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What to look for on Smart Talk Friday, August 31, 2018:

What issue is most important to voters in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race this fall?  According to the latest Franklin & Marshall College poll released Thursday, voters are motivated by President Donald Trump’s performance in office. 

Trump is more important to how voters vote than immigration, healthcare, taxes or education.  Not surprisingly, those planning to vote for a Democrat say voting against Trump is the deciding factor in their decision. The poll also found that 38% of those surveyed believe Trump is doing an excellent or good job.  That’s about the same approval rating former President Barack Obama had at this point in his presidency.

F&M pollster and political analyst Terry Madonna appears on Friday’s Smart Talk to provide insight into the poll’s findings.

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Terry Madonna

A little over two months before the November election, the poll has incumbent Democrat, Gov. Tom Wolf leading his Republican challenger, former State Senator Scott Wagner 51% to 32% with 14% undecided.  Another incumbent — Democrat Bob Casey has 48% to 29% edge over Republican Congressman Lou Barletta.  Although Wolf and Casey’s leads are still in double digits, the poll shows they aren’t as wide when likely voters are asked their preferences. 

What are the others issues important to voters and are there any trends?  These are questions we’ll examine on Friday’s Smart Talk