Pennsylvania Democratic Senate Candidate John Fetterman’s lead over Republican opponent Dr. Mehmet Oz is shrinking after his turbulent debate performance last week, according to a new poll.
The poll was conducted Oct. 27-30 by USA Today and Suffolk University, and it shows Fetterman maintains a slight edge over Oz, 47%-45%, well within the margin of error of 4.4%.
The USA Today/Suffolk University poll was released the same as a new Fox News poll revealed that half of Pennsylvanians say the Fetterman-Oz debate will be a factor in their vote.
USA Today conducted another poll in September, which reported Fetterman’s lead at 46%-40%.
The two candidates squared off in their only debate on October 25, where Fetterman, who suffered a stroke in May, struggled to effectively communicate on multiple occasions and used closed captioning because his ability for auditory processing is still limited.
Of those who watched the debate, more than half of those surveyed (62%) said Oz was the winner, according to the poll. Seventeen percent of those surveyed said Fetterman was the winner.
The poll also found 7% of voters who are supporting other candidates besides Fetterman would have voted for him had he not suffered a stroke.
“That 7% is the difference between an easy win and an all-out scramble to win this seat,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.
Of those who participated in the survey, 42% said Fetterman is the more moderate of the two candidates and 40% said Oz was.
In September, the poll found Fetterman had a 43%-29% lead with independent voters, but now Oz is leading 43%-32%, according to the poll.
But of those who have already voted, Fetterman is beating Oz 75%-19%, while Oz leads 52%-39% in the group who say they plan to vote but have not.
In the gubernatorial race, the poll found Democrat Josh Shapiro leads Republican Doug Mastriano, 52%-40%.
Mastriano is supported by 70% of Republicans, and Shapiro has support from 15% of Republicans. Oz, on the other hand, has the backing of nine of 10 Republicans, according to the poll.