Contact: Jason High

(09.25.2017 – HARRISBURG, PA) – State Senator and Gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner today released the results of a McLaughlin & Associates survey showing that he has an overwhelming lead in the Republican primary for governor.

“Six months ago, Scott had a 29-point lead over his only other announced opponent,” Wagner’s Campaign Manager, Jason High, explained. “Today, despite six months of campaigning, his opponent remains 29-points behind. It’s clear that Republicans trust Scott Wagner to end the reckless spending and mismanagement Governor Wolf has levied against their wallets.”

The polling memo from McLaughlin & Associates is below:

TO: Scott Wagner for Governor Campaign Team

FROM: Rob Schmidt, McLaughlin & Associates

RE: Pennsylvania Statewide Survey Results – Republican Primary Voters

Date: September 22nd, 2017                                                                                     




Scott Wagner has a significant head start in the Republican primary election for Governor. Wagner has three to one leads, is closing in on 50% and already has impressive name recognition statewide, with room to grow. Outside of his home county, Paul Mango does not run competitively at all and he is unknown to most voters. In a head to head matchup with Mango, Wagner has a 29-point lead and in a three-way race with Laura Ellsworth, his lead increases to 32-points.


  • Scott Wagner leads Paul Mango by nearly 30-points, 45% to 16%.


Now, thinking ahead for a moment to the May 2018 Republican primary election for Governor, if that election were held today among the following candidates, for whom would you vote? (Candidates Rotated)

Scott Wagner, of York County 45%
Paul Mango, of Allegheny County 16%
Undecided 39%


Scott Wagner has decisive leads with the voter groups that are critical to winning statewide.


  • Wagner leads in all five of the significant media markets in Pennsylvania. His numbers are strongest in his home market of Harrisburg and he has seen the biggest gains on his ballot share in the Philadelphia market. Furthermore, with the candidates’ home counties mentioned, as they would appear on an actual ballot, Wagner has a double digit lead in Mango’s home market of Pittsburgh and is in a statistical tie with Mango in his home county of Allegheny.


  • With self-described conservatives, who make up nearly seven in ten of the Republican primary electorate, Wagner’s lead over Mango increases to 32-points. Among “very conservative voters,” who are the most determinative ideological group, Wagner leads Mango by 38-points.


  • With the highest propensity voters, Wagner’s vote share breaks 50%, where he receives 52% to Mango’s 10%.



Continued on Next Page:





  • In a three-way matchup including Laura Ellsworth, Wagner’s support holds and his lead increases to over 30-points.


Now, among a different list of candidates, if the May 2018 Republican primary election for Governor were held today, for whom would you vote? (Candidates Rotated)

Scott Wagner, of York County 45%
Paul Mango, of Allegheny County 13%
Laura Ellsworth, of Allegheny County 5%
Undecided 37%


  • Wagner maintains the same geographical and ideological advantages as he has in the two-way ballot, but now also leads both candidates in their home county of Allegheny.



  • About a quarter of all voters have a firm opinion of Wagner, while the vast majority has never heard of Mango.


Image Ratings Scott




Favorable 23% 8%
Unfavorable 4% 2%
No Opinion 27% 20%
Never Heard Of 46% 70%
NET (FAV.-UNFAV.) +19 +6


  • As a first time candidate who is running statewide, Wagner has very respectable name awareness, with 23% holding a favorable opinion of him and only 4% unfavorable to him. Seven in ten have never heard of Mango and only 10% have a firm opinion of him.


  • While both candidates have room to grow, it is evident that Wagner has much more upside, as he performs significantly better with the voters who are more engaged in this race. Among the candidates who have a firm opinion of both candidates, Wagner has a lopsided 77% to 18% lead. Additionally, Wagner converts 90% of his favorables into votes, meaning that 90% of those who are favorable to Wagner vote for him. On the other hand, Mango only converts 44% of his favorables into votes, with Wagner even winning with the voters who are favorable to Mango.



 Scott Wagner is the clear frontrunner in the Republican primary for Governor. He is positioning himself for a resounding victory, as he already has strong geographical and ideological bases of support. More importantly, Wagner has the opportunity to expand upon this lead as he has virtually no negatives and many voters have not yet been introduced to him. Paul Mango’s campaign is not appearing to gain any traction with voters, even as he is the only candidate to be up on television so far. Wagner is much better known and liked than Mango and he has demonstrated broad appeal to Republican primary voters across the state. However, with about eight months until the primary, Wagner must remain vigilant and continue running an effective grassroots campaign, as it has already been resonating with voters.

 Methodology: McLaughlin & Associates conducted a survey of 400 likely May 2018 Republican primary voters in the state of Pennsylvania from September 18th to 20th, 2017. All interviews were administered via telephone by professional interviewers. Interview selection was random and interviews were stratified by county, race, age and gender to correlate with actual voter turnout from previous statewide Republican primary elections. To increase coverage, 26% of the interviews were conducted on cell-phones. This poll of 400 likely Republican primary voters has an accuracy of +/- 4.9% at a 95% confidence interval. The error margin increases for cross-tabulations. Totals may not add up to exactly 100% due to rounding.


PA Statewide GOP Wagner 9-22-17 Executive Summary

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