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F&M Poll: Likely voters favor Wolf, Casey days before midterms

Written by Dave Davies/WHYY | Nov 1, 2018 5:33 AM
Scott Wagner and Tom Wolf 600x340.jpg

Scott Wagner, left, and Tom Wolf, right, will face each other in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race this November. (Both photos by Matt Rourke/AP)

(Lancaster) -- Gov. Tom Wolf has increased his lead over Republican challenger Scott Wagner in the latest Franklin and Marshall College Poll.

The poll shows Wolf with a 26-point edge, 59 to 33 percent, over Wagner among likely voters. Wolf has held a big lead in fundraising and thus TV advertising throughout the campaign.

Poll director Terry Madonna said in an interview Wagner has been moving backwards.

"His favorables [rating], meaning how popular he is with the voters, has dropped as voters have become more knowledgeable about him," Madonna said. "And I don't think there's any doubt that his campaign has run into a couple of controversies."

Wagner got national attention three weeks ago when he said on a Facebook video that he would stomp on the governor's face with golf spikes.

The survey shows Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey with a less dramatic, but still-comfortable 15-point lead --  50 to 35 percent -- over U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta.

Barletta Casey second debate.jpg

U.S. Sen.Bob Casey, D-PA, right, and Republican challenger U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, left, are prepped by floor manager Patty Cobb before their second debate, Friday Oct. 26, 2018, in the studio of KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The poll finds voters in both parties energized and that more plan to vote for Democrats than Republicans for Congress by a 52-38 percent margin.

The poll found President Donald Trump to be a big factor in voters' thinking.

About two-thirds of Democrats said they'd cast their votes for Congress mostly as votes against Trump and Republicans in Congress. Meanwhile, 83 percent of Republicans said they'd be voting for a GOP candidate mostly to show support for Trump and congressional Republicans.

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