In the latest poll published by the Trafalgar Group surrounding the 2022 Midterm races in Pennsylvania, Republican Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz has tightened the gap against the state’s Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman.
Robert Cahaly, founder and senior strategist of Trafalgar group, told The Daily Wire that the latest numbers show the race between the two has crossed into the margin of error predicted initially by pollsters.
“We’ve always thought this race was a two or three-point race, and everybody else has finally come to join us on that conclusion,” Cahaly said.
Cahaly said when the group initially conducted the poll, the RealClearPolitics margin between Fetterman and Oz averaged just under four points. But before Fetterman sat down with NBC News last week for his first interview since suffering a near-fatal stroke in May, the average dropped just over two points.
During the NBC Fetterman interview, the Democratic candidate had guidance from a large computer screen that translated what the host said to him “because he still has lingering auditory processing issues as a result of the stroke,” NBC’s Dasha Burns said.
Pollster Cahaly said Fetterman’s health concerns have changed the game for his race with Oz.
“The thought that your senator cannot hear spoken information and process it and make an argument is actually of great concern to people,” he said.
Cahaly also pointed toward Fetterman’s record, which has only garnered public attention in recent weeks once the candidate began making appearances again after being hospitalized.
“What we’re seeing is people begin to realize what his record says … and people have a real problem with it,” he said. “Whether it’s his position to legalize drugs, including heroin, or getting rid of bail and letting people out of jails,” he continued, adding that those positions won’t help his electorate, who are concerned about crime, feel safe.
Fetterman recently said that if he had a magic wand to fix one problem, he would end life without parole for convicted murderers while advocating for the release of one-third of Pennsylvania’s prison population.
Axios reported last month, ahead of the release of the FBI Uniform Crime Report that comes out this month, that homicides and overall violent crime are up in Philadelphia.
At the time of the report, the city marked 388 homicides this year — which is slightly up from 384 at the same time in 2021. Shootings have increased by 3%, violent crime is up 7%, and gun robberies are up 60%. Property crimes are up more than 30%, while commercial burglaries have risen by 50% compared to last year.
The Business Journal reports that chain stores like Wawa have officials considering dropping the city from their expansion plans after a large group of teenagers ransacked the Mayfair location.
“People are really beginning to pay attention to the fact that there’s a lawless environment that allows a bunch of teenagers to think they can do something like that without any ramifications,” Cahaly said.
While faith in Fetterman continues to decrease, according to Trafalgar’s latest numbers, Cahaly said that Republican candidate Oz had gained popularity — particularly among black voters. With most conservative candidates nationwide showing about 20% favor with the demographic, Oz has approximately 30% approval.
“And that is completely unique to any other race that we’re watching,” he said. “We have seen people reporting that they like his show — they think he’s honest.”
But more so, Cahaly said the momentum for Oz continues to take form because he stands against President Joe Biden and his agenda. Oz has said he would maintain fracking in the state, reduce government spending to quell inflation from rising, and oppose student loan forgiveness.
In the race for Pennsylvania governor between Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the commonwealth’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, and State Senator Republican Doug Mastriano, the Trafalgar poll shows Mastriano losing support from most of the Republican vote.
Cahaly said that number reflects primarily his mere presence at the nation’s Capitol on January 6.
“These Republicans are fixated on January 6,” he said. “And they [have] a problem with that,” he said, adding that establishment Republicans who control much of the money don’t like him for the same reasons.