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May 28, 2022

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Undecided Pennsylvania voters cite inflation, gas prices as huge issues in GOP Senate race

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Undecided Pennsylvania Republican voters appeared on “America’s Newsroom” Friday to weigh in on their state’s Senate primary, midterm election and which issues matter most when casting their ballots.

“Inflation and gas prices are a huge issue for central Pennsylvanians, I’m sure for all Americans,” voter Joe Moralez told co-host Bill Hemmer. “I need to know that a candidate or any candidate, inflation and gas prices are going to be the top of their priority. I don’t live in D.C. My neighbors drive tractors, pickup trucks, the mom drives a minivan.”

Moralez added gas prices are a huge factor because some rural residents can’t rely on government-subsidized transportation.

“Living in rural Pennsylvania, those things matter. Prices matter to us… if there’s another war that breaks out in a country that… their export is oil, and we rely on oil. That’s the issue. Pennsylvania, the United States needs to become energy independent. I think that needs to be a main focus for all the candidates. I want to hear from all the candidates that that’s their policy.” 

TRUMP TAKES AIM AT BARNETTE AFTER ONE-TIME LONGSHOT SOARS IN PENNSYLVANIA GOP PRIMARY

Trump-backed Dr. Mehmet Oz and candidate Kathy Barnette have gained significant ground as support for David McCormick dips, making it a tight three-way race in the Senate primary.  

Kathy Barnette, Mehmet Oz, moderator Greta Van Susteren, Carla Sands, David McCormick, and Jeff Bartos, (left to right) pose for photo before they take part in a debate for Pennsylvania U.S. Senate Republican candidates, Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Grove City, Pa. 
(AP )

In March, businessman McCormick led television celebrity Dr. Oz by 9 points (24%-15%). A new Fox News survey of Pennsylvania GOP primary voters shows the candidates trading places, with Oz receiving 22% to McCormick’s 20% and political commentator Barnette right with them at 19%. Next, is businesswoman Carla Sands at 8% and real estate investor Jeff Bartos at 7%. 

The race remains wide open as the top three candidates are within the survey’s margin of sampling error, and 18% are undecided on whom they will back in the May 17 primary.

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey is retiring, leaving the seat open.

Voter Rich DeLeo said both McCormick and Barnette are great candidates.

“They bring a lot to the table. They support the America first agenda. Now they have specialties on both sides,” DeLeo said.

Sandra Finlon, who works in the pharmaceuticals sales industry, said roads, bridges and the gas industry are “definitely a hot topic” for her.

“I was a Democrat prior to [the 2020] election. I definitely voted for Donald Trump and then switched to Republican to continue forward,” Finlon said.

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“Our current president recently said that he’s so concerned about our gas situation, but yet he just canceled two leases for drilling land in Alaska a few years back. You know, Pennsylvania residents were voting to allow casinos into Pennsylvania and they were promised that the revenue would go for our bridges, our roads and for our older Pennsylvania residents. I would like to know, where did that money go and where is it? Where is it? Should there be a federal investigation?”

All three voters agreed electing a candidate that can win in November is “critical.” 

Trump endorsed Oz on April 9. His former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo endorsed McCormick and has actively campaigned for him. Barnette will see a six-figure ad boost from the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), which endorsed her Monday.

Fox News’ Dana Blanton contributed to this report.