September 30, 2009 - Pennsylvania's Rendell Gets No Bounce From Budget, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Corbett Is Only 2010 Contender With Name Recognition

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Despite reaching agreement with the Legislature on a state budget, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell's job approval rating remains decidedly negative, 42 - 51 percent, a slight improvement from his record low of 39 - 53 percent recorded July 21, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Only 26 percent of voters approve of his handling of the state budget, while 53 percent say he has been too inflexible and 30 percent call him courageous.

Only 31 percent of voters approve of the budget agreement, while 37 percent disapprove and 31 percent aren't sure, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Rendell is most responsible for the impasse, 27 percent say, as 21 percent blame legislative Republicans; 9 percent legislative Democrats and 30 percent say they are equally to blame.

In the 2010 race for Governor, State Attorney General Tom Corbett's edge in name recognition gives him wide leads in the race for the Republican nomination and over two of the leading Democratic contenders in trial heats.

"Gov. Ed Rendell remains at the low ebb of his governorship when it comes to public opinion, perhaps not surprising given the lengthy budget stalemate. He does better with women, who disapprove 49 - 44 percent, than with men, who disapprove 54 - 41 percent. The legislature's rating, where 27 percent approve and 64 percent disapprove, is even worse," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"But since the Governor is term-limited and voters tend to like their own representative or senator much better than the overall body, it's not clear if the budget hassle in Harrisburg will have a major impact on Pennsylvania politics, at least for the 2010 elections."

Pennsylvania voters split 43 - 44 percent on whether they wanted the budget to cut more spending or believing that further cuts would jeopardize vital state services. And 57 percent say that while it was not a perfect budget, they are relieved that the state finally has one. One-third, 33 percent, say lawmakers and the Governor should have kept working.

By an overwhelming 67 - 27 percent margin, voters back the idea of allowing the state's existing casinos to offer table games such as poker and blackjack as a way to increase the revenue that goes to the state.

Attorney General Corbett is the one candidate for Governor relatively well-known to Pennsylvanians. A total of 43 percent of voters - including 60 percent of Republicans - view him favorably. Only 7 percent overall and 2 percent of GOPers view him unfavorably.

That's why he leads U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach, the other major candidate for the GOP nomination, by a 42 - 13 percent margin in a trial heat among registered Republicans.

With 46 percent of Democrats undecided, there is no clear leader in the race for the Democratic nomination to succeed Rendell. Three candidates - Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato at 14 percent, Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel, the party's U.S. Senate nominee in 2004 with 12 percent, and State Auditor General Jack Wagner at11 percent - are bunched together, with Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty at 8 percent and businessman Tom Knox at 5 percent.

"The Democratic race for Governor is wide open," said Brown. "The candidates just aren't that visible to most voters and that race is still far, far away from even having a front- runner. The Republicans are another story. Corbett has a large lead and although it is certainly not insurmountable, Congressman Gerlach certainly has his work cut out for him."

In general election trial heats, Corbett would defeat Onorato 47 - 28 percent and Wagner 44 - 29 percent if the election were held today.

From September 22 - 28, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,100 Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. The survey includes 465 Republicans and 479 Democrats, each with a margin of error of +/- 4.5 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 or RSS feed -- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

2. (If registered Democrat) If the 2010 Democratic primary for governor were being held today and the candidates were Dan Onorato, Jack Wagner, Tom Knox, Joe Hoeffel and Chris Doherty, for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED DEMS..
                     Tot    Men    Wom
 
Onorato              14%    13%    15%
Wagner               11     14      9
Knox                  5      3      6
Hoeffel              12     16      9
Doherty               8     12      5
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      5      2
DK/NA                46     37     53
 
 
3. (If registered Republican) If the 2010 Repubilcan primary for governor were being held today and the candidates were Jim Gerlach and Tom Corbett, for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED REPS..
                     Tot    Men    Wom
 
Gerlach              13%    18%     8%
Corbett              42     48     36
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      3      -
DK/NA                43     31     56
 
TREND: (If registered Republican) If the 2010 Republican primary for governor were being held today and the candidates were Jim Gerlach, Tom Corbett, and Pat Meehan, for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED REPS
                     Sep 30  Jul 21
                     2009    2009
 
Gerlach              13      15
Corbett              42      38
Meehan               na       9
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -       -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2       -
DK/NA                43      37
 
 
6. If the 2010 election for governor were being held today and the candidates were Dan Onorato the Democrat and Tom Corbett the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Onorato              28%     4%    57%    18%    25%    30%    30%
Corbett              47     77     19     46     55     39     47
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      1      2      -      2      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      1      -      2      1      1      1
DK/NA                24     18     22     33     19     29     20
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Onorato              42%    47%    20%    22%    28%    30%    18%
Corbett              39     23     55     48     46     58     52
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      1      -      -      -      3      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      1      1      3
DK/NA                16     30     25     30     26      8     27
 
 
7. If the 2010 election for governor were being held today and the candidates were Jack Wagner the Democrat and Tom Corbett the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Wagner               29%     4%    59%    22%    28%    30%    33%
Corbett              44     78     15     41     53     36     45
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      2      -      2      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      1      1      1      1      1      1
DK/NA                25     17     25     34     18     31     19
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Wagner               39%    51%    24%    23%    26%    28%    22%
Corbett              37     21     49     49     47     52     49
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      -      -      -      -      3      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      2      -      1      2      2
DK/NA                21     28     25     28     26     15     27
 
 
11. Is your opinion of - Jim Gerlach favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Favorable            13%    22%     6%    14%    17%     9%    13%
Unfavorable           6      5      8      4      5      6      4
Hvn't hrd enough     80     71     85     82     75     84     79
REFUSED               2      2      2      1      2      1      4
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Favorable             3%    15%    12%    30%    12%     4%    10%
Unfavorable           -      8      5     13      4      3      3
Hvn't hrd enough     93     77     82     57     84     90     84
REFUSED               4      -      1      -      -      3      3
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Jim Gerlach favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Sep 30  Jul 21  May 28
                     2009    2009    2009
 
Favorable            13      16      15
Unfavorable           6       6       5
Hvn't hrd enough     80      78      79
REFUSED               2       1       1
 
 
12. Is your opinion of - Dan Onorato favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Favorable            17%    10%    23%    15%    15%    19%    16%
Unfavorable          11     17      5     12     13      9     19
Hvn't hrd enough     71     71     72     70     71     71     63
REFUSED               2      3      -      2      2      2      1
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Favorable            55%    12%     5%     9%    23%    30%     5%
Unfavorable          27      5      4      4     16     29      4
Hvn't hrd enough     14     80     91     87     59     39     90
REFUSED               3      3      -      -      2      3      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Dan Onorato favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Sep 30  Jul 21
                     2009    2009
 
Favorable            17      16
Unfavorable          11       6
Hvn't hrd enough     71      78
REFUSED               2       1
 
 
13. Is your opinion of - Jack Wagner favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Favorable            22%    15%    31%    18%    25%    18%    27%
Unfavorable           6     11      3      6      8      5      9
Hvn't hrd enough     71     73     65     74     66     76     64
REFUSED               1      1      -      1      -      1      -
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Favorable            47%    25%    13%    12%    25%    36%    13%
Unfavorable          17      -      2      7      7     12      4
Hvn't hrd enough     36     72     85     81     68     52     82
REFUSED               1      3      -      -      -      -      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Jack Wagner favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Sep 30  Jul 21
                     2009    2009
 
Favorable            22      18
Unfavorable           6       4
Hvn't hrd enough     71      76
REFUSED               1       1
 
 
14. Is your opinion of - Tom Knox favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Favorable            10%     9%    10%    10%    12%     7%    15%
Unfavorable           4      2      5      7      5      3      5
Hvn't hrd enough     85     87     85     83     82     88     79
REFUSED               1      1      -      1      -      1      1
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Favorable             7%    19%     8%    18%     5%     3%     5%
Unfavorable           3     16      2      6      2      1      1
Hvn't hrd enough     89     64     90     75     92     96     92
REFUSED               -      2      1      -      -      1      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Tom Knox favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Sep 30  Jul 21
                     2009    2009
 
Favorable            10      10
Unfavorable           4       4
Hvn't hrd enough     85      85
REFUSED               1       1
 
 
15. Is your opinion of - Tom Corbett favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Favorable            43%    60%    28%    44%    53%    34%    47%
Unfavorable           7      2     10      7      7      6     12
Hvn't hrd enough     49     37     61     48     40     57     40
REFUSED               1      1      1      1      1      2      1
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Favorable            50%    25%    48%    40%    43%    55%    45%
Unfavorable           4     12      7      6      6      5      6
Hvn't hrd enough     45     62     41     53     50     39     49
REFUSED               1      2      4      1      1      1      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Tom Corbett favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Sep 30  Jul 21
                     2009    2009
 
Favorable            43      38
Unfavorable           7       6
Hvn't hrd enough     49      55
REFUSED               1       1
 
 
16. Is your opinion of - Chris Doherty favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Favorable            10%     6%    15%     8%    11%     8%     4%
Unfavorable           4      4      3      4      4      3      5
Hvn't hrd enough     86     88     82     87     83     88     90
REFUSED               1      2      -      1      1      1      2
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Favorable             3%    19%    29%     4%     3%     5%     9%
Unfavorable           3      4      8      3      2      4      3
Hvn't hrd enough     93     75     63     93     95     90     87
REFUSED               1      3      -      -      -      1      1
 
 
17. Is your opinion of - Joe Hoeffel favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Favorable            13%     7%    22%     9%    15%    11%     8%
Unfavorable           7     10      3      7      7      6     11
Hvn't hrd enough     80     82     74     83     76     83     78
REFUSED               1      1      -      1      1      1      2
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Favorable             3%    26%    15%    30%     4%     6%     3%
Unfavorable           5      9      2     17      4      4      2
Hvn't hrd enough     92     64     82     53     92     88     94
REFUSED               -      1      1      -      -      1      1
 
 
18. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling his job as governor?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Approve              42%    22%    62%    46%    41%    44%    41%
Disapprove           51     72     30     50     54     49     57
DK/NA                 6      6      8      4      6      7      2
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Approve              38%    74%    37%    64%    29%    21%    29%
Disapprove           49     25     59     32     62     67     65
DK/NA                13      1      5      4      9     12      6
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling his job as governor?
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS...
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Sep 30  Jul 21  May 28  May 4   Feb 7   Jul 21  Jul 21
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2007    2009    2009
 
Approve              42      39      54      53      61      39      39
Disapprove           51      53      37      38      30      53      53
DK/NA                 6       8       9       9       9       8       8
 
 
19. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Approve              27%    26%    31%    25%    24%    30%    31%
Disapprove           64     65     60     69     71     58     65
DK/NA                 9     10      9      6      6     12      5
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Approve              19%    38%    24%    38%    23%    24%    20%
Disapprove           73     55     67     51     70     72     69
DK/NA                 8      7      9     12      6      4     11
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                             APPROVE.....
                                                             High    Low
                     Sep 30  Jul 21  May 28  May 4   Mar 25  Apr 10  Oct 5
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2003    2005
 
Approve              27      27      42      42      37      49      26
Disapprove           64      57      40      40      43      24      60
DK/NA                 9      15      18      17      20      27      14
 
 
23. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Pennsylvania today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Very satisfied        2%     2%     3%     2%     3%     2%     3%
Smwht satisfied      37     31     46     35     34     40     34
Smwht dissatisfied   36     36     39     32     38     34     36
Very dissatisfied    23     30     11     29     24     22     27
DK/NA                 1      1      1      2      1      2      -
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Very satisfied        6%     4%     1%     3%     -      2%     2%
Smwht satisfied      36     35     37     59     33     25     29
Smwht dissatisfied   30     51     38     24     34     41     38
Very dissatisfied    29      6     24     12     33     32     31
DK/NA                 -      4      -      2      -      -      1
 
TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Pennsylvania today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                             VERY+SMWHT....
                                                             High    Low
                     Sep 30  Jul 21  May 28  May 4   Mar 25  Jun 5   Sep 30
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2002    2009
 
Very satisfied        2       3       6       6        4      8       2
Smwht satisfied      37      38      50      53       47     60      37
Smwht dissatisfied   36      35      29      27       31     22      36
Very dissatisfied    23      22      13      13       18      8      23
DK/NA                 1       1       2       2        2      3       1
 
 
26. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling the economy?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Approve              34%    24%    48%    31%    34%    33%    34%
Disapprove           60     73     43     62     60     59     63
DK/NA                 7      3      9      7      6      7      3
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Approve              26%    46%    32%    56%    24%    19%    24%
Disapprove           70     47     57     39     68     73     69
DK/NA                 4      7     11      5      8      8      6
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling the economy?
                     Sep 30  Jul 21  Mar 25  Feb 12
                     2009    2009    2009    2009
 
Approve              34      33      44      42
Disapprove           60      60      43      47
DK/NA                 7       7      14      11
 
 
28. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling the state budget?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Approve              26%    10%    39%    29%    25%    26%    24%
Disapprove           68     85     54     63     71     65     73
DK/NA                 7      5      7      7      4      9      3
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Approve              15%    47%    19%    46%    19%     9%    17%
Disapprove           76     48     74     49     77     85     74
DK/NA                 8      4      8      5      4      6      9
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling the state budget?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Sep 30  Jul 21  Feb 11  Aug 5   Aug 22  Jul 13  Sep 30
                     2009    2009    2009    2008    2007    2004    2009
 
Approve              26      28      42      40      43      45      26
Disapprove           68      64      43      47      44      38      68
DK/NA                 7       8      15      13      12      17       7
 
 
31. Who do you think is most to blame for the state's failure to pass a budget on time - Governor Rendell, Republicans in the legislature or Democrats in the legislature?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Governor Rendell     27%    40%    16%    29%    31%    24%    36%
Reps in leg          21      5     45     10     18     23     23
Dems in leg           9     19      3      7     11      8      4
EQUAL BLAME(VOL)     30     26     27     39     30     30     29
DK/NA                13     10     10     15     10     15      8
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Governor Rendell     34%    20%    28%    12%    31%    37%    33%
Reps in leg          14     40     24     25     14     12     15
Dems in leg           7      9      3     16      9      9      8
EQUAL BLAME(VOL)     31     21     36     27     35     34     30
DK/NA                15     10      8     19     11      7     14
 
TREND: Who do you think is most to blame for the state's failure to pass a budget - Governor Rendell, Republicans in the legislature, or Democrats in the legislature? (*failure to pass a budget on time)
                     Sep 30  Jul 21
                     2009    2009
 
Rendell              27      30
Reps in legislature  21      17
Dems in legislature   9      11
EQUAL BLAME(VOL)     30      28
DK/NA                13      13
 
 
32. How much have you heard or read about the budget agreement reached by Governor Rendell, the Democrats in the state legislature, and state senate Republicans? A lot, some, not much, or nothing at all?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
A lot                15%    15%    15%    15%    17%    13%    19%
Some                 45     50     41     46     44     46     43
Not much             31     27     31     34     29     32     32
Nothing at all        8      7     11      5      9      8      6
DK/NA                 1      -      1      1      -      1      -
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
A lot                17%    16%    14%    11%    12%    18%    17%
Some                 35     40     50     50     50     47     43
Not much             26     34     26     34     35     30     31
Nothing at all       19     11      9      5      3      4      8
DK/NA                 2      -      2      -      -      1      1
 
 
33. Do you approve or disapprove of this budget agreement?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Approve              31%    20%    42%    32%    35%    27%    35%
Disapprove           37     51     23     39     41     34     41
DK/NA                31     29     34     29     24     39     24
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Approve              16%    56%    27%    44%    32%    26%    19%
Disapprove           46     24     41     29     45     38     42
DK/NA                38     20     32     27     23     36     38
 
 
34. Which comes closer to your point of view - the state budget should have cut more spending or any additional cuts in spending would have jeopardized vital state services?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Cut more spending    43%    58%    27%    47%    53%    33%    39%
Jeopardized services 44     29     59     42     38     50     55
DK/NA                13     13     14     11      9     17      5
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Cut more spending    49%    23%    52%    44%    48%    46%    42%
Jeopardized services 31     71     37     51     37     34     41
DK/NA                20      6     11      5     15     20     16
 
 
35. Do you believe Governor Rendell showed courage in the budget battle or do you think he was too inflexible?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Showed courage       30%    18%    46%    27%    28%    32%    28%
Too inflexible       53     68     38     54     58     48     60
DK/NA                17     14     16     18     14     19     12
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Showed courage       18%    42%    33%    49%    19%    15%    25%
Too inflexible       57     45     50     35     63     72     59
DK/NA                25     13     17     15     18     14     17
 
 
36. Which comes closer to your point of view - this isn't a perfect budget, but I'm relieved the state finally has one or this budget has big problems and the state should have kept working on it no matter how long it took?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Relieved             57%    45%    69%    59%    54%    60%    58%
Shd hv kept working  33     43     22     32     37     28     33
DK/NA                10     12      9      9      9     12      9
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Relieved             39%    68%    49%    69%    50%    55%    58%
Shd hv kept working  47     29     42     26     31     37     27
DK/NA                14      3     10      5     18      8     15
 
 
37. To help balance the state budget, would you support or oppose allowing existing casinos to offer blackjack and poker with the state taking a share of the profits?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Support              67%    60%    74%    71%    76%    59%    77%
Oppose               27     34     19     26     21     33     19
DK/NA                 6      6      7      3      4      8      4
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Support              72%    69%    73%    68%    65%    74%    58%
Oppose               19     27     24     27     29     20     35
DK/NA                 9      4      3      5      7      6      7