March 28, 2007 - Pennsylvania Voters Back Sales Tax Hike, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Rendell Approval Slips On Property Taxes
By a 54 - 40 percent margin, Pennsylvania voters back a proposal by Gov. Ed Rendell to hike the state sales tax one percent and use part of the money to reduce local property taxes, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Republicans split on the measure 47 - 48 percent, while Democrats back it 63 - 32 percent and independent voters support it 51 - 42 percent. Support for the measure ranges from 62 - 30 percent in Philadelphia to 49 - 44 percent against it in Allegheny County, the only area opposed to the tax hike.

Gov. Rendell's overall approval rating is 57 - 33 percent, down slightly from his all-time high 61 - 30 percent approval in a February 7 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University poll.

Voters disapprove 45 - 41 percent of the way Rendell is handling taxes and disapprove 49 - 34 percent of the way he is handling property taxes.

"Gov. Rendell seems to be convincing the voters of Pennsylvania that a sales tax increase is good for them as long as part of the money goes for property tax reduction," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"But he still gets low marks on the handling of taxes overall and property taxes in particular as voters seem to be saying, 'show me the money' before they go along with his plan."

A total of 63 percent of Pennsylvania voters say it is "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that revenue from the state's new slot machine gambling program will reach $1.7 billion, while 31 percent say that's "not very likely" or "not likely at all."

Voters also back 49 - 41 percent a proposal to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike to a private company, while maintaining state control over tolls and maintenance.

By a 71 - 24 percent margin, voters back a proposal by Gov. Rendell to raise cigarette taxes 10 cents per pack.

"Pennsylvania voters are cautiously optimistic that slot machine gambling will bring in far more than expected to help with the property tax problem," Richards said.

"Unlike voters in neighboring New Jersey, Pennsylvania voters seem to be favoring the proposal to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike to raise big bucks to repair the state's roads and bridges."

Voters approve 59 - 29 percent of the job Sen. Arlen Specter is doing and approve 46 - 18 percent, with 35 percent undecided, of the job Sen. Robert Casey is doing after three months in office.

From March 19 - 25, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,187 Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research.

For more data -- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x271.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

26. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling his job as Governor?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 57% 38% 74% 58% 57% 57% Disapprove 33 50 19 34 34 31 DK/NA 10 12 8 8 8 12

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 47% 77% 58% 78% 52% 48% 44% Disapprove 45 16 33 18 30 40 43 DK/NA 8 6 10 3 19 12 13

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling his job as Governor? (* Also 46% on 10/5/2005, 4/22/2004, 3/18/2004 and 12/16/2003)

                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Mar 28  Feb 7   Aug 16  Jun 22  May 12  Feb 7   Apr 5
                        2007    2007    2006    2006    2006    2007    2006*


Approve 57 61 54 55 55 61 46 Disapprove 33 30 31 30 31 30 37 DK/NA 10 9 15 15 14 9 17



27. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 39% 38% 44% 35% 40% 38% Disapprove 41 42 34 50 43 39 DK/NA 20 20 22 15 17 23

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 31% 45% 42% 50% 33% 32% 35% Disapprove 52 27 38 36 44 45 44 DK/NA 17 28 20 14 23 23 22

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?

                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Mar 28  Feb 7   Aug 16  Jun 22  May 12  Apr 10  Oct 5
                        2007    2007    2006    2006    2006    2003    2005 


Approve 39 39 31 29 31 49 26 Disapprove 41 44 52 54 53 24 60 DK/NA 20 17 17 17 16 27 14



28. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Arlen Specter is handling his job as United States Senator?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 59% 53% 65% 59% 57% 60% Disapprove 29 36 24 30 33 26 DK/NA 12 11 12 12 10 14

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 60% 62% 63% 67% 46% 52% 56% Disapprove 31 24 28 25 38 30 31 DK/NA 8 14 9 8 16 18 13

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Arlen Specter is handling his job as United States Senator? (* Also 60% on 5/22/2003 & 2/21/2003)

                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Mar 28  Feb 7   Aug 15  Jun 21  May 11  Jul 13  Apr 22
                        2007    2007    2006    2006    2006    2005*   2004


Approve 59 59 50 52 55 60 47 Disapprove 29 33 37 36 33 30 36 DK/NA 12 8 13 12 12 10 17



29. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bob Casey Jr. is handling his job as United States Senator?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 46% 31% 64% 42% 45% 48% Disapprove 18 25 9 25 20 17 DK/NA 35 44 27 32 35 36

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 43% 54% 45% 51% 45% 48% 42% Disapprove 25 15 18 17 16 17 19 DK/NA 31 31 37 32 39 35 38

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bob Casey Jr. is handling his job as United States Senator?

                        Mar 28  Feb 7
                        2007    2007


Approve 46 49 Disapprove 18 19 DK/NA 35 32



35. Since last fall's elections, do you think things in the state legislature have gotten better, gotten worse, or stayed about the same?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Better 12% 8% 13% 16% 15% 9% Worse 16 19 14 17 15 18 The same 65 67 66 61 65 64 DK/NA 7 7 7 6 5 9

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Better 11% 11% 14% 13% 11% 10% 13% Worse 23 16 16 12 16 14 17 The same 62 66 60 68 64 71 63 DK/NA 4 6 9 7 9 5 7



36. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling taxes?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 41% 30% 51% 41% 43% 39% Disapprove 45 58 33 47 47 44 DK/NA 14 12 16 12 10 17

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 26% 55% 42% 60% 39% 34% 31% Disapprove 57 26 43 27 49 55 56 DK/NA 16 19 15 13 12 12 13

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling taxes?

                        Mar 28  Apr 22  Dec 16  Feb 20
                        2007    2004    2003    2003


Approve 41 34 37 34 Disapprove 45 51 48 36 DK/NA 14 15 16 30



37. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling property taxes?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 34% 24% 45% 33% 35% 33% Disapprove 49 60 37 52 52 46 DK/NA 17 16 18 15 13 21

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 23% 53% 34% 51% 29% 29% 23% Disapprove 60 28 47 34 51 52 62 DK/NA 17 19 19 15 20 19 16

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling property taxes?

                        Mar 28  Feb 7   Jun 22  Jul 13  Apr 22  Feb 20
                        2007    2007    2006    2004    2004    2003


Approve 34 36 39 41 29 33 Disapprove 49 47 41 43 50 33 DK/NA 17 17 20 16 21 34



38. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling slot machine gambling in Pennsylvania?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 43% 34% 51% 43% 44% 42% Disapprove 43 55 34 43 44 43 DK/NA 14 11 14 14 12 15

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 34% 52% 48% 52% 47% 41% 34% Disapprove 60 34 36 36 38 46 49 DK/NA 6 14 16 12 15 14 16



39. Governor Rendell has proposed a one percent increase in the state sales tax, with part of the money being used for property tax relief. Do you support or oppose this sales tax increase to help lower property taxes?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 54% 47% 63% 51% 54% 54% Oppose 40 48 32 42 41 39 DK/NA 6 5 5 6 4 7

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Support 44% 62% 56% 59% 47% 55% 53% Oppose 49 30 39 36 48 40 40 DK/NA 6 8 5 5 5 5 7



40. Governor Rendell wants to increase the tax on cigarettes 10 cents a pack. Do you support or oppose this proposal?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 71% 75% 69% 71% 69% 73% Oppose 24 20 26 27 27 22 DK/NA 5 6 5 2 4 5

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Support 71% 64% 70% 83% 66% 59% 73% Oppose 24 30 27 14 31 30 23 DK/NA 5 6 3 3 3 10 4



41. Governor Rendell has proposed leasing the Pennsylvania turnpike to a private company, but keeping state control over toll increases and maintenance schedules. The money would be used to pay for highway and bridge construction. Do you support or oppose this proposal?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 49% 44% 55% 48% 47% 51% Oppose 41 45 37 41 46 37 DK/NA 10 11 8 11 7 12

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Support 51% 63% 41% 47% 49% 49% 49% Oppose 40 34 50 40 42 40 40 DK/NA 9 3 9 13 9 11 11



42. Governor Rendell says that revenue from the state's new slot machine gambling program could hit as much as $1.7 billion dollars a year, far more than his original $1 billion dollar estimate. That would mean average property tax reductions would also rise. How likely do you think it is that slot machine gambling will bring in 1.7 billion dollars a year? Very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, or not likely at all?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very likely 23% 18% 28% 22% 24% 22% Smwht likely 40 37 42 41 36 43 Not very likely 19 22 18 19 18 20 Not likely at all 12 17 7 13 15 10 DK/NA 6 6 7 5 7 5

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Very likely 20% 30% 31% 17% 31% 26% 18% Smwht likely 37 41 39 48 34 32 40 Not very likely 24 17 12 19 15 20 21 Not likely at all 14 7 13 8 12 18 15 DK/NA 5 5 5 8 8 5 7