Fetterman’s Stroke Costs Him Seven Points in Polls

by Arjun Singh

 

Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, who is running to be the state’s U.S. senator against Republican physician Mehmet Oz, may have lost up to 7% of voter support following a stroke he suffered earlier this year, according to a new survey by Suffolk University and USA Today.

The survey revealed that as many as 7% of respondents, who would have otherwise voted for Fetterman, are now supporting other candidates due to his stroke. Fetterman suffered the stroke in May, following his victory in the Democratic primary, and spent four months in recovery before returning to the campaign trail.

The poll comes following the Oct. 25 debate between both candidates that was widely regarded as a damaging performance for Fetterman by both Democrats and Republicans. During the debate, Fetterman struggled to answer basic questions, form sentences and respond to Oz’s attacks on his policies.

A day after the debate, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was caught on a hot microphone telling President Joe Biden that “the debate didn’t hurt us too much in Pennsylvania.” Fetterman’s campaign has declined to release more of his medical records, which has prompted accusations from Republicans that he is lying about the true state of his health.

Indeed, Republicans have made Fetterman’s fitness to serve a major issue of the campaign. In a joint campaign appearance with Oz, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, who is retiring from the seat being contested, accused Fettermanof “sitting at home, doing social media all day (and) raising tons of money from liberals in California and New York” rather than campaigning.

The USA Today poll suggests that line of attack is working. In a Fox News-hosted televised focus group conducted after the debate, one voter said “I’m not certain looking at his performance last night, that we can count on him as Pennsylvanians to make good decisions and represent us.”

The poll also showed Fetterman as having a 2% lead over Oz, within the margin of error, yet a significant gain for Oz over the last edition of the poll, taken in September, which showed Fetterman having a 6% lead. Other polls have shown Oz in the lead following the debate by the same 2% magnitude, per RealClearPolitics, which gives Fetterman an average lead of just 0.2%.

The poll, graded B+ by FiveThirtyEight for reliability, surveyed 500 likely voters in Pennsylvania and had a margin of error of 4.4%.

Fetterman and Oz’s campaigns did not respond to a request for comment.

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Arjun Singh is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “John Fetterman” by John Fetterman.

 

 

 


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