A recent Fox News poll shows movement in the highly anticipated GOP primary for Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial vacancy. Front runner and former congressman Lou Barletta’s lead over State Senator Doug Mastriano has dwindled to one percentage point with Barletta polling at 19% to Mastriano’s 18%. This is a drop from the three-point lead that Barletta had according to a TargetPoint Consulting poll. Trailing Barletta and Mastriano are Delaware County Commissioner Dave White (14%), former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain (11%) and a handful of candidates polling below 10%.
The winner of the GOP Primary will likely face off with current Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro in the general election this November. Shapiro is the lone Democrat seeking the office that Democrat Governor Tom Wolf will be vacating after his second term.
Barletta and Mastriano are beginning to separate themselves from what is a very crowded field vying for the GOP nomination.
In addition to the aforementioned White and McSwain, other candidates include President pro tempore of the State Senate Jake Corman, Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale, Former Congresswoman Melissa Hart, and political strategist Charlie Gerow.
Another poll that was conducted last month by Susquehanna Polling and Research showed an even bigger edge for Barletta. In that poll, 20% of likely primary voters surveyed preferred the former congressman, to 11% for Mastriano. The recent Fox News survey seems to show that the Mastriano camp is picking up steam, and fast.
As of now, a large segment of those expected to vote in Pennsylvania’s GOP primary remain undecided. Many will likely be waiting to see who gets the coveted Donald Trump endorsement. Barletta was one of the first U.S. Reps. to endorse Trump in 2016 while Mastriano took charge of election integrity efforts in the state after the 2020 election.
Mastriano became popular with Trump and other MAGA figures after the 2020 election. He was one of the most vocal politicians in calling for an audit of the vote as a response to evidence of election fraud. His name has become associated with election integrity efforts in Pennsylvania as well as in other closely contested states.