April 10, 2003 - Pennsylvania Voters Back Gov's Tax Swap Plan, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Beer Tax Hike OK, But Hang Up On Phone Tax
By a 53 - 38 percent margin, Pennsylvania voters support in general a proposal by Gov. Ed Rendell to increase state income taxes in order to lower property taxes and increase aid to education according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Republicans split 46 - 45 percent, while Democrats back the plan 61 - 33 percent and independent voters support it 57 - 33 percent.

Gov. Rendell gets a 51 - 19 percent approval rating, with 30 percent undecided, little changed from his 54 - 12 percent approval rating, with 33 percent undecided, in a February 20 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University.

"Pennsylvania voters are telling Gov. Rendell he is on the right track in proposing a swap of higher income taxes for a reduction in property taxes and more aid to education. While this may not necessarily be an endorsement of an income tax hike of the size proposed by Rendell, voters are saying they are willing to pay more for the program they want. Significantly, a majority is telling is telling state legislators that it's all right to vote for a tax hike without fear of retaliation at the polls," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Pennsylvania voters say 54 - 34 percent that they are more likely to reelect a state legislator who supports Rendell's income tax plan.

"Voters are sharply split in their feelings about how Rendell is handling the budget, but that's to be expected after he proposed a big jump in the state income tax. Most importantly, the bloc of Republican voters who helped catapult Rendell into the governor's mansion are sticking with him on the tough issues facing Pennsylvania. He gets a favorable job approval rating from Republican voters and on the tough question of swapping higher income taxes for lower property taxes and school aid, the GOP vote splits evenly," Richards added.

Voters back Rendell's proposal to raise the tax on beer 55 - 37 percent. Women support the beer tax hike 62 - 29 percent, while men split 48 - 46 percent.

But Pennsylvania voters reject by a big 73 - 22 percent margin a proposal for new taxes on interstate and cell phone calls. Women oppose the phone tax hike 76 - 20 percent and men oppose it 70 - 25 percent.

Voters give Rendell mixed marks on the way he is handling key issues:
  • Voters split 37 - 37 percent on his handling of the state budget;
  • Voters approve 48 - 28 percent of his handling of education;
  • Voters approve 42 - 34 percent of his handling of the economy and jobs.
A total of 66 percent of Pennsylvania voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with the way things are going in the Keystone State today, the highest satisfaction rating in any of the states polled by Quinnipiac University, and higher than the national average.

From April 1 - 6 Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,179 Pennsylvania registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 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?

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds


Approve 51% 40% 65% 49% 50% 52% 55% Disapprove 19 28 12 13 19 20 16 DK/NA 30 32 23 38 31 28 30

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 45% 66% 52% 60% 35% 42% 48% Disapprove 24 15 17 15 26 26 20 DK/NA 31 19 31 25 39 32 33



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

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds


Approve 49% 51% 52% 44% 49% 50% 50% Disapprove 24 22 23 29 25 22 23 DK/NA 27 27 25 27 26 28 28

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 46% 44% 47% 53% 51% 51% 50% Disapprove 26 28 20 23 23 27 21 DK/NA 28 28 33 24 26 21 29



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

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds


Approve 59% 66% 58% 52% 60% 59% 62% Disapprove 22 19 23 26 25 20 21 DK/NA 19 15 19 22 15 22 18

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 62% 63% 63% 53% 53% 59% 62% Disapprove 26 19 18 29 20 20 20 DK/NA 12 19 19 19 27 21 17



4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Rick Santorum is handling his job as United States Senator?

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds


Approve 55% 73% 42% 49% 56% 55% 53% Disapprove 20 7 30 28 22 19 22 DK/NA 24 20 28 23 21 27 26

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 43% 40% 57% 55% 59% 61% 63% Disapprove 41 28 19 19 15 19 12 DK/NA 15 31 24 26 26 20 24



15. Is your opinion of Pennsylvania Congressman Pat Toomey favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds


Favorable 5% 6% 3% 7% 4% 5% 2% Unfavorable 2 - 3 1 2 1 1 Mixed 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 Hvn't hrd enough 89 89 89 88 88 89 93 REFUSED 1 1 1 1 2 - 1

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Favorable 2% 3% 12% 5% 2% 5% 4% Unfavorable 1 3 6 1 3 - - Mixed 1 7 9 3 6 1 4 Hvn't hrd enough 95 87 72 90 88 94 92 REFUSED 3 - 1 2 1 1 -



16. Is your opinion of United States Senator Arlen Specter favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds


Favorable 41% 45% 42% 34% 44% 38% 41% Unfavorable 18 16 16 21 21 15 18 Mixed 22 24 21 22 21 24 25 Hvn't hrd enough 18 14 20 22 14 22 15 REFUSED 1 - 1 1 1 1 1

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Favorable 45% 41% 40% 41% 32% 45% 40% Unfavorable 18 11 16 26 16 14 17 Mixed 21 28 24 18 24 22 22 Hvn't hrd enough 15 18 19 15 27 16 20 REFUSED - 2 1 1 1 2 1



17. 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    HsHlds


Very satisfied 7% 7% 8% 5% 8% 6% 5% Smwht satisfied 59 63 56 57 58 60 63 Smwht dissatisfied 25 24 24 29 25 25 25 Very dissatisfied 8 5 10 7 8 8 6 DK/NA 2 1 2 2 1 2 -

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Very satisfied 7% 10% 5% 7% 6% 6% 6% Smwht satisfied 53 52 58 69 51 55 61 Smwht dissatisfied 27 25 28 19 29 25 26 Very dissatisfied 12 8 9 3 12 12 6 DK/NA 1 4 1 2 1 - 1



18. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling -- the state budget?

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds


Approve 37% 28% 49% 34% 40% 35% 38% Disapprove 37 45 29 39 37 38 38 DK/NA 25 27 22 27 23 27 24

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 36% 49% 37% 42% 28% 28% 36% Disapprove 51 30 39 29 42 49 36 DK/NA 13 21 25 30 30 23 29



19. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling -- education?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds


Approve 48% 43% 56% 51% 50% 47% 52% Disapprove 28 30 23 28 25 30 22 DK/NA 24 27 21 21 25 23 26

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 42% 64% 47% 53% 33% 44% 48% Disapprove 34 23 30 24 36 31 24 DK/NA 24 13 23 23 31 25 27



20. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling -- the economy and jobs?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds


Approve 42% 37% 46% 47% 42% 41% 42% Disapprove 34 34 34 30 33 34 31 DK/NA 25 29 20 24 25 25 27

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 36% 49% 47% 57% 27% 28% 37% Disapprove 44 28 35 22 43 42 34 DK/NA 20 23 18 22 30 29 30



21. Would you describe the state of Pennsylvania's economy these days as - excellent, good, not so good or poor?

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds


Excellent 2% 2% 2% 1% 2% 1% 1% Good 38 43 36 34 39 37 45 Not so good 44 40 45 47 44 44 41 Poor 14 13 14 16 14 15 12 DK/NA 2 2 2 2 1 3 1

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Excellent 4% 2% 1% - - 2% 3% Good 25 37 41 50 21 22 47 Not so good 53 46 39 40 53 46 40 Poor 18 13 18 8 26 29 8 DK/NA 1 2 2 2 - 2 3



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

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds


Get better 30% 32% 30% 28% 35% 27% 32% Get worse 17 15 19 16 11 22 23 Stay the same 50 50 48 53 52 48 44 DK/NA 3 2 3 2 2 3 1

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Get better 24% 28% 28% 31% 27% 31% 36% Get worse 15 22 18 14 21 22 14 Stay the same 59 47 53 52 49 42 48 DK/NA 2 3 2 4 3 5 1



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

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds


Better off 37% 39% 40% 33% 40% 35% 41% Worse off 36 34 34 39 36 35 30 SAME(VOL) 26 26 26 28 23 29 29 DK/NA 1 1 - - 1 1 -

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Better off 36% 49% 37% 39% 30% 29% 37% Worse off 34 27 37 34 38 41 38 SAME(VOL) 30 24 25 25 32 29 24 DK/NA - - 1 1 - 2 -



24. As you may know, Governor Rendell has proposed raising state income taxes in order to lower property taxes and increase aid to education. Do you suppport or oppose this proposal?

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds


Support 53% 46% 61% 57% 53% 53% 57% Oppose 38 45 33 33 40 36 38 DK/NA 9 9 7 10 6 11 5

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Support 47% 53% 55% 61% 44% 45% 55% Oppose 46 38 36 32 44 46 36 DK/NA 7 8 9 7 12 9 9



25. The governor has proposed legalizing slot machines at race tracks. Do you support or oppose this proposal?

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds


Support 62% 56% 65% 67% 66% 58% 66% Oppose 32 39 28 26 29 35 31 DK/NA 6 6 7 7 5 7 3

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Support 65% 63% 57% 63% 60% 61% 62% Oppose 28 30 35 30 31 34 35 DK/NA 7 7 8 7 9 5 3



26. The governor has proposed imposing new taxes on interstate telephone calls and cell phone calls. Do you support or oppose this proposal?

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds


Support 22% 17% 27% 22% 25% 20% 21% Oppose 73 77 69 72 70 76 75 DK/NA 5 5 4 6 6 5 4

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Support 15% 28% 25% 19% 21% 17% 26% Oppose 79 68 71 75 75 80 68 DK/NA 6 4 4 6 4 3 6



27. The governor has proposed raising the tax on beer. Do you support or oppose this proposal?

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds


Support 55% 55% 57% 56% 48% 62% 54% Oppose 37 38 35 37 46 29 43 DK/NA 8 7 9 7 6 9 3

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Support 52% 50% 59% 58% 48% 49% 60% Oppose 41 41 30 35 42 43 35 DK/NA 7 9 12 6 9 7 6



28. If your state legislator votes to increase state income taxes in order to lower property taxes and increase state aid to schools are you more likely or less likely to vote for that state legislator for re-election?

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHlds


More likely 54% 44% 64% 59% 53% 55% 60% Less likely 34 45 27 27 36 33 30 NO DIFF(VOL) 4 3 2 5 4 3 3 DK/NA 8 8 7 10 7 9 7

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

More likely 50% 59% 57% 60% 52% 44% 53% Less likely 38 29 29 27 39 43 38 NO DIFF(VOL) 6 5 4 2 2 3 3 DK/NA 7 8 10 11 7 10 5