PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) – The May Pennsylvania Senate and gubernatorial primaries had some of the highest voter turnouts in decades

According to Franklin & Marshall College’s Polling & Opinion Center, voter turnout for Republicans was the highest for a Pennsylvania midterm primary since 1994, and for Democrats the highest since 2002.

Nearly 40% of Republicans turned out to vote in an election where they chose Mehmet Oz as their candidate in the U.S. Senate race and Doug Mastriano in the gubernatorial race.

Thirty-two percent of Democrats turned out to vote in an election highlighted by the U.S. Senate race won by John Fetterman. Attorney General Josh Shapiro was the only Democrat on the ballot for Governor.

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The average turnout for Republicans and Democrats is roughly the same at 28% and 29% respectively.

A study by F&M College’s Polling & Opinion Center found recent mid-term election data suggests that the primary results do not necessarily predict turnout or the winners in the upcoming general election

The study showed support for Mastriano mirrored Donald Trump’s support during his 2016 primary win by underperforming in the state’s large central and fringe metros and overperforming in rural communities. Mastriano also won in a variety of community types.

Conversely, Oz performed well in large central and fringe metros and underperformed in rural communities compared to his chief competitor Dave McCormick.

Oz defeated McCormick in the crowded primary by 951 votes in one of the closest primaries in state history.

The 2022 Pennsylvania primary election was historic because the rare, dual open seat races for US Senate and Governor produced a significant number of candidates and a lot of campaign spending that helped boost primary turnout. Despite having a set field of candidates, the issues that the campaigns will emphasize, or at least the mix of messages they will present, will continue to evolve into the fall. Republicans are well positioned for the fall races because voters’ assessments that both President Biden and the economy are doing poorly probably won’t change. Democrats hope that a Supreme Court decision changing fifty years of established law will motivate their base and draw in others who view the change as too radical. Whatever else happens, this mid-term will provide a true test of the conventional wisdom about mid-terms being mostly about the incumbent president’s performance. The conventional wisdom tells us that the President is too unpopular for the Supreme Court decisions about guns and abortion to make much of a difference in the mid-term outcomes, but we should also acknowledge that there is no direct historical analogy for us to use as a comparison.

Franklin & Marshall College’s Polling & Opinion Center

Pennsylvania’s general election is Nov. 8, 2022.