Left, Right Want Liquor Privatization

Member Group : Commonwealth Foundation

For Immediate Release
Commonwealth Foundation & Keystone Politics
Contact: Cindy Hamill
(856) 607-4208

Left, Right, Center – Pennsylvanians Want Full Liquor Privatization
Survey shows strong bipartisan support, including among union households

October 1, 2013, HARRISBURG, Pa – Despite a million-dollar misinformation campaign run by the union leaders of the government liquor stores, Pennsylvanians continue to express wide support for allowing private stores to sell wine and liquor in Pennsylvania.

A new survey—the most comprehensive examination of Pennsylvanians’ attitudes towards liquor privatization to date—shows that 66 percent of likely voters want to privatize Pennsylvania’s government-run wine and spirits system. Strong, bipartisan support for the measure was revealed, even among union households.

The survey of more than 1,100 Pennsylvania residents and likely voters—co-sponsored by the Commonwealth Foundation, Pennsylvania’s free-market think tank, and Keystone Politics, Pennsylvania’s source for liberal political news and commentary—found 70 percent of Republicans and Independents, nearly 60 percent of liberals and 55 percent of union households favored abolishing the state-run liquor monopoly. Moreover, more than half of Pennsylvanians said they are more likely to vote for state legislators who favor privatization.
Voters viewed the primary benefits of privatization as:

• lower prices,
• more jobs for Pennsylvanians,
• an end to border bleed,
• the elimination of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s (PLCB) conflict of interest in being both a purveyor and regulator of alcohol.

"It’s clear that Pennsylvania voters agree that the PLCB should not be selling wine and spirits, but should be freed up to focus on its true role as a regulatory agency," said Jon Geeting of Keystone Politics.

Matthew J. Brouillette of the Commonwealth Foundation added, "Consumers recognize that both they and the State lose if the government determines what liquor products are sold, sets the prices, and drives shoppers to private stores in bordering states."

A strong majority of consumers (66 percent) support full privatization—removing government from the sale of liquor and licensing private retailers—strongly preferring that over measures that would only allow current retailers like beer distributors to sell wine and spirits.

Voters reject the arguments—promulgated by the government liquor store union—that privatizing liquor sales will result in net job loss, less state revenue and more dangerous neighborhoods.

Heart and Mind Strategies, a leading qualitative and quantitative market research and consulting firm, conducted the telephone survey from September 3-12, 2013 with more than 1,100 Pennsylvania residents and likely voters age 21+.
Press Conference Today at 12:00 p.m.

East Wing Rotunda, Pennsylvania State Capitol

• Matt Brouillette, Commonwealth Foundation
• Jon Geeting, Keystone Politics
• Jennifer Airey, Heart and Mind Strategies

A detailed summary including graphic presentations and party comparison data is available here. The full survey results are also available here.

About the Commonwealth Foundation
The Commonwealth Foundation, founded in 1988, crafts free-market policies, convinces Pennsylvanians of their benefits, and counters attacks on liberty.
About Keystone Politics

Keystone Politics, founded in 2004, is Pennsylvania’s source for liberal political news and commentary. Fiercely independent and calling out members of either party, our hearts are set on creating a more liberal Pennsylvania.

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For more information, please contact Cindy Hamill, Director of Strategic Communications at (856)607-4208 or [email protected].