Franklin & Marshall College Poll
The Franklin & Marshall College Poll…the 20th consecutive year of polling in Pennsylvania.
The latest Franklin & Marshall College Poll finds that most Pennsylvanians are concerned about the direction of the state — most believe unemployment and economic concerns are the most important problems facing the state. Fewer state registered voters believe President Barack Obama deserves re-election than say it is time for a change. At the moment this general sentiment does not translate to an advantage for several Republican candidates he might face in the 2012 election.
Complete results, including detailed methodology, can be found at http://politics.fandm.edu.
The Poll Highlights:
1. Most (53%) Pennsylvania adults believe the state is headed in the wrong direction, which is consistent with the March 2011 Franklin & Marshall Poll. About half (47%) of the state’s residents cite unemployment and the economy as the biggest problems facing the Commonwealth.
2. As in March Pennsylvania voters remain pessimistic about the performance of the state’s leading political figures. The job performance ratings for President Barack Obama (34% positive) , Governor Tom Corbett (32% positive), and Senators Bob Casey (32% positive) and Pat Toomey (29% positive) are each more negative than positive. Governor Corbett’s job performance rating is well below the ratings that Ed Rendell and Tom Ridge received at this early point in their gubernatorial tenures. In 30 surveys conducted between 1991 and 2011, the average positive gubernatorial job performance rating is 46%.
3. More (52%) of the state’s voters believe it is time for a change than believe President Obama deserves re-election (41%). Still, Pennsylvania is a state where Democrats hold a tremendous voter registration advantage over Republicans. Consequently, President Obama leads in match-ups with several Republican opponents, but a large number of voters remain undecided in each of these match-ups. Mitt Romney runs best against the president in Pennsylvania while Michelle Bachmann trails the president significantly.
Obama 36 percent, Romney 30 percent, other 8 percent, don’t know 27 percent
Obama 42 percent, Bachmann 23 percent, other 12 percent, don’t know 22 percent
Obama 38 percent, Perry 27 percent, other 10 percent, don’t know 26 percent
Obama 39 percent, Santorum 31 percent, other 10 percent, don’t know 20 percent
4. The state legislature is expected to discuss a tax on natural gas extraction and the sale of the state’s liquor stores during its fall legislative session. A majority of Pennsylvanians favor both selling the state-owned liquor stores (56% favor and 30% oppose) and taxing companies that extract and sell natural gas (65% favor and 21% oppose). Among those who favor a natural gas tax, most (72%) believe the tax proceeds should be shared by both the state and local communities where drilling takes place. Few (12%) residents believe local communities exclusively should receive the proceeds from a natural gas tax.
These results reflect interviews with 525 Pennsylvania adults (407 registered voter) conducted by the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College from August 22-29, 2011 (sample error of +/- 4.3 for adults and +/- 4.9 for registered voters).
The Franklin & Marshall College Poll is conducted under the direction of the poll’s Director Dr. G. Terry Madonna, Head Methodologist Berwood Yost, and Senior Project Manager Angela Knittle and is produced in conjunction with the Philadelphia Daily News, WGAL-TV (South Central PA), Pittsburgh Tribune Review, WTAE-TV (Pittsburgh), WPVI-TV6/ABC (Philadelphia), Times-Shamrock Newspapers, Harrisburg Patriot-News, and Lancaster Newspapers. It may be used in whole or in part, provided any use is attributed to Franklin & Marshall College.
Dr. G. Terry Madonna
Director, Center for Politics and Public Affairs
Director, Franklin and Marshall College Poll
Professor of Public Affairs
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