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Muhlenberg Poll: Race For White House, U.S. Senate Within Statistical Margins


With a little under six months to go before the 2024 general election, former President Donald Trump and incumbent Sen. Bob Casey hold percentage-point leads over their opponents in the latest findings from the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion.

In a survey conducted over a 10-day period from April 15, 25, 417 registered voters shared their thoughts on topics ranging from the presidential and U.S. Senate races to favorability of candidates to the issues facing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Trump holds a narrow three-point edge over President Joe Biden in a head-to-head contest at 44-41%. That margin falls within the +/-6% margin of error in the survey. When Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is included as an option, Biden and Trump are tied at 35% with RFK receiving the support of 18 percent.

Casey, the three-term Democratic incumbent, leads Republican challenger Dave McCormick by four points at 45-41% with eight percent not sure.


Biden’s best numbers came from those respondents with a four-year degree as 51% indicated they would support him. On the flip side, just 1-in-3 without a college degree said same. Biden outperformed Trump among those 18-29 years old (45-42%), while women backed the president by just a single percentage point (43-42%).

Trump’s top performers were males (47%), those without a 4-year degree (49%) and those 50-65 years of age (51%). He trailed Biden by 12 points among people of color (45-33%).

Neither of the main presidential candidates can say that they are viewed favorably. Only 36% of those surveyed view Biden in a favorable light with his unfavorables coming in at 57%. The good news for the 46th president is that the -21 net is two points higher than Muhlenberg’s December survey (36-57%).

Trump’s numbers are also up, rising from a net -23 to a net -16. Thirty-nine percent of respondents view the 45th president favorably, while 55% view him differently.

Biden’s approval rating ticked up slightly to 35 percent from 34% during the last survey. But even though more than one-third approve of his performance, just 33% say he deserved reelection.

In our average of 18 polls since the start of the calendar year, Trump has the slightest of leads by just 0.2 percentage points over Biden, helped in part by a 2.2-point advantage in the average of the most recent five polls (47.7-45.5%).

U.S. Senate

Casey’s numbers were above the 50 percent mark with voters of color (55%), those with a college degree (53%) and seniors over the age of 65 (54%). He holds a seven-point edge over McCormick among women (46-39%) and a slim advantage among men (45-43%).

McCormick’s strength in this poll rest with white voters (45-43%), those without a 4-year degree (43-40%), those between the ages of 30-49 (45-40%) and independents (39-37%).

Casey has a net +6 rating when it comes to favorable opinions (39-33%) with 1-in-5 not sure where they stand on the three-term Democrat. One out of every 12 respondents said they have not heard of the Scranton native.

McCormick, the former Bridgewater Associates CEO, has nearly equal numbers among the options with 28% favorable, 26% unfavorable, and 29% not sure. Seventeen percent indicated that they were not familiar with McCormick, who spent his youth in Bloomsburg.

In our average of 12 polls since the start of the calendar year, Casey holds a 6.6-point lead over his GOP opponent, although McCormick has whittled away over the last five, trailing by an average of 5.2 points (46.2-41.0%)


Gov. Josh Shapiro continues to receive plaudits for his job performance with 64% approving of his work after nearly a year-and-a-half. The number is 13 points higher than Muhlenberg’s December survey. Shapiro also saw his disapproval percentage drop two points from 21 to 19%.

Election Integrity

Good news in the fact that more than 55% of respondents agreed with the statements that:

  • the final results of the 2020 election accurately reflected how Pennsylvanians voted (58-41%)
  • the 2020 elections in Pennsylvania were conducted in a fair way (59-40%)
  • Joe Biden received the most votes in the presidential election in Pennsylvania (56-43%)
  • there was widespread election fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election in PA (43-56%)


The bad news is that more than 2 in 5 surveyed still are not confident that the election was secure. Men outnumbered women (48-39) in their confidence level that there was widespread election fraud. That number increases between those with (36%) and without a 4-year degree (48%). Seventy-five percent of those who voted for Trump in 2020 said there was fraud, while just 15% of those who voted for Biden.

Nearly 3-in-4 are confident with the use of paper ballots going forward, while 84% have a good feeling about electronic voting systems. However, on the topic of mail ballots, just 57 percent are somewhat or very confident that their use allows for an accurate count of the vote.

Republicans still have work to do when it comes to convincing its followers to utilize no-excuse mail ballots, as just 26 percent of those who voted for Trump in 2020 feel confident about their use.


Voter suppression tops the list of the biggest threat to the Commonwealth having a safe, secure and accurate election in 2024. Nearly one-third of respondents indicated that suppression of individuals from voting was the biggest threat, while one-fourth said voter fraud. One in five said the use of mail ballots, while 13% were concerned about foreign interference in the election.

The report contains the results of a telephone survey of 417 registered voters in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania between April 15 and 25, 2024.  Respondents were interviewed in English on both landlines (82) and cell phones (335). With a randomly selected sample of respondents, the margin of error for the surveys is +/- 6% at a 95% level of confidence.


  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

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