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Trump-loving, undecided voters keep Pa. gubernatorial primary competitive, poll finds

Wes Venteicher
| Friday, May 11, 2018, 10:27 a.m.
Candidates seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's 2018 bid for re-election are (from left) Pennsylvania Sen. Scott Wagner, R-York County, Laura Ellsworth and Paul Mango.
Matt Rourke | AP
Candidates seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's 2018 bid for re-election are (from left) Pennsylvania Sen. Scott Wagner, R-York County, Laura Ellsworth and Paul Mango.

A new poll shows gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner has a lead over his two Republican primary opponents, but a large percentage of voters remained undecided a week before the May 15 election.

The ABC27 and Susquehanna Polling and Research poll of likely Republican primary voters found 37 percent would vote for Wagner, a state senator from York, while 23 percent would vote for retired health care consultant Paul Mango from Pine and 18 percent would vote for attorney Laura Ellsworth of Ohio Township.

The poll found 22 percent were undecided amid a race in which Wagner and Mango have spent millions of dollars on TV ads attacking each other while sharing many of the same positions on issues.

The high percentages of undecided voters in recent polls of the race suggest it remains competitive, said Harrisburg-based political consultant Charlie Gerow.

Republican primary voters, typically among the most conservative members of the party, tend to turn out reliably to vote, Gerow said.

“They're very predictable because the people who come out to vote are very consistent in doing so. You can pretty much look at any voting file and tell who will be at the polls on May 15,” he said.

Poll respondents overwhelmingly support Trump.

The poll found 84 percent said they approve of the president, while 10 percent disapproved and 6 percent had no opinion.

The poll included responses from 545 people who said they were likely to vote in the Republican primary election. It used landlines only and had a 4.2 percent margin of error.

Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5676, or via Twitter @wesventeicher.

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