December 9, 2011 - Pennsylvania Voters Barely Support Paterno Firing, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Football Has Too Much Clout At Penn State, Voters Say

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By a slim 52 - 43 percent majority, Pennsylvania voters support the decision to fire Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. By a much larger 74 - 13 percent margin, voters support the firing of University President Graham Spanier.

There is no gender gap in voter reaction to either firing, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Voters with a college degree support the Paterno firing 63 - 32 percent while voters without a degree are split 47 - 47 percent. White Protestants oppose the firing 49 - 44 percent while white Catholics support it 52 - 45 percent.

There are no such divisions over the firing of President Spanier.

Football has too much influence at Penn State, 65 percent of Pennsylvania voters say. Another 4 percent say "not enough influence" and 25 percent say "about the right amount of influence." Feelings are about the same among all groups.

But voters say 67 - 18 percent that it's a "bad idea" for Penn State to decline a bowl bid. Again there is agreement among all groups.

"University presidents come and go, but Joe Paterno...

"Pennsylvania voters have more love for the legendary football coach than for Graham Spanier, but they agree that Joe must go," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"By a large majority, Pennsylvanians feel there is too much emphasis on the football program at Penn State. Clearly the scandal has shaken the university to its foundations and may forever reshape its football program despite the clear indication from our polling that Pennsylvanians don't want the players or team penalized."

"A large majority feel that Penn State should play in a bowl game, despite a call for a one year 'death penalty' for the vaunted program," Malloy added.

Pennsylvania voters split 38 - 36 percent in their approval of the way Gov. Tom Corbett handled the child sex abuse case involving former coach Jerry Sandusky.

Voters say 48 - 42 percent that the state should not financially compensate the alleged victims if Sandusky is found guilty. Women are divided 44 - 46 percent on whether to pay the victims while men oppose payment 49 - 40 percent. Voters making less than $30,000 per year support payments 51 - 38 percent, but opposition to payments is 50 - 42 percent among voters making $30,000 to $50,000, 54 - 37 percent among voters making $50,000 to $100,000 and 51 - 41 percent among voters making more than $100,000.

Pennsylvania voters give Gov. Corbett an overall job approval rating of 47 - 34 percent, compared to 46 - 31 percent November 10. Approval is 65 - 20 percent among Republicans and 45 - 35 percent among independent voters, while Democrats disapprove 43 - 36 percent.

"The Penn State scandal is the biggest story in the Keystone State, but it apparently has not affected how voters view their first-year governor," Malloy said.

From November 28 - December 5, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,453 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 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, Virginia 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.


13. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Tom Corbett is handling his job as Governor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              47%    65%    36%    45%    51%    44%    49%    38%
Disapprove           34     20     43     35     32     36     33     36
DK/NA                19     15     20     20     17     20     18     26
 
                     WHITE..................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                 BornAgnEvan   AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Yes    No     18-49  50-64  65+
 
Approve              46%    51%    54%    53%    53%    51%    44%    50%    49%
Disapprove           40     30     29     31     28     32     38     33     30
DK/NA                14     19     18     16     19     16     19     17     20
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  Military
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  HsHlds
 
Approve              44%    49%    44%    43%    47%    56%    50%
Disapprove           41     31     33     40     36     34     31
DK/NA                15     20     23     17     17     10     19
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Tom Corbett is handling his job as Governor?
                     Dec 08  Nov 10  Sep 29  Aug 03  Jun 14  Apr 27  Feb 16
                     2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2011    2011
 
Approve              47      46      50      44      39      39      39
Disapprove           34      31      32      36      38      37      11
DK/NA                19      23      18      20      23      24      50
 
 
35a. How interested are you in following college football; very interested, somewhat interested or not interested at all?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Very interested      19%    21%    19%    20%    27%    12%    20%    19%
Smwht interested     34     40     34     30     38     31     34     40
Not at all           46     39     47     50     35     58     46     42
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
 
                     WHITE..................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                 BornAgnEvan   AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Yes    No     18-49  50-64  65+
 
Very interested      22%    19%    22%    22%    21%    22%    17%    21%    23%
Smwht interested     38     32     32     38     33     36     34     33     36
Not at all           40     49     45     40     46     43     49     46     42
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  Military
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  HsHlds
 
Very interested      21%    19%    17%    21%    18%    22%    22%
Smwht interested     36     33     30     34     37     38     33
Not at all           42     48     53     44     44     39     45
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -      -      -
 
 
35b. Is your opinion of Joe Paterno favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            44%    54%    38%    39%    53%    35%    47%    32%
Unfavorable          36     29     41     40     29     42     36     32
Hvn't hrd enough     17     14     18     16     14     19     14     35
REFUSED               4      3      2      5      4      3      3      1
 
                     WHITE..................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                 BornAgnEvan   AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Yes    No     18-49  50-64  65+
 
Favorable            43%    49%    57%    44%    54%    49%    44%    43%    46%
Unfavorable          44     32     28     39     28     35     35     39     34
Hvn't hrd enough     10     16     12     14     15     13     18     14     17
REFUSED               3      3      3      3      4      3      3      4      3
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  Military
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  HsHlds
 
Favorable            41%    45%    36%    49%    48%    46%    47%
Unfavorable          44     33     34     33     37     46     32
Hvn't hrd enough     12     19     26     15     11      8     15
REFUSED               3      4      3      3      4      -      6
 
 
35c. How closely have you been following news about the child sex abuse case involving former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky? Would you say you have been following it very closely, somewhat closely, not too closely, or not at all?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Very closely         43%    46%    44%    40%    44%    42%    45%    35%
Smwht closely        42     41     43     41     40     43     40     42
Not too closely      12     11      8     14     12     11     12     14
Not at all            3      2      4      4      3      4      2      9
DK/NA                 -      -      -      1      1      -      -      -
 
                     WHITE..................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                 BornAgnEvan   AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Yes    No     18-49  50-64  65+
 
Very closely         49%    44%    48%    48%    42%    49%    35%    45%    53%
Smwht closely        38     41     37     41     42     39     45     41     36
Not too closely      11     13     12      8     14     10     15     10      9
Not at all            2      3      2      3      2      3      4      4      1
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -      -      -      1      -
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  Military
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  HsHlds
 
Very closely         46%    41%    38%    44%    46%    44%    44%
Smwht closely        40     42     40     47     40     43     39
Not too closely      11     12     15      7     12     11     12
Not at all            2      4      6      2      1      3      4
DK/NA                 -      1      1      -      1      -      2
 
 
35d. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Governor Tom Corbett has handled the child sex abuse case involving former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              38%    47%    32%    37%    43%    33%    39%    33%
Disapprove           36     30     43     37     33     39     35     42
DK/NA                26     24     25     26     24     29     26     25
 
                     WHITE..................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                 BornAgnEvan   AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Yes    No     18-49  50-64  65+
 
Approve              40%    38%    42%    41%    41%    41%    40%    36%    37%
Disapprove           34     36     34     36     34     35     33     40     38
DK/NA                26     26     24     24     25     24     27     24     25
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  Military
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  HsHlds
 
Approve              38%    38%    36%    40%    35%    43%    39%
Disapprove           35     36     36     41     38     34     33
DK/NA                27     26     28     18     27     24     28
 
 
35e. If Jerry Sandusky is found guilty, do you think the state should financially compensate the alleged victims, or don't you think so?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  42%    35%    54%    36%    40%    44%    40%    56%
No                   48     54     37     53     49     46     49     38
DK/NA                10     11      9     11     12      9     11      5
 
                     WHITE..................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                 BornAgnEvan   AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Yes    No     18-49  50-64  65+
 
Yes                  41%    40%    32%    44%    30%    41%    46%    40%    40%
No                   49     49     55     47     60     48     47     51     44
DK/NA                10     11     12      9     10     10      7      9     16
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  Military
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  HsHlds
 
Yes                  41%    43%    51%    42%    37%    41%    36%
No                   50     47     38     50     54     51     51
DK/NA                 9     11     11      8      9      8     13
 
 
35f. Has the child sex abuse case involving Jerry Sandusky made you think more favorably of Penn State, less favorably of Penn State, or hasn't it affected your opinion of Penn State?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
More favorably        1%     2%     2%     -      1%     1%     1%     3%
Less favorably       33     30     38     33     38     29     33     33
Hasn't affected it   63     67     58     64     59     67     64     61
DK/NA                 2      2      2      3      2      2      2      3
 
                     WHITE..................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                 BornAgnEvan   AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Yes    No     18-49  50-64  65+
 
More favorably        1%     1%     1%     1%     1%     1%     1%     2%     2%
Less favorably       39     30     29     32     28     31     35     33     30
Hasn't affected it   59     67     68     66     69     67     63     63     66
DK/NA                 1      2      2      2      2      2      2      2      2
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  Military
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  HsHlds
 
More favorably        1%     1%     3%     1%     1%     -      1%
Less favorably       40     30     32     28     37     38     30
Hasn't affected it   58     65     63     69     62     61     65
DK/NA                 1      3      3      1      -      1      4
 
 
35g. Do you agree or disagree with the decision by Penn State's Board of Trustees to fire football coach Joe Paterno?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Agree                52%    46%    53%    55%    52%    51%    50%    57%
Disagree             43     50     42     37     43     43     44     38
DK/NA                 6      5      5      8      5      6      6      4
 
                     WHITE..................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                 BornAgnEvan   AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Yes    No     18-49  50-64  65+
 
Agree                64%    44%    44%    52%    48%    47%    49%    58%    47%
Disagree             31     50     49     45     45     48     46     36     47
DK/NA                 5      6      7      4      7      4      5      6      6
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  Military
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  HsHlds
 
Agree                63%    47%    46%    47%    53%    65%    44%
Disagree             32     47     47     50     41     33     48
DK/NA                 4      6      7      2      6      2      8
 
 
35h. Do you agree or disagree with the decision by Penn State's Board of Trustees to fire school President Graham Spanier?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Agree                74%    74%    76%    69%    77%    71%    75%    67%
Disagree             13     13     14     13     12     14     14     13
DK/NA                13     13     10     17     10     16     11     20
 
                     WHITE..................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                 BornAgnEvan   AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Yes    No     18-49  50-64  65+
 
Agree                81%    72%    72%    78%    67%    78%    74%    75%    72%
Disagree             10     15     13     13     15     12     13     13     14
DK/NA                 9     13     15      9     18      9     13     11     14
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  Military
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  HsHlds
 
Agree                80%    71%    65%    75%    76%    86%    73%
Disagree             10     14     18     16     12      8     12
DK/NA                10     14     18      9     12      6     15
 
 
35i. Do you think the football program has too much influence at Penn State, not enough or about the right amount of influence at Penn State?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Too much influence   65%    61%    70%    63%    65%    64%    66%    61%
Not enough influence  4      3      6      2      3      4      2     16
About the right amt  25     32     19     28     26     25     27     13
DK/NA                 6      5      6      7      5      8      5     10
 
                     WHITE..................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                 BornAgnEvan   AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Yes    No     18-49  50-64  65+
 
Too much influence   71%    64%    64%    62%    62%    64%    66%    64%    65%
Not enough influence  1      3      3      2      4      1      4      5      3
About the right amt  24     29     29     31     29     29     23     26     28
DK/NA                 4      5      4      5      5      5      7      5      4
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  Military
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  HsHlds
 
Too much influence   71%    62%    58%    64%    68%    74%    61%
Not enough influence  1      5      7      4      2      -      4
About the right amt  23     26     28     30     24     22     27
DK/NA                 5      7      8      3      6      4      7
 
 
35j. Some have suggested that Penn State should announce that it will not accept a bowl bid if one is offered at the end of this season. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Good idea            18%    14%    21%    19%    18%    19%    18%    19%
Bad idea             67     74     63     65     73     62     68     60
DK/NA                15     11     16     17     10     19     14     22
 
                     WHITE..................................
                     COLLEGE DEG                 BornAgnEvan   AGE IN YRS.......
                     Yes    No     Prot   Cath   Yes    No     18-49  50-64  65+
 
Good idea            21%    17%    16%    18%    18%    17%    20%    16%    17%
Bad idea             69     67     70     68     69     70     63     71     71
DK/NA                10     15     14     15     13     14     17     13     12
 
                     COLLEGE DEG   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  Military
                     Yes    No     <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  HsHlds
 
Good idea            20%    17%    18%    17%    19%    19%    18%
Bad idea             70     66     62     69     69     73     68
DK/NA                10     16     19     14     12      8     14
 

Demographic Summary