April 28, 2011 - Obama Approval At Lowest Level Ever In Pennsylvania, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Men, Women Split On Expanded Self-Protection

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President Barack Obama's job approval rating in Pennsylvania is a negative 42 - 53 percent, an all-time low and a major drop from his 51 - 44 percent approval February 17, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Pennsylvania voters say 52 - 42 percent he does not deserve a second term, his worst showing on that measure also. In a mythical matchup, he gets 40 percent to an unnamed Republican challenger's 41 percent in the 2012 presidential race.

Pennsylvania voters support 53 - 39 percent a proposed law giving citizens the ability to use lethal force in self-defense in any public place if they feel their life is in danger, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

President Obama, who carried Pennsylvania 55 - 44 percent in the 2008 election, is underwater mostly because of his deterioration among independent voters, who disapprove of his performance 57 - 37 percent, compared to 50 - 46 percent approval in February. His 89 - 9 percent disapproval among Republicans is up from 80 - 15 percent disapproval in February. Democrats back him 76 - 18 percent, compared to 81 - 14 percent in February.

One reason might be his policy on Libya with 68 percent, including 65 percent of Democrats, saying the United States should not be involved there compared to 27 percent who think the Obama policy is the right course.

Independent voters say 56 - 37 percent that Obama does not deserve a second term and back an unnamed Republican challenger over the president by a smaller 36 - 29 percent margin.

"President Barack Obama's re-election team has work to do in the Keystone State," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Although Pennsylvania has traditionally been a swing state, the size of his 2008 margin gave many observers the idea that it would not be a heavily contested state."

"It's still 18 months until Election Day 2012, but these numbers are not going to make the White House happy," Brown said.

"Whether President Obama's decline stems from rising gasoline prices, continued unhappiness with the economy overall, the war in Afghanistan and now the involvement in Libya, he can take solace from his ability to run a dead heat with a generic Republican despite his current standing with the Pennsylvania public. Perhaps this says as much about the popular view of the Republican field."

The overall majority support for expanding the "castle doctrine" of self-defense hides a large gender gap, with 63 percent of men and only 45 percent of women backing the change. The political division is also substantial, with 68 percent of Republicans and 56 percent of independent voters in favor, and 54 percent of Democrats opposed.

Gun-owners support the measure 68 - 24 percent.

Pennsylvania voters are split as 48 percent say it is more important to protect the rights of citizens to own guns, while 47 percent say it is more important to control gun ownership. The gender split shows 58 percent of men saying protecting gun rights is more important while 56 percent of women say controlling gun ownership is more important. All voters say 64 - 28 percent that if more people carry guns, streets would be more dangerous. Gun-owners split 45 - 46 percent on whether streets would be safer or more dangerous.

Pennsylvania's two U.S. senators have almost identical approval ratings: 44 - 26 percent for Sen. Bob Casey Jr., the Democrat, and 43 - 25 percent for Sen. Pat Toomey, the Republican.

Meanwhile, support for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate in Pennsylvania, as voters say 64 - 30 percent that the United States should not be involved there. In February, voters opposed U.S. involvement 52 - 40 percent. In July of 2010, they backed the policy 48 - 45 percent.

From April 19 - 25, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,366 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

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, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Approve              42%     9%    76%    37%    35%    48%    47%
Disapprove           53     89     18     57     60     47     47
DK/NA                 5      3      7      6      5      5      5
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Approve              39%    71%    35%    49%    42%    28%    34%
Disapprove           55     25     58     49     54     66     60
DK/NA                 6      4      7      3      4      6      6
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Apr 28  Feb 17  Dec 16  Jul 14  May 13  May 04  Apr 28
                     2011    2011    2010    2010    2010    2009    2011
 
Approve              42      51      44      46      46      66      42
Disapprove           53      44      43      49      48      29      53
DK/NA                 5       5      13       5       6       5       5
 
 
3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bob Casey Jr. is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Approve              44%    33%    61%    39%    43%    45%    52%
Disapprove           26     37     14     27     29     23     20
DK/NA                30     30     25     33     28     32     28
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Approve              50%    43%    38%    44%    45%    50%    43%
Disapprove           29     15     32     30     25     21     26
DK/NA                21     42     30     25     30     29     32
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bob Casey Jr. is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Apr 28  Feb 17  Dec 16  Jul 13  May 13  May 28  Dec 16
                     2011    2011    2010    2010    2010    2009    2010
 
Approve              44      44      39      48      47      56      39
Disapprove           26      24      29      29      30      21      29
DK/NA                30      31      32      23      23      23      32
 
 
4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Pat Toomey is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Approve              43%    58%    31%    44%    44%    43%    45%
Disapprove           25     13     37     26     27     24     27
DK/NA                31     29     33     30     29     33     28
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Approve              44%    47%    46%    44%    43%    42%    41%
Disapprove           27     22     25     29     26     23     25
DK/NA                29     31     30     27     31     36     34
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Pat Toomey is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     Apr 28  Feb 17
                     2011    2011
 
Approve              43      41
Disapprove           25      21
DK/NA                31      39
 
 
5. Looking ahead to the 2012 election for President... If the 2012 election for President were being held today, do you think you would vote for Barack Obama the Democratic candidate, or for the Republican candidate?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Obama                40%     4%    78%    29%    33%    45%    47%
Republican           41     84      9     36     45     37     34
DEPENDS ON CAND(VOL) 13      8     11     23     16     12     14
DK/NA                 6      3      3     12      6      6      4
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Obama                43%    71%    31%    46%    38%    28%    27%
Republican           42     18     45     34     38     51     50
DEPENDS ON CAND(VOL)  9      5     20     13     15     16     15
DK/NA                 6      6      4      7      8      5      7
 
TREND: If the 2012 election for President were being held today, do you think you would vote for Barack Obama the Democratic candidate, or the Republican candidate?
                     Apr 28  Feb 17  Dec 16
                     2011    2011    2010
 
Obama                40      45      41
Republican           41      39      37
DEPENDS ON CAND(VOL) 13      11      14
DK/NA                 6       5       8
 
 
6. Looking ahead to the 2012 election for President, do you feel that Barack Obama deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Yes/deserves         42%     6%    77%    37%    35%    48%    45%
No/does not          52     91     16     56     60     46     48
DK/NA                 6      3      7      7      5      6      8
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Yes/deserves         45%    71%    33%    48%    43%    24%    33%
No/does not          51     22     60     45     52     72     61
DK/NA                 4      7      7      6      5      4      6
 
TREND: Looking ahead to the 2012 election for President, do you feel that Barack Obama deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                     Apr 28  Feb 17  Jul 14
                     2011    2011    2010
 
Yes/deserves         42      48      42
No/does not          52      45      48
DK/NA                 6       8      10
 
 
7. Looking ahead to the 2012 election for United States Senator... If the 2012 election for United States Senator were being held today, do you think you would vote for Bob Casey Jr. the Democratic candidate, or for the Republican candidate?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Casey                46%    13%    81%    40%    41%    50%    57%
Republican           34     72      6     31     39     31     28
DEPENDS ON CAND(VOL)  9      8      5     13      8      9      9
DK/NA                11      8      8     16     11     11      5
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Casey                46%    71%    36%    46%    43%    48%    39%
Republican           36     15     44     32     35     37     39
DEPENDS ON CAND(VOL)  6      4     10     12      9      9      9
DK/NA                12     11     10     10     12      6     13
 
TREND: If the 2012 election for United States Senator were being held today, do you think you would vote for Bob Casey Jr. the Democratic candidate, or the Republican candidate?
                     Apr 28  Feb 17  Dec 16
                     2011    2011    2010
 
Casey                46      45      43
Republican           34      35      35
DEPENDS ON CAND(VOL)  9       9      11
DK/NA                11      11      11
 
 
8. Looking ahead to the 2012 election for United States Senator, do you feel that Bob Casey Jr. deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Yes/deserves         48%    27%    73%    43%    46%    51%    56%
No/Does not          31     51     11     31     36     26     27
DK/NA                21     21     15     26     18     23     17
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Yes/deserves         46%    69%    40%    51%    42%    48%    44%
No/Does not          36     17     31     34     27     30     34
DK/NA                18     14     29     15     32     22     22
 
TREND: Do you feel that Bob Casey Jr. deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                     Apr 28  Feb 17  Dec 16
                     2011    2011    2010
 
Yes/deserves         48      46      40
No/Does not          31      28      33
DK/NA                21      26      27
 
 
9. Which one of the following statements comes closest to the way you feel about Tom Corbett - A) I like Tom Corbett as a person and I also like most of his policies B) I like Tom Corbett as a person but I don't like most of his policies C) I don't like Tom Corbett as a person but I do like most of his policies D) I don't like Tom Corbett as a person and I also don't like most of his policies
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Person/Policies      34%    54%    19%    33%    41%    28%    30%
Person/Not policies  25     20     29     25     23     26     28
Policies/Not person   5      5      3      8      6      4      3
Not Pol/Not person   22      9     37     18     17     26     26
DK/NA                14     12     12     16     13     15     13
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Person/Policies      39%    28%    33%    31%    33%    36%    37%
Person/Not policies  32     23     29     24     25     21     23
Policies/Not person   4      1      3     11      2      5      5
Not Pol/Not person   18     33     23     23     19     20     20
DK/NA                 8     16     12     12     21     18     15
 
 
10. Which one of the following statements comes closest to the way you feel about Barack Obama - A) I like Barack Obama as a person and I also like most of his policies B) I like Barack Obama as a person but I don't like most of his policies C) I don't like Barack Obama as a person but I do like most of his policies D) I don't like Barack Obama as a person and I also don't like most of his policies
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Person/Policies      40%     5%    75%    34%    32%    47%    43%
Person/Not policies  30     42     14     34     35     25     27
Policies/Not person   3      2      2      3      3      2      2
Not Pol/Not person   24     48      5     24     25     23     22
DK/NA                 4      3      3      4      5      3      6
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Person/Policies      42%    69%    34%    46%    44%    22%    30%
Person/Not policies  31     19     27     26     28     35     36
Policies/Not person   1      -      3      6      1      6      1
Not Pol/Not person   25      8     30     19     22     33     28
DK/NA                 2      4      7      3      5      3      5
 
 
27. What do you think is more important, to protect the right of Americans to own guns or to control gun ownership?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Protect rights       48%    69%    29%    49%    58%    39%    54%
Control ownership    47     28     66     44     35     56     41
DK/NA                 5      3      5      7      7      5      6
 
                     OWN GUN Q28   HrdAlot/Some
                     Yes    No     CastleDocQ29
 
Protect rights       68%    32%    57%
Control ownership    28     62     38
DK/NA                 4      6      5
 
 
28. Do you or does anyone in your house own a gun, or not?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Yes                  43%    57%    32%    43%    52%    35%    46%
No                   54     40     66     53     45     62     51
DK/NA                 3      2      2      4      3      2      2
 
 
29. The state House and Senate have each approved a measure that would expand Pennsylvania's castle doctrine, allowing citizens to use lethal force in self-defense in any public place if they feel their life or safety is in danger. How much have you heard or read about this measure that would expand Pennsylvania's castle doctrine? A lot, some, not much, or nothing at all?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
A lot                10%    12%     7%    11%    13%     7%    13%
Some                 24     24     20     29     29     20     23
Not much             27     27     29     23     24     29     27
Nothing at all       38     35     42     36     33     43     37
DK/NA                 1      1      2      -      -      2      1
 
                     OWN GUN Q28
                     Yes    No
 
A lot                13%     7%
Some                 31     18
Not much             26     28
Nothing at all       29     46
DK/NA                 -      2
 
 
30. Supporters say this expansion measure is a way to strengthen law-abiding citizens' rights to defend themselves no matter where they are. Critics say this expanded ability to use deadly force will lead to more violence on Pennsylvania streets. Do you support or oppose expanding Pennsylvania's castle doctrine, to allow citizens to use deadly force in self-defense in any public place if they feel their life or safety is in danger?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Support              53%    68%    39%    56%    63%    45%    61%
Oppose               39     24     54     36     30     46     34
DK/NA                 8      7      7      8      6      9      6
 
                     OWN GUN Q28   HrdAlot/Some
                     Yes    No     CastleDocQ29
 
Support              68%    41%    69%
Oppose               24     51     27
DK/NA                 8      8      4
 
 
31. If most people carried guns, do you think the streets would be more safe or more dangerous?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
More safe            28%    42%    14%    29%    40%    19%    30%
More dangerous       64     50     80     62     52     74     63
DK/NA                 8      8      6      9      8      8      7
 
                     OWN GUN Q28   HrdAlot/Some
                     Yes    No     CastleDocQ29
 
More safe            45%    15%    42%
More dangerous       46     78     51
DK/NA                 9      7      7
 
32. Do you think the U.S. is doing the right thing by fighting the war in Afghanistan now, or should the U.S. not be involved in Afghanistan now?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Right thing          30%    36%    26%    29%    36%    25%    30%
Shld not be invl     64     60     72     62     58     70     66
DK/NA                 6      3      3      9      7      5      4
 
TREND: Do you think the U.S. is doing the right thing by fighting the war in Afghanistan now, or should the U.S. not be involved in Afghanistan now?
                     Apr 28  Feb 17  Dec 16  Jul 14
                     2011    2011    2010    2010
 
Right thing          30      40      38      48
Shld not be invl     64      52      56      45
DK/NA                 6       9       6       7
 
 
33. Do you think the U.S. is doing the right thing by using military force in Libya now, or should the U.S. not be involved in Libya now?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Right thing          27%    25%    31%    23%    32%    23%    30%
Shld not be invl     68     71     65     72     64     72     66
DK/NA                 5      4      4      5      4      5      4
 
 
34. Do you think Congress should try to repeal the new health care law, or should they let it stand?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds
 
Repeal it            52%    76%    24%    59%    55%    49%    49%
Let it stand         40     17     66     35     38     41     44
DK/NA                 8      7     11      6      7     10      7
 
 
TREND: Do you think Congress should try to repeal the new health care law, or should they let it stand?
                     Apr 28  Feb 17  Dec 16
                     2011    2011    2010
 
Repeal it            52      48      45
Let it stand         40      42      45
DK/NA                 8      10      10