August 6, 2003 - Rendell Tops Legislature In Public Opinion Battle, Quinnipiac University Pennsylvania Poll Finds; Voters Back Slots In Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
Despite an ongoing budget battle, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has inched back up to a 51 - 29 percent approval rating, with 21 percent undecided, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. This is higher than the approval ratings for governors in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and up from 49 - 27 percent May 23.

Voter approval of the State Legislature is 41 - 39 percent, a virtual tie, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

Gov. Rendell should call state lawmakers back to work in a special session to finish the budget, voters say 86 - 8 percent. Failure to pass a budget by the July 1 legal deadline is a "very serious" or "somewhat serious" problem, 83 percent of Pennsylvania voters say.

"Gov. Rendell is winning the public approval battle in the state budget stalemate, but it's hardly an overwhelming mandate. The good news for the Governor is that his approval rating has climbed above 50 percent and a majority still support his plan to swap an income tax hike for lower property taxes and more school aid. But while the legislature gets significantly lower marks for its handling of the budget than the Governor, voters say both are to blame for failing to pass a completed budget on time," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Voters give Rendell a mixed 42 - 40 percent approval, a tie, for his handling of the state budget.

The State Legislature gets a negative 27 - 50 percent score for its handling of the state budget.

Pennsylvania voters support 53 - 36 percent Rendell's proposal to raise state income taxes and use the money to cut local property taxes and increase aid to schools.

Voters also support 66 - 29 percent a plan to legalize slot machines at race tracks, if the money is used for property tax reform.

If slots at race tracks are legalized, voters would support 60 - 36 percent having slot machines at off-track locations in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
  • Philadelphia voters support off-track slots 68 - 32 percent;
  • Allegheny County voters back off-track slots 60 - 37 percent.
"It's no surprise legalization of slot machines is a popular alternative since most people don't gamble and would rather have those who do foot the bill for lower property taxes. There is less support for off-track legalization of slot machines in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Most importantly, about two-thirds of Pennsylvania voters think big gambling interests should be banned from making political contributions to Pennsylvania officeholders," Richards added.

Gambling industry officials should not be allowed to make campaign contributions to candidates in Pennsylvania, voters say 61 - 34 percent.

From July 30 - August 4, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,037 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

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling his job as Governor of Pennsylvania?

                       App     Dis     DK/NA


Aug 6, 2003 51% 29% 21% May 23, 2003 49 27 24 Apr 10, 2003 51 19 30 Feb 20, 2003 54 12 33



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   Smwht   Very
                       sat     sat     dis     dis     DK/NA


Aug 6, 2003 4% 53% 30% 12% 1% May 23, 2003 5 53 28 13 2 Apr 10, 2003 7 59 25 8 2 Feb 20, 2003 7 56 25 9 2 Jun 5, 2002 8 60 22 8 3



TREND: As you may know, Governor Rendell originally proposed raising state income taxes in order to lower property taxes and increase aid to education. Do you support or oppose this proposal? (* the word "originally" did not appear in question)

                       Sup     Opp     DK/NA


Aug 6, 2003 53 36 11 May 23, 2003* 50 42 9 Apr 10, 2003* 53 38 9



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% 61% 48% 53% 48% 55% Disapprove 29 35 22 30 27 30 28 DK/NA 21 24 18 22 20 21 16

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 38% 80% 56% 64% 29% 35% 44% Disapprove 46 9 26 18 44 36 31 DK/NA 16 11 18 18 26 28 25



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 41% 48% 36% 40% 41% 41% 37% Disapprove 39 31 43 44 43 35 50 DK/NA 20 21 21 16 15 25 13

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 29% 46% 43% 45% 37% 34% 45% Disapprove 55 38 44 31 36 46 33 DK/NA 16 16 12 24 27 20 23



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 4% 4% 5% 3% 6% 2% 3% Smwht satisfied 53 58 49 52 52 53 45 Smwht dissatisfied 30 29 31 30 30 30 40 Very dissatisfied 12 7 15 13 11 13 12 DK/NA 1 1 1 1 - 2 -

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Very satisfied 2% 3% 7% 4% 5% 4% 4% Smwht satisfied 32 59 60 61 43 35 61 Smwht dissatisfied 45 30 21 30 28 40 24 Very dissatisfied 21 7 11 5 22 17 10 DK/NA - 1 1 1 2 3 1



18. Do you approve or disapprove of Ed Rendell's handling of the state budget?

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds


Approve 42% 36% 50% 37% 45% 39% 44% Disapprove 40 44 34 43 39 40 42 DK/NA 18 20 16 20 16 21 15

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 27% 66% 48% 53% 28% 26% 38% Disapprove 61 22 38 29 48 46 41 DK/NA 12 12 13 18 24 28 21



19. Do you approve or disapprove of the state legislature's handling of the state budget?

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds


Approve 27% 34% 24% 24% 29% 25% 24% Disapprove 50 42 54 55 52 49 60 DK/NA 23 25 22 21 19 26 15

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 19% 38% 27% 27% 24% 24% 28% Disapprove 65 45 54 44 51 53 48 DK/NA 15 17 20 29 26 24 24



20. Pennsylvania missed the July first legal deadline for passing a new state budget. Do you think that the state's failure to pass a completed budget on time is a very serious problem, somewhat serious, not very serious, or not serious at all?

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds


Very serious prob 37% 33% 41% 37% 35% 40% 42% Smwht serious 46 51 43 48 45 48 48 Not very serious 9 9 8 9 11 7 8 Not serious at all 5 5 5 4 8 2 1 DK/NA 3 3 3 2 2 4 2

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Very serious prob 54% 41% 34% 25% 39% 48% 32% Smwht serious 37 38 55 51 47 36 52 Not very serious 7 10 5 8 7 12 11 Not serious at all 2 7 3 10 4 3 3 DK/NA - 5 3 5 2 1 2



21. Who do you think is most responsible for the state's failure to pass a completed budget - Governor Rendell, the State Legislature, or are they both equally to blame?

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds


Rendell 9% 13% 8% 5% 10% 8% 8% State Legislature 22 16 25 27 24 20 32 Equally to blame 64 69 60 64 62 66 56 DK/NA 5 3 7 4 4 6 5

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Rendell 9% 6% 7% 8% 17% 9% 11% State Legislature 24 31 22 25 17 13 20 Equally to blame 66 57 67 61 62 69 66 DK/NA 2 6 4 6 5 9 4



22. (If "State Leg" or "Equally to blame" on q21) Is it mainly the Republicans in the State Legislature or the Democrats, who are mainly responsible for the failure to pass a budget?

                     RESPONDED "State leg" or "equally" Q21..........


Union Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom hsHlds

Republicans 30% 12% 50% 25% 32% 27% 35% Democrats 15 23 6 17 17 12 12 BOTH(VOL) 29 33 22 32 30 28 26 DK/NA 27 32 23 26 20 33 27



Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Republicans 27% 47% 35% 29% 25% 32% 20% Democrats 12 6 13 15 15 22 18 BOTH(VOL) 37 21 28 31 35 27 27 DK/NA 25 25 25 24 25 19 35



23. Do you think Governor Rendell should or should not call a special session of the state legislature to complete work on the state budget?

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds


Yes 86% 83% 90% 84% 85% 87% 91% No 8 10 4 10 10 6 5 DK/NA 6 7 5 7 5 7 4

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Yes 91% 89% 89% 85% 81% 86% 85% No 5 5 6 11 8 11 7 DK/NA 4 6 5 4 10 3 9



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



                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds


Support 53% 45% 60% 54% 54% 52% 53% Oppose 36 43 31 35 36 36 37 DK/NA 11 12 10 11 10 12 10

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Support 46% 68% 58% 47% 47% 56% 51% Oppose 49 26 29 43 37 36 33 DK/NA 4 6 13 10 15 8 16



25. Do you support or oppose legalizing slot machines at race tracks, if the money is used for property tax reform?

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds


Support 66% 60% 74% 64% 70% 63% 75% Oppose 29 34 22 32 26 32 21 DK/NA 5 6 4 3 4 6 3

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Support 71% 71% 72% 66% 61% 70% 60% Oppose 25 26 25 29 34 24 34 DK/NA 3 4 3 5 4 6 6



26. Suppose slot machines at race tracks are legalized. Would you support or oppose legalizing slot machines at offtrack sites in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia?

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds


Support 60% 54% 65% 64% 67% 54% 68% Oppose 36 42 32 32 30 41 29 DK/NA 4 4 3 4 3 4 4

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Support 60% 68% 70% 56% 52% 67% 55% Oppose 37 32 27 41 43 27 40 DK/NA 3 1 2 2 5 6 5



27. Do you think race track owners, casino operators and other top officials in the gambling industry should or should not be allowed to make campaign contributions to candidates running for office in Pennsylvania?

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds


Should 34% 33% 35% 34% 38% 32% 34% Should not 61 62 61 62 59 63 63 DK/NA 5 6 4 4 4 6 3

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Should 34% 35% 32% 37% 42% 35% 30% Should not 64 60 65 57 50 63 64 DK/NA 2 5 4 6 8 2 6