Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race is in a statistical dead heat as Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz surges and Democrat Lt. Gov. John Fetterman continues to lose steam, according to a poll.

On Thursday, Emerson College Polling released its latest poll on the contest, showing that 43 percent of likely voters are backing Oz, who is endorsed by former President Donald J. Trump, while 45 percent support Fetterman. The Democrat’s razor-thin two point lead falls within the margin of error, meaning the race is in a statistical tie. Eight percent of respondents are undecided, and another three percent intend to vote for another candidate.

Independents are breaking for the Republican candidate at a substantial clip. Of respondents without a major party affiliation, 46 percent say they would vote for Oz, giving him a 12 point lead over Fetterman, who draws support from just 36 percent of the demographic. Another noticeable trend in the race is found in candidate preferences among the sexes.

“There is a gender divide in the race for U.S. Senate: men break for Oz over Fetterman by six points, while women voters break for Fetterman by seven,” noted Spencer Kimball, the executive director of Emerson College Polling.

In August, Emerson College Polling found Fetterman to have a four point lead over Oz, who has now cut that deficit in half. It is safe to say Oz has closed the gap considering this is the fourth poll this week that has him within the margin of error.

This current poll also focused on the governor’s race between Republican State Sen. Doug Mastriano and Democrat Attorney General Josh Shapiro. Shapiro holds a ten point lead over Mastriano at 51 percent and 41 percent, respectively. Another nine percent of voters intend to cast a ballot for another candidate or are undecided. Shapiro’s lead in this poll has grown since last month, when Emerson had him at 47 percent and Mastriano at 43 percent.

In this Nov. 26, 2019, file photo, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks at Muhlenberg High School in Reading, Pa. Democrat Shapiro is being challenged by Republican Heather Heidelbaugh for the office. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks at Muhlenberg High School in Reading, Pennsylvanis in this Nov. 26, 2019, file photo. (Matt Rourke, File/AP)

 

WARMINSTER, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 14: Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano speaks during a campaign rally at The Fuge on May 14, 2022 in Warminster, Pennsylvania. Mastriano, the front-runner in the Governor's May 17th primary race, held a campaign rally today after receiving a late endorsement from former President Donald Trump. Mastriano was joined by Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Kathy Barnette on what she is calling her final campaign rally. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano speaks during a campaign rally at The Fuge on May 14, 2022, in Warminster, Pennsylvania. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Respondents were also asked to rank the top issue in the race, which they overwhelmingly said was the economy (39 percent). It was followed by “threats to democracy” ( 14 percent), “abortion access” (13 percent), and “crime” (9 percent.)

The poll sampled 1,000 likely voters from September 23-26 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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