New Jerseyan Mehmet Oz has a razor-thin 3-point lead in his bid for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in Pennsylvania’s May 17 primary election, a new Monmouth University Poll shows.
Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon and TV personality from Cliffside Park, leads Hedge Fund millionaire David McCormick by a 22%-19% margin, with conservative commentator Kathy Barnette at 18% in a race where three contenders are within the margin of error. Four other candidates are polling in the single-digit range for a combined 25%.
“This is the kind of environment where a number of candidates could emerge as the nominee,” said Patrick Murray, the director of the Monmouth poll. “Oz has the highest name recognition but also the highest negatives. If McCormick and Oz beat each other up, though, Barnette could realistically end up on top.
While while the Monmouth poll puts Donald Trump’s favorables among Republicans at 85%-14%, the former president’s endorsement of Oz has not closed the deal.
“If Dr. Oz thought Trump’s seal of approval was going to lock this nomination up for him, he was mistaken. It may help Oz on the margins, but it doesn’t completely erase his negatives,” said Murray. “And other candidates have earned their Trumpian bona fides with Republican voters.”
The poll shows that 69% of Republicans know that Oz recently moved to Pennsylvania to run for the Senate. About one-quarter of them (26%) say they are bothered “a lot” by that, and another 25% say they are bothered just “a little.” But 48% of Republicans say they don’t care.
Oz has favorables of 48%-37%, while McCormick is at 51%-15% and Barnette at 27%-7%.
McCormick, a Princeton University graduate, served as Under Secretary of the Treasury and Under Secretary of Commerce in President George W. Bush’s administration. His wife, Dina Powell, was deputy National Security Advisor in the Trump White House.
In the Democratic primary, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has a 44%-23% lead over Rep. Conor Lamb, with State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta at 14% in a four-candidate race.
The incumbent, Republican Patrick Toomey, is not seeking re-election.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from April 20-25 with a sample of registered Pennsylvania voters who have participated in a past primary election, including 406 registered Democrats and 407 registered Republicans. The margin of error is +/- 4.9%.