February 20, 2003 - Pennsylvania Voters Expect Rendell To Raise Taxes, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Oppose Tax Hikes And Give Gov Just OK Approval
By a 63 - 22 percent margin, Pennsylvania voters expect newly-elected Gov. Ed Rendell to "propose a major state tax increase as part of his budget," according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

But voters say 57 - 29 percent cut government services rather than raise taxes.

The concern over taxes and the Keystone State's economy leave Gov. Rendell with a 54 - 12 percent approval rating, with 33 percent undecided, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

But voters say 67 - 22 percent they are optimistic about the next four years with Rendell as Governor.

"Gov. Rendell's honeymoon with Pennsylvania voters is tempered by concern over the economy and the budget deficit. While more than two thirds say they are optimistic about the next four years under Rendell and a bare majority give him a positive job approval rating, a majority say the state's budget problems are serious. Many voters are taking a 'wait and see' attitude before they make up their minds on the new governor," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Surprisingly 63 percent believe Rendell will propose a major tax hike to help solve the budget deficit even though only 29 percent favor a tax hike. Cutting state spending to balance the budget wins out 2 to 1 over a tax hike," Richards added.

There is a high undecided as voters rate the new governor's handling of key issues:
  • 39 - 21 percent for his handling of the state budget, with 39 percent undecided;
  • 50 - 18 percent for his handling of education, with 32 percent undecided;
  • 34 - 36 percent (a tie) for his handling of taxes, with 30 percent undecided;
  • 33 - 33 percent for his handling of property taxes, with 34 percent undecided;
  • 43 - 24 percent for his handling of medical malpractice insurance, with 33 percent undecided;
  • 40 - 26 percent for his handling of the economy, with 34 percent undecided.
Voters support 69 - 26 percent Rendell's proposal to install a form of "slot machine" at race tracks as way to help balance the state budget.

And they back 63 - 29 percent the Governor's plan to increase state aid to local school districts; 75 percent of those who support this plan would support it even if it means raising state taxes.

In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, 33 percent of voters identified the economy/jobs as the most important problem facing Pennsylvania, while 13 percent listed taxes.

Pennsylvania voters say 68 - 17 percent that patients bring too many lawsuits against doctors; and 65 percent say jury awards in malpractice suits are too high, while 21 percent say they are about right and 5 percent say they are too low.

By a 72 - 23 percent margin, voters support a limit on the amount of money awarded for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases.

From February 12- 18 Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,099 Pennsylvania registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the nation as a public service and for research. For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu and quicklinks

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

                                                                      ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Approve 54% 39% 71% 51% 49% 58% 60% 24% 75% Disapprove 12 18 7 11 16 9 13 29 1 DK/NA 33 42 22 39 35 32 26 47 24

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 44% 66% 58% 65% 37% 54% 50% Disapprove 25 9 10 6 13 17 12 DK/NA 31 24 31 29 50 29 38



8. Are you generally optimistic or pessimistic about the next four years with Ed Rendell as governor?

                                                                      ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Optimistic 67% 55% 79% 67% 63% 70% 64% 35% 90% Pessimistic 22 31 13 21 25 19 24 49 5 DK/NA 11 14 8 12 12 10 12 16 5

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Optimistic 60% 71% 72% 82% 64% 56% 59% Pessimistic 29 22 15 13 24 33 25 DK/NA 11 7 13 5 13 10 16



12. 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?

                                                                      ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Very satisfied 7% 9% 8% 4% 8% 6% 7% 7% 7% Smwht satisfied 56 61 52 57 53 59 58 55 59 Smwht dissatisfied 25 21 26 28 23 26 27 25 23 Very dissatisfied 9 6 11 10 12 7 7 11 9 DK/NA 2 3 2 2 3 2 - 3 2



Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Very satisfied 5% 8% 7% 7% 14% 2% 8% Smwht satisfied 49 57 65 64 43 46 58 Smwht dissatisfied 28 23 18 19 31 36 24 Very dissatisfied 17 12 8 6 9 12 7 DK/NA 1 - 2 3 3 4 3



13. What do you think is the most important problem facing Pennsylvania today?
                                                               Union 
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds


Crime total 2% 3% 1% 2% 2% 2% 2% Crime/Violence general 1 2 - 1 1 1 1 Drugs 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Budget/Spending Total 4% 4% 5% 3% 4% 4% 4% Budget/Spending general 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 Budget deficits 1 1 2 - 1 1 2

Taxes total 13% 16% 11% 13% 17% 9% 16% Taxes general 8 11 7 8 11 6 7 Property tax 3 3 3 3 5 2 5 Taxes other 2 2 1 2 2 1 4

Economy total 33% 30% 35% 31% 35% 33% 34% Economy general 7 6 7 9 7 8 8 Unemployment/jobs 24 21 27 22 25 23 25 Businesses leaving 1 1 - - 1 1 - Economy other 1 2 1 - 2 1 1

Seniors issues total 4% 3% 5% 2% 1% 5% - Senior issues general 1 1 1 - - 1 - Medicare 1 1 2 1 1 2 - Prescription costs for seniors 1 1 1 - - 1 - Senior issues other 1 - 1 1 - 1 -

Education total 10% 9% 12% 13% 9% 12% 15% Education general 7 6 8 10 6 8 10 Teachers 1 1 - 1 - 1 - Funding education 1 1 2 1 1 2 3 Education other 1 1 2 1 2 1 2

Terrorism total 3% 2% 3% 3% 1% 4% - Terrorism general 1 1 1 1 1 1 - War 2 1 2 2 - 3 -

Welfare 1 1 - 2 1 1 - Poverty/Homelessness 1 - 1 2 - 1 2 Healthcare/Costs/ Insurance/HMO's 7 7 8 8 5 10 7 Medical malpractice 4 6 3 4 3 5 3 Environment/ Pollution 1 - - 1 1 - 1 Politicians/ Campaigns general 2 1 2 2 2 1 1

Other 2 1 1 3 3 1 1 DK/NA 8 8 9 7 6 10 5



13. What do you think is the most important problem facing Pennsylvania today?

                     Algny  Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl


Crime total 2% 4% 3% - 2% - 3% Crime/Violence general 1 3 1 - - - 2 Drugs 1 1 2 - 2 - 1

Budget/Spending Total 7% 6% 4% 5% 1% 5% 5% Budget/Spending general 4 5 2 3 1 3 3 Budget deficits 2 1 1 2 - 2 1 Budget other 1 - 1 - - - 1

Taxes total 29% 9% 5% 9% 14% 19% 13% Taxes general 19 7 2 6 10 10 8 Property tax 8 - 3 3 3 5 3 Taxes other 2 2 - - 1 4 2

Economy total 40% 25% 27% 27% 48% 42% 30% Economy general 6 7 5 9 9 7 7 Unemployment/jobs 33 18 21 18 37 31 21 Economy other 1 - 1 - 2 4 2

Seniors issues total 3% 3% 3% 1% 2% 2% 2% Medicare 1 3 2 - - 2 2 Prescription costs for seniors 2 - 1 1 2 - -

Education total 7% 15% 9% 13% 7% 6% 8% Education general 4 13 7 9 4 5 7 Teachers 1 - 1 1 1 - - Funding education 1 2 1 3 2 1 1 School choice/ Vouchers 1 - - - - - -

Healthcare/Costs/ Insurance/HMO's 2 4 15 8 5 10 7 Medical malpractice 1 3 9 6 1 1 5 Politicians/ Campaigns general 2 3 2 2 1 2 1

War 1 - - 4 - 1 2

Other 2 3 1 2 1 1 2 DK/NA 5 8 6 10 12 3 10





14. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling -- the state budget?
                                                                      ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Approve 39% 32% 50% 34% 38% 41% 38% 23% 54% Disapprove 21 25 17 21 23 19 22 34 9 DK/NA 39 43 33 44 39 40 40 43 37

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 35% 46% 41% 46% 33% 36% 37% Disapprove 30 16 18 15 23 32 21 DK/NA 35 38 41 40 44 32 43



15. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling -- education?
                                                                      ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Approve 50% 42% 60% 41% 46% 53% 49% 29% 63% Disapprove 18 20 14 22 19 17 22 29 9 DK/NA 32 37 26 37 35 30 29 42 29

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 39% 60% 55% 59% 38% 41% 48% Disapprove 23 18 17 11 23 20 20 DK/NA 38 22 27 30 39 38 32



16. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling -- the economy and jobs?
                                                                      ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Approve 40% 32% 49% 37% 38% 41% 42% 21% 55% Disapprove 26 31 23 24 26 26 29 37 13 DK/NA 34 37 29 39 35 33 29 42 32

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 31% 48% 46% 51% 29% 32% 35% Disapprove 36 27 30 15 30 33 25 DK/NA 33 24 25 35 41 34 40



17. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling -- the issue of medical malpractice insurance?
                                                                      ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Approve 43% 35% 49% 43% 42% 44% 46% 29% 56% Disapprove 24 30 19 23 27 21 22 33 17 DK/NA 33 35 32 34 32 35 31 38 28

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 36% 49% 42% 48% 35% 48% 40% Disapprove 21 22 30 25 29 18 23 DK/NA 42 29 27 27 36 35 37



18a.(Split sample A) Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling taxes?

                                                                      ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Approve 34% 23% 47% 33% 33% 35% 32% 21% 47% Disapprove 36 43 31 29 37 35 39 46 23 DK/NA 30 34 23 38 30 30 29 33 31

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 21% 35% 29% 42% 22% 29% 40% Disapprove 54 41 29 22 53 45 31 DK/NA 26 25 42 36 25 26 29



18b.(Split sample B) Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling property taxes?

                                                                      ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Approve 33% 31% 36% 27% 34% 32% 34% 21% 41% Disapprove 33 36 29 38 34 32 31 44 24 DK/NA 34 33 35 35 32 36 35 35 35

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 25% 31% 41% 39% 26% 44% 28% Disapprove 42 40 31 25 41 28 30 DK/NA 33 29 28 36 33 28 42



19. Would you describe the state of Pennsylvania's economy these days as: Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?

                                                                      ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Excellent 1% 1% 1% - 1% 1% 1% 1% - Good 33 40 28 31 33 33 35 36 30 Not so good 46 46 46 49 47 46 44 42 51 Poor 19 12 25 18 19 19 20 19 19 DK/NA 1 1 - 2 1 1 1 1 1



Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Excellent 1% - - - 1% - 2% Good 26 49 27 39 24 23 34 Not so good 44 34 60 47 43 44 48 Poor 27 15 13 13 32 33 14 DK/NA 2 3 - 1 - - 2



20. During the next 12 months, do you think the economic conditions in Pennsylvania will get better, get worse, or stay about the same?

                                                                      ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Get better 28% 31% 28% 24% 31% 26% 26% 24% 31% Get worse 23 15 25 31 19 26 26 24 18 Stay the same 44 47 44 43 44 45 44 46 46 DK/NA 4 6 4 2 6 4 4 5 4

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Get better 19% 32% 33% 29% 27% 25% 30% Get worse 26 27 23 18 26 28 19 Stay the same 54 37 40 48 44 46 43 DK/NA 1 5 4 6 3 1 7



21. Would you say that you are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?

                                                                      ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Better off 35% 38% 32% 35% 35% 34% 43% 36% 31% Worse off 42 38 44 41 40 43 35 41 45 SAME(VOL) 23 24 24 24 24 23 22 23 23 DK/NA 1 1 - - 1 1 - - 1

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Better off 41% 39% 36% 35% 26% 35% 32% Worse off 33 38 40 47 57 37 39 SAME(VOL) 25 22 24 17 17 28 28 DK/NA 2 2 - - - - 1



22. How serious do you think Pennsylvania's budget problems are - very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious, or not at all serious?
                                                                      ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Very serious 32% 25% 37% 32% 31% 32% 31% 26% 39% Smwht serious 55 62 51 54 55 55 59 62 54 Not too serious 7 8 6 6 9 5 6 8 4 Not at all serious 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 1 - DK/NA 5 4 5 7 5 6 3 4 3

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Very serious 38% 37% 21% 34% 36% 30% 28% Smwht serious 51 50 60 54 54 55 58 Not too serious 5 9 11 6 4 10 6 Not at all serious 1 - - - - 1 2 DK/NA 5 4 7 6 6 3 6



23. To balance the state budget, if you had to choose, would you prefer raising taxes or cutting government programs and services

                                                                      ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Raising taxes 29% 21% 37% 29% 24% 33% 32% 16% 38% Cutting programs and services 57 69 47 59 66 49 53 72 48 DK/NA 14 10 16 12 10 18 15 11 15

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Raising taxes 30% 26% 33% 41% 18% 25% 24% Cutting programs and services 59 55 50 46 72 62 62 DK/NA 11 18 17 13 10 13 14



24. Do you expect that Gov. Rendell will or will not propose a major state tax increase as part of his budget?

                                                                     ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Will 63% 66% 60% 61% 64% 61% 67% 77% 60% Will not 22 19 24 24 24 20 21 11 27 DK/NA 16 15 16 15 12 19 12 12 13



Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Will 79% 51% 62% 59% 65% 66% 62% Will not 10 32 22 28 22 19 17 DK/NA 11 16 16 12 13 15 21



25. To help balance the state budget, Governor Rendell is proposing to legalize slot machines at horseracing tracks. Do you support or oppose legalizing slot machines at horseracing tracks as a way to help balance the state's budget?

                                                                      ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Support 69% 62% 74% 72% 70% 68% 73% 55% 79% Oppose 26 33 21 24 25 26 24 40 17 DK/NA 5 5 5 4 5 5 3 5 4

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Support 72% 69% 81% 76% 68% 68% 57% Oppose 24 25 19 20 25 26 36 DK/NA 5 6 - 4 7 6 7



26. Governor Rendell is proposing to increase the state's share of school funding from 35 percent to 50 percent at an estimated cost of about $1.5 billion dollars. Do you support or oppose this plan?
                                                                      ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Support 63% 50% 76% 63% 59% 67% 70% 42% 74% Oppose 29 42 19 28 34 25 24 49 20 DK/NA 7 8 5 10 6 8 7 9 6

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Support 66% 71% 70% 71% 54% 64% 53% Oppose 28 23 24 24 34 31 37 DK/NA 5 7 6 4 12 5 10



26a. (If 'support q26) Suppose state taxes would have to be raised to help pay for this plan. Would you still support the plan, or would you then oppose it?

                                                                      ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Yes/Would support 75% 72% 79% 70% 73% 77% 80% 70% 81% No/Would oppose 20 23 17 24 23 18 17 22 15 DK/NA 4 5 3 6 4 5 4 8 4



27. How closely have you been following the news about the issue of medical malpractice - very closely, somewhat closely, not closely, or not at all?

                                                                      ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Very closely 22% 22% 21% 24% 23% 21% 20% 27% 26% Smwht closely 51 54 53 47 48 54 54 50 56 Not closely 18 17 17 21 19 18 21 17 13 Not at all 8 7 8 9 9 7 6 6 4 DK/NA - - - - 1 - - - 0

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Very closely 15% 17% 29% 31% 16% 17% 22% Smwht closely 42 42 62 54 54 56 50 Not closely 35 29 6 8 18 20 19 Not at all 7 12 2 7 11 8 8 DK/NA 1 - - - - - 1



28. Do you think patients bring too many, about the right amount, or too few lawsuits against doctors?
                                                                      ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Too many 68% 80% 60% 67% 70% 67% 65% 77% 65% Right amount 17 12 19 19 17 16 19 12 20 Too few 8 4 11 7 7 8 9 7 7 DK/NA 7 4 9 6 6 9 6 4 7

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Too many 62% 60% 73% 66% 66% 74% 73% Right amount 19 18 16 23 14 10 14 Too few 14 9 8 5 11 5 6 DK/NA 6 13 3 7 8 11 7



29. Do you think the amount of money awarded to patients by juries in malpractice suits is usually too much, not enough, or about right?

                                                                      ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Too much 65% 74% 59% 61% 69% 62% 61% 74% 66% Not enough 5 1 5 8 5 4 5 4 3 About right 21 16 25 22 19 23 25 13 21 DK/NA 9 8 10 9 8 11 8 9 11

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Too much 64% 50% 69% 65% 62% 68% 71% Not enough 9 11 2 3 - 3 5 About right 20 28 24 19 26 18 17 DK/NA 6 11 4 13 12 12 8



30. Pennsylvania now has no limit on the amount of money patients can be awarded by juries for pain and suffering. Do you support or oppose a limit on pain and suffering awards?

                                                                      ELECTION 2002
                                                               Union  Fisher Rendell
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds vtrs   vtrs


Support 72% 81% 69% 67% 76% 69% 74% 79% 70% Oppose 23 15 25 28 21 24 20 16 24 DK/NA 5 4 6 5 3 7 6 5 6

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Support 73% 69% 76% 69% 72% 78% 72% Oppose 22 24 21 26 23 16 23 DK/NA 5 8 3 5 5 5 5