As predicted, it looks like the gubernatorial and Senate candidates could take the primary with a relatively small percentage of the votes

May 5 — As we get closer and closer to the primary election in Pennsylvania — literally 12 days away — a number of polling places are releasing their numbers.

Franklin and Marshall College has a polling firm that put John Fetterman way ahead by what looks like an insurmountable lead for the Democrat nominee for the US Senate seat in Pa.

On the Republican side, the top three are bunched up — Dr. Oz, David McCormick and Kathy Barnette. Oz is at 18%. McCormick is at 16% and Barnette is at 12%. No one else is anywhere near those three.

In the gubernatorial race for the Republican primary, Senator Doug Mastriano is at 20%, while Bill McSwain is at 12% and Lou Barletta is at third at 11%. Dave White has 8%.

Thirty-four percent of people from this poll are undecided.

A takeaway from the Trafalgar group is that most of the undecided voters won’t even vote, so those numbers aren’t really even considered.

Attorney Clint Barkdoll pointed out, “Here’s one curious aspect of the F&M poll and that governor’s race: within the context of voters that have made a decision, F&M is saying that 53 percent of those voters are open to switching their vote.”

What could that mean for the candidates? Can they really be sure of those numbers?

Barkdoll said, “The good news is for Colonel Doug, he has a very sizable lead once again in this poll.”

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “With Doug, you know where Doug stands and Doug’s done a very good job of repositioning the other candidates of where were you when the world, when Pennsylvania was burning to the ground at the strike of Tom Wolf? He’s doing a fabulous job at that and he’s done it all along here because he’s been in the trenches.”

Of the 53% willing to change their vote, there’s a chance only a small percentage of those would ever change their vote from Mastriano to someone else.

Barkdoll said, “Most of his supporters I believe are very strident. They would not be open to switching their vote.”

It’s important to keep in mind that there will be Republican primary winners on both the Senate side and the gubernatorial side with really low percentages. Someone could emerge as a victor with 20% or less of the vote.

Barkdoll said, “That’s fine. That’s how our process works. The question though is can they get the support then of all of these other candidates that lost? Will those voters move to the primary-winning candidate to go into the fall? You’re seeing some of these pollsters raise that question. They’ve never really seen a dynamic where you have so many candidates running in Pennsylvania and you’re going to have winners emerge with very low percentages of the overall vote.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM added, “I think that’s been a question all along. Who seems like the principled person that certainly could win in a primary? When there is a large number in the field, you’re going to get what you’re talking about many times, but then how do they face off at the general? Everyone’s scratching their head somewhat at, a lot of people are kind of dismayed at Trump’s support for Dr. Oz. We heard from the gentleman from the Trafalgar group that it seems to be a point of strategy. Oz is seen as someone who can pick up Democratic votes in Pennsylvania, which is still a blue state. What happens if you have somebody who’s more conservative, principled in a blue state in the general? That’s been the question all along that people are grappling with.”

There is a theory out there that Republicans love the idea of a John Fetterman candidate in the fall because they feel like he would be much easier to beat than a Conor Lamb because Lamb could appeal to swing voters.

The same theory could apply to Oz — he might be able to win with swing votes.

Barkdoll said, “That’s going to be the dynamic to watch here. Again if you look at these F&M numbers, Oz, he is on top of the heap with only 18 percent of the vote and it really is remarkable to think you’re going to have a nominee on a fall ballot that might be landing somewhere around 15 to 18, 19 percent of the overall vote.”