LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Final Pennsylvania Primary Polling – Popularity Ratings – Abortion – Tuesday Trivia

Your Daily Polling Update for Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Up 1 from yesterday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on six polls, ranging from 39% (Trafalgar-R) to 42% (NBC News, Rasmussen, Politico, Reuters, Economist). Biden’s disapproval rating averages 54% today (same as yesterday), putting him at 12 points net negative. Note: Five of the six polls today have Biden’s approval rating at 42%; rarely have so many polls shown the same result. 

SENATE: 2022 
Among voters statewide

Suequehanna/ Trafalgar (R)/ Emerson = Average
Mehmet Oz: 28%/ 29%/ 32% = 29.7
Kathy Barnette: 27%/ 27%/ 27% = 27
David McCormick: 11%/ 22%/ 26% =19.7
RON’S COMMENT: The Trafalgar (R) poll was taken May 14-16, the Susquehanna poll was taken May 12-15 and the Emerson poll, which we reported yesterday, was conducted May 14-15.  

  • This new Susquehanna poll shows McCormick collapsing, while Oz and Barnette are nearly tied. It also shows Barnette beating Oz 45-33 among voters who made up their minds “in the last few days,” which, if accurate, would give her a chance to overtake the TV doctor’s small polling lead. On the other hand, it can be argued that Barnette has a ceiling of about 27% that she won’t rise above. We’ll see this evening what’s what.
  • The Trafalgar (R) poll also shows a close contest between Oz and Barnette, but it has McCormick doing much better (22%) than the Susquehanna poll (11%). The Emerson poll has McCormick still in the hunt with 26%.
  • Since mid-April, every poll has found Oz ahead by a small margin, mostly by about 2 points.
  • The Republican primary winner will likely face Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a progressive iconoclast who is recovering from a recent stroke. 
  • Today’s primary is for the seat of retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R).

Among voters statewide

Suequehanna/ Trafalgar (R)/ Emerson = Average
Doug Mastriano: 29%/ 37%/ 42% = 36
Lou Barletta: 15%/ 25%/ 24% = 21.3
Bill McSwain: 18%/ 17%/ 13% = 16
David White: 8%/ 10%/ 10% = 9.3
RON’S COMMENT: The Susquehanna poll shows McSwain knocking out Barletta for second place. It also shows McSwain leading among voters who made up their minds in the last few days (he’s getting 30% of them); the pollster says this “could suggest he has some late momentum in the race”…. The Trafalgar (R) poll and the Emerson poll, which we previously reported, shows Barletta firmly in second place with McSwain third…. The Trafalgar (R) poll was taken May 14-16, the Susquehanna poll was taken May 12-15 and the Emerson poll was conducted May 14-15…. In any case, Mastriano is well ahead and has consistently led GOP primary polling since mid-April. Last Saturday, Trump jumped on the Mastriano bandwagon and endorsed him.

Among U.S. adults nationwide

Now I’m going to read you the names of several public figures, groups and organizations and I’d like you to rate your feelings toward each one as very positive, somewhat positive, neutral, somewhat negative, or very negative. If you don’t know the name, please just say so. 
% = Positive/ Negative  (neutral)

  • Joe Biden: 37%/ 51%  (12% neutral)
  • Donald Trump: 36%/ 51%  (12% neutral)
  • Kamala Harris: 31%/ 48%  (18% neutral)
  • Ron DeSantis: 28%/ 26%  (15% neutral)
  • Republican Party: 35%/ 46%  (19% neutral)
  • Democratic Party: 31%/ 50%  (18% neutral)
  • Volodymyr Zelenskyy: 62%/ 9% (22% neutral)
  • U.S. Supreme Court: 36%/ 35%  (27% neutral)
  • Disney: 33%/ 30%  (30% neutral)

RON’S COMMENT: Note how Biden and Trump have nearly identical ratings––Biden is -14 net negative and Trump is -15…. DeSantis is +2 net positive, while Harris is -17 net negative…. The Republican Party’s rating is better than the Democratic Party’s (-11 vs. -19), though both are net negative…. Ukraine’s Zelenskyy remains the most popular public figure being polled in the U.S. these days. 

Among U.S. adults nationwide

Which comes closest to your view on abortion—abortion should always be legal, should be legal most of the time, should be made illegal except in cases of rape, incest and to save the mother’s life, or abortion should be made illegal without any exceptions? 

  • Always legal: 37%
  • Legal most of the time: 23%
  • Illegal, except in cases of rape, incest and to save the mother’s life: 32%
  • Illegal without exceptions: 5% 

RON’S COMMENT: Notes about this poll–– 

  • Support for the absolutist pro-abortion rights position (“always legal”) far exceeds the absolutist anti-abortion rights position (“illegal without exceptions”), 37% vs. 5%. 
  • Pro-life advocates, however, will point out that 60% of Americans favor at least some abortion restrictions, which is also correct (23 + 32 + 5 = 60). 
  • Note that a majority of Americans (55%) do not take an absolutist position on the issue.
  • While the pro-choice side is bigger than the pro-life side, it should be noted that the pro-choice side is much more absolutist: 62% of those on the pro-choice side take an absolutist position and only 14% of those on the pro-life side take an absolutist position.
  • Over the past nine years, this poll found that the overall pro-choice side has expanded from 45% to 60%, a big increase, while the overall pro-life side has declined from 52% to 37%. 

Among U.S. adults nationwide

For the following please tell me if you approve or disapprove of President Biden’s handling of each item. 
% = Approve/ Disapprove

  • The coronavirus: 59%/ 35%
  • The war between Russia and Ukraine: 41%/ 48%
  • Border security and immigration: 34%/ 58%
  • The economy: 33%/ 62%
  • The cost of living: 23%/ 71%

RON’S COMMENT: His handling of the coronavirus is the only issue on which Biden scores majority support. His rating on the cost of living is absolutely dismal and the main reason why Democrats are in such trouble. Biden’s ratings on border security and the economy in general are also dragging Democrats down. 


Which current U.S. Senators have served in the Senate for more than 40 years?
(See below)

Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
PENNSYLVANIA: Susquehanna, May 12-15

Publication schedule: Lunchtime Politics publishes when important new polling data is available, usually at least once a week. When we get closer to the next round of elections, we will resume daily publication. Thanks to all our readers and best of health, Ron

Two current senators have served for more than 40 years:  

  • Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has served for 47 years, 1 month, 12 days.
  • Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has served for 41 years, 1 month, 12 days.

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