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F&M Poll: Casey and Wolf Lead by Double Digits; Trump to Play Role in Congressional Voting

With 68 days left until Election Day 2018, Democratic incumbents Gov. Tom Wolf and Sen. Bob Casey maintain double digit leads over GOP challengers Scott Wagner and Rep. Lou Barletta in the newly released Franklin & Marshall College poll. The poll also indicates that President Donald Trump plays a factor in the way people will vote for their Congressional representative.

Wolf leads Wagner 52% to 35% among likely voters, while 12% of voters remain undecided. In this poll, 33% of Independents remain undecided, while 16% of Republicans and 6% of Democrats are still not sure as well. 48% hold a strongly or somewhat favorable view of Wolf’s job performance, while 36% hold a strongly or somewhat unfavorable view of the incumbent governor and 13% don’t know.

Casey leads Barletta 47% to 34% among likely voters, while 19% are still undecided. Currently, 38% of Independents are undecided, while 21% of Republicans and 14% of Democrats also fall in that category. 42% hold a strongly or somewhat favorable view of Casey’s job performance, while 29% have a strongly or somewhat unfavorable view of him with 25% fall under the category of “don’t know.”  

The poll, surveying 511 Pennsylvania registered voters, included 243 Democrats, 200 Republicans and 68 Independents from August 20-26, 2018. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 6.1percentage points.  

Although Trump will not be on the ballot in November, he is impacting the way Pennsylvanians are selecting their Congressional representatives in 2018. 67% of those who plan to vote for a Democratic congressional candidate are casting their ballot as a vote against Trump and the Republicans in Congress, while an even larger, 74% of those who plan to vote for a Republican congressional candidate are doing so in sign of support for Trump and the GOP members of Congress.

Nearly identical from the previous F&M poll conducted in June, 39% hold a strongly or somewhat favorable view of the President’s job performance in Pennsylvania, while 57% view Trump’s job performance in a strongly or somewhat unfavorable view.   

As Pennsylvania is viewed as one of the closest watched states for which party will control Congress next year, 48% of registered voters prefer the Democratic candidate while 39% are in favor of the Republican.

This polling garnered two very different reactions from members on opposing sides of the aisle, one a member of Wagner’s campaign and the other for Casey.

Andrew Romeo, who works on the communication end of Wagner’s campaign, had an issue with the sample of “likely voters.”



The last poll F&M released before the 2016 election, based on the results of interviews conducted Oct 26-30, 2016, both showed Sec. Hillary Clinton and Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty holding double digit leads over Trump and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. The poll showed Clinton leading Trump 49% to 38% and McGinty leading Toomey 43% to 33%. Both polls were towards the left end of many public polls leading up to the 2016 election.   

However, F&M’s polling this year is nearly identical to the Real Clear Politics average of Wolf leading by 15 points and Casey up by 14.8 points.  

Max Steele, who works on the communications end of Casey’s campaign, boasted about the most recent polling from this morning.



Another key takeaway from the F&M poll is that 54% of registered voters are “very interested” in the 2018 midterm elections. 60% of registered Democrats are very interested, while 53% of Republicans are very interested and just 33% of Independents fall in this column as well.

See the full data here.

17 Responses

  1. Andrew Romeo comparing the years in the district is irrelevant seeing as the disteict maps weren’t always the same. Lmfao. Scott Wagner has real winners working for him. ????

  2. Candidate Trump in 2016 brought out many Voters that usually avoid elections, and many Democrats did vote for Trump that made all Pre-Election Polls look foolish, worthless, and they were shocked into a reality they could not understand let alone predict and this was true of Madonna’s Bench sitting more than any predicting?

    Yet, since 2016, POTUS Trump has also reawaken Democratic Organizations to register new Voters and bring out Voters in the Special Elections within Urban Areas along with Bernie Sanders Socialists Activists that elect Candidates the old fashion way, go door to door and bring them to the Polls.

    As the Economy keep humming better than anything seen the last 30 years, both GOP and DNC Camps are set so the Mid-Terms are dependent on the Independents that usually avoid Mid-Term Elections in off POTUS year?

    Therefore, it still comes down how hard the Candidates work to become elected, and that favors Wolf, Casey, in my view.

  3. Wagner is not running the best campaign from what I see on the streets. While Wolf has been putting out Political ADs addressing the issues for the Voters. Wagner has a long way to go just to become known? Wolf just needs to carries about 10 to 14 counties to win Re-Election and there does not seem to be any need to change anything among the Voters under this Economy.

    However, Casey is trying to do the same and POTUS Trump will becoming to Pennsylvania for close Congressional Races and the turnout at those Rallies are far bigger than anything Democrats can’t even muster. Lou will keep gaining Casey but Wolf Numbers may save Casey in a close election.

  4. I love days when polls drop, because the comments are always flooded with “2016! Fake News! President Hillary! Hurpa durp!”

  5. Gotta say that Wagner is consistent. Behind by 17 in every poll. Still, the gap could close a bit over the next 2 months but it is hard to see him winning. After 16, I don’t discount the possibility entirely. It is just that pretty much everything is against him.

    As for Barletta, he has to decide what he wants to be. The recent version where he tried to soften his image came across as inauthentic. Probably better just to be who he is. Casey keeps getting easy draws for opponents. 3rd one in a row.

      1. Yes, one that went so far to the right that even the extremists thought he was extreme. He won by 17 if you recall.

      2. He was also advised (and listened to the advice) to NOT campaign hard since his opponents negatives were through the roof. It was the best of all worlds for the Dems.

  6. madonna is always wrong look at 2016. who uses him? nobody. And PA politics you should should not either.

  7. Looks like Scott Trugner and Louie the Teeth haven’t moved the polls much at all.

      1. The song of a losing campaign. It’s called “Blame the Pollster.” The reality is simple. Scott Wagner, one of the absolute worst candidates for Governor ever, will lose. He has consistently been lagging behind since May in EVERY single poll for the same percentage–17%. This spells fiasco on Nov 6th for Wagner.

        1. Going to agree that Wagner is an awful candidate. Especially for the type of voter who is energized to turn out this time. Barletta is just as bad but for some reason most in the populated areas of PA still don’t know who he is. All R’s are praying for a repeat of 16. It won’t happen in 18. Maybe in 20.

  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

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    Total Voters: 231

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