Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor Doug Mastriano, who stunned his own political party by winning last month’s primary, appears poised to be a force in November’s general election, according to a new poll released Wednesday.
Mastriano, an arch-conservative state senator who was at the Capitol Riot in Washington DC on Jan. 6, 2021, trailed Democrat Josh Shapiro by just 4% in the Suffolk University/USA Today Network poll of 500 likely voters in Pennsylvania, with 13% undecided were .
Shapiro, the state attorney general, has millions more in his campaign treasury and had no rivals in the Democratic primary in May.
But Mastriano, who represents part of rural central Pennsylvania, proved a sensational grassroots activist when he won a crowded Republican primary. He traveled extensively across the state and held rallies without the media attending.
He has yet to comment on NBC10 when asked about numerous political positions, but a reporter tracked him down after an event in Harrisburg in early June. She spoke briefly to Mastriano and his wife before the candidate entered his office.
Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for governor in November’s general election, spoke briefly with NBC10 reporter Lauren Mayk on May 23 at the state capitol in Harrisburg.
Meanwhile, Democrat John Fetterman is 9% ahead of Republican Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania’s race for a vacant US Senate seat, according to the Suffolk/USA Today poll.
Likely voters chose Fetterman over Oz, 46% to 37%, according to the poll.
“Even as Pennsylvania Democratic Party registration dwindles, both Fetterman and Shapiro are taking a more populist approach to midterm voters and winning independents,” said David Paleologos, director of the University of Suffolk Political Research Center, citing an increase in registered Republicans by comparison Democrats in the state in recent years. “Voters say they are unhappy with the Pennsylvania economy and President Biden’s job offer, but these particular Democrats are threading the needle so far.
In 2018, 48% of Pennsylvania voters registered as Democrats and 40% as Republicans. Today, the Democratic Party’s registration advantage among active voters has fallen to 45 percent to 41 percent, Paleologos said.
President Joe Biden is not very popular in Pennsylvania, according to poll. Only 39% of respondents approve of his job performance, while 54% disapprove.
Supporting Fetterman in the Senate race is voters’ negative sentiment toward Oz, according to the poll.
Only 28% of voters gave Oz a positive rating, while 50% gave him a negative rating, the poll found.