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Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary wide open with half of voters undecided: poll

The Hill logo The Hill 3/31/2022 Tal Axelrod

Pennsylvania’s Senate GOP primary is wide open with roughly half of voters remaining undecided, according to a new The Hill/Emerson College poll.

The poll shows that 51 percent of likely GOP voters say they do not know who they’ll vote for in the May 17 primary. Former hedge fund manager Dave McCormick and celebrity surgeon Mehmet Oz both get 14 percent support in the survey, and no other candidate breaks double digits. 

The poll comes amid an increasingly bitter and personal back-and-forth between McCormick and Oz, two late entrants into the primary after Sean Parnell, former President Trump’s chosen candidate, dropped out over domestic abuse allegations and a lost custody battle. 

McCormick has railed against Oz’s dual citizenship with Turkey and shallow roots to Pennsylvania, while Oz has returned fire by highlighting McCormick’s business ties to China. Oz has also said he’ll revoke his Turkish citizenship if he’s elected.

Video: Pennsylvania Senate candidate: I'm running to continue to serve voters' (FOX News)

Still, with under two months left to the primary, it remains unclear what would shake up the race outside of renewed intervention by Trump – 61 percent of GOP primary voters in the state say his imprimatur would make them more likely to vote for a candidate. 

The vicious and uncertain primary is taking place in one of the most significant Senate races in the country. Republicans are hoping to keep the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R) in their hands, and the contest could decide which party controls the Senate after the midterms.

Pennsylvania narrowly went for Trump in 2016 before flipping back to President Biden in 2020. The GOP also boasts that it will ride a red wave in November given Biden’s low approval ratings and grumbling over inflation, the coronavirus and more. 

The Hill/Emerson College poll surveyed 372 likely GOP primary voters from March 26-28 and has a margin of error of 5 percentage points.

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