Poll: Pa. residents give low marks to Obama, Rendell
The respected Franklin & Marshall College Poll finds Pennsylvania residents in a foul mood over their elected representatives at the state and national level.
Some of the key findings from G. Terry Madonna, director of the Franklin & Marshall College Poll:
Low regard for Rendell and state Legislature
1) The state budget impasse has made residents far less positive about state government and state government officials. Currently only one in three (33%) state residents believes the state is headed in the right direction. The current ratings of state government are the lowest recorded in a Franklin and Marshall College Poll, and Governor Rendell's favorability and job performance ratings are the lowest they have been since taking office in 2003. At this point, fewer than three in ten (29%) registered adults in the state say the governor is doing an excellent or good job, and ratings for the state legislature are even lower — not a single respondent rated the legislature's performance as excellent.
Specter holds shaky lead in PA Senate race; Corbett leads GOP candidates for governor
2) Senator Arlen Specter maintained his edge over Rep. Joe Sestak for the 2010 Democratic Senate primary (37% to 11%), although a significant number (46%) of Pennsylvania Democrats still do not know who they'll vote for. Tom Corbett leads the Republican field of possibilities for governor; however, that race remains wide open, with 73 percent of Pennsylvania Republicans saying they don't know for whom they will cast their vote. In a possible general election matchup for U.S. Senate, Specter leads Toomey (37% to 29%). Toomey leads in a possible matchup with Sestak (26% to 22%), although nearly half (46%) of respondents aren't sure how they would vote in that race.
Obama job approval slipping
3) While the percentage of registered Pennsylvanians holding a favorable opinion of President Barack Obama has held steady at 55 percent (compared to 56% in June), his unfavorable rating has risen to 37 percent (compared to 27% in June). For the first time in our polling, a majority of respondents believe President Obama is doing only a fair or poor job (53%), while fewer believe he is doing an excellent or good job (47%). Confidence in the president's ability to handle the economic crisis, while still strong, appears to be slipping (58% compared to 66% in June). Finally, over half (57%) of registered Pennsylvanians are skeptical of the president's ability to reform healthcare.
51% of Pennsylvanians oppose Obamacare
4) Registered Pennsylvanians appear to be following the health care debate closely. Two in three (64%) say they've heard a great deal or a fair amount about possible congressional reforms, and four in five (80%) say they've seen or heard news reports about town hall meetings. A narrow majority (51%) say they're opposed to reform proposals that have been discussed so far in Congress, and nearly half (48%) say they do not believe reforming health care will help the economy in the long run. Those in favor of current reform proposals cite helping the working and middle class uninsured as the main reason, while those opposed point to the expansion of government control through a public insurance option as their biggest concern.
Read the full poll results