it makes no difference on their vote. 

The economy is the most important issue for 39% of Pennsylvania voters, followed by threats to democracy (14%), and abortion access (13%). 

Voters were asked if the forgiving of $10,000 of student loan debt for borrowers making under $125,000 make them more or less likely to vote in the 2022 elections. Forty-seven percent are either much more likely (40%) or somewhat more likely (7%) to vote, while 47% say it makes no difference on their vote. 


The Emerson College Polling survey of Pennsylvania voters was conducted September 23-26, 2022. The sample consisted of very likely general election voters, n=1,000, with a margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, education, race, party affiliation and region based on 2022 turnout modeling. It is important to remember that subsets based on demographics carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using a cellphone sample using SMS-to-web, web survey via email, an online panel, and an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines.