(WHTM) — Democrat Josh Shapiro currently holds an advantage over Republican Doug Mastriano in the race to replace Gov. Tom Wolf, according to a recently published Franklin & Marshall poll.

According to the poll, Shapiro leads Mastriano 44% to 33%. He also has received a larger share of support from Democrats (76%) compared to Mastriano’s support from Republicans (66%). Shapiro also holds 40% of Independent voters’ support compared to Mastriano at 24%.

Similar to Democratic candidate John Fetterman in the Senate race, more voters believe Shapiro will better understand the concerns of Pennsylvanians and is closer to their views on social issues.

The two candidates are relatively close, however, when it comes to voters’ beliefs on whether or not they will have policies that will improve their economic circumstances (36% to 33%), which is the most important issue respondents say Pennsylvanians face.

Overall, Pennsylvania voters remain pessimistic about conditions in the state with only 1 in 4 registered voters thinking the state is “headed in the right direction.”

The general election is on Nov. 8.

Methodology

The survey findings presented in this release are based on the results of interviews conducted Aug. 15-21, 2022. The interviews were conducted at the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall. The data included in this release represent the responses of 522 registered Pennsylvania voters, including 234 Democrats, 214 Republicans, and 74 independents.

The sample of voters was obtained from Marketing Systems Group. All sampled respondents were notified by mail about the survey. Interviews were completed over the phone and online depending on each respondent’s preference. Survey results were weighted (age, gender, education, geography, and party registration) using an iterative weighting algorithm to reflect the known distribution of those characteristics. Estimates for age, geography, and party registration are based on active voters within the PA Department of State’s voter registration data. Gender and education is estimated using data from the November 2018 CPS Voter Registration Supplement.

The sample error for this survey is +/- 5.3 percentage points when the design effects from weighting are considered. In addition to sampling error, this poll is also subject to other sources of non-sampling error. Generally speaking, two sources of error concern researchers most. Non-response bias is created when selected participants either choose not to participate in the survey or are unavailable for an interview. Response errors are the product of the question-and-answer process. Surveys that rely on self-reported behaviors and attitudes are susceptible to biases related to the way respondents process and respond to survey questions.