(WHTM) – A new PIX11/Emerson College Polling/The Hill poll shows Dr. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick virtually tied in the May 17 Pennsylvania Republican US Senate primary, but a majority of voters remain undecided.
In the poll of 373 Pennsylvania Republicans, the former television personality Oz received one more vote than McCormick, a former hedge fund CEO.
Oz finished first in the poll with 14.4% followed by McCormick at 14.3%.
Fox News contributor and former professor Kathy Barnette finished third at 6.4%, followed by former Danish ambassador under President Donald Trump, Carla Sands, at 5.7%.
Former Lt. Governor candidate Jeff Bartos rounded out the top five with 5.3% of the vote.
George Bochetto and Sean Gale each received less than 3% in the poll.
An overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanian Republican voters (50.5%) say they are still undecided in the crowded race.
Emerson College will be releasing a second poll of Republican voters in early April. Candidates who receive at least 5% in either poll can qualify for a debate hosted by Nexstar Media Inc. and our media partners, WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh.
The breakdown in support among younger and older voters is significant with Oz receiving no support from voters 18-29, but leading among the 50-64 age range.
McCormick leads or is tied among every other age group, tying Bartos among the 30-49-year-olds and Bochetto in the 18-29 range. The majority of voters are undecided regardless of age category.
White voters support McCormick by 0.4% over Oz, while Sands received the most support among seven candidates with African American voters.
McCormick also leads among male voters with 15.1%, while Oz has 15.1% support among women. Barnette received 10.8% support among men, followed by Sands at 9.1%. Fifty-nine percent of women are undecided compared to 41.9% of Republican men.
Among urban and city residents, McCormick had a double-digit lead over Oz with 25% support. Oz leads among suburban voters and McCormick has a slight 1.8% edge in rural voters. Nearly 59% of rural voters are undecided compared to 48.6% of suburban residents and 30.4% of those who live in urban/city areas.
More than 55% of Pennsylvania Republican voters with a post-graduate degree or higher are undecided in the race. McCormick leads Oz among those with a high school education or less, while support among those with college degrees or some college are closely split.
The elephant in the room is former President Donald Trump, who, at the time of polling, has not endorsed a candidate in the race. The poll finds 61% of Pennsylvanian Republicans are more likely to support a Trump-endorsed candidate, while 13.2 say they are less likely. Nearly 26% say an endorsement from Trump will not make a difference in their vote.
Republicans and Democrats are also largely in favor of their candidate living in Pennsylvania for a significant amount of time. Forty-six percent say it is very important how long a candidate has lived in Pennsylvania and 28.2% say it is somewhat important.
Both Oz and McCormick have drawn criticism from others in the race for not recently living in Pennsylvania. Oz has previously lived in New Jersey but went to school in Philadelphia.
Fifteen percent say they are unsure and 10.7% say residency is not very or not at all important in their decision. Nearly 64% of voters 65 and older say Trump’s endorsement will more than likely lead them to vote for that candidate.
“I’m very proud that I’m a Pennsylvanian,” Oz told abc27’s Dennis Owens. “They care much more for what I stand for than where I’m from.”
On This Week in Pennsylvania, McCormick highlighted his background as a “seventh-generation Pennsylvanian.”
“I’ve spent more of my life in Pennsylvania, more than half of my life in Pennsylvania. I grew up here in Bloomsburg on the family farm trimming Christmas trees and bailing hay.”
Nearly 91% of Republican voters 65 and older say they are very likely to vote in the race, compared to 84% 50-64, 64% of residents 30-49, and 75% of residents 18-29.
According to the poll, Democrats and Republicans disagree on whether Pennsylvania runs fair elections: 75% of Democrats think the state runs fair elections compared to 42% of Independents and just 28% of Republicans.
The WHTM/Emerson College Polling/The Hill Pennsylvania poll was conducted from March 26-28, 2022. The general election sample consisted of registered voters in Pennsylvania, n=1,069 with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3 percentage points. The Republican primary sample consisted of likely voters, n=372, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/-5.0 percentage points. The Democratic primary sample consisted of likely voters, n=471, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/-4.5 percentage points.
The data sets were weighted by gender, age, education, race, and region based on 2020 turnout modeling. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity, and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced.
Data was collected using a cellphone sample of SMS-to-web, an online panel provided by Amazon MTurk, and an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines.
The full poll can be reviewed here.