December 16, 2003 - Pennsylvania Voters Back Higher Taxes For Education, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Rendell Doing Better Than Legislature In Voters' Eyes
Pennsylvania voters support 52 - 42 percent a proposal by the State Legislature to raise state income taxes from 2.8 to about 3 percent and use the extra money for education, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Voters support 50 - 43 percent hiking taxes even higher if the money is used for new education programs.

While voters continue to back his tax plan, Gov. Ed Rendell 's approval has slipped to 46 - 34 percent, his lowest rating in his first year in office. This compares to a 50 - 28 percent approval in an October 16 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University.

Voters give the State Legislature a negative 38 - 44 percent approval rating.

"In poll after poll this year, a majority of Pennsylvania voters have said they would pay higher income tax to get more money for education. Now 52 percent are willing to pay for the small increase proposed by Senate leaders, and 50 percent support a larger increase like that proposed by Gov. Rendell - if the money goes for new education programs," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Very seldom in polling do you see this kind of constant support for a tax increase: It only happens when there is something the voters want badly."

"Gov. Rendell has been battered during his first year in office, but considering the state of the Pennsylvania economy and the constant attacks from Republicans in the legislature, he is doing okay with the voters. The legislature, which has failed to pass a plan to fund education or give property tax relief all year, is given a dismal negative rating by the voters. The governor is the clear winner in round one of his public opinion battle with the Republican legislature," Richards added.

Only 12 percent blame Rendell for the state budget stalemate, while 23 percent blame the State Legislature and 57 percent say both are equally to blame.

After one year in office, Rendell is doing "as expected," 62 percent of Pennsylvania voters say, while 13 percent say he is doing better than expected and 19 percent say worse than expected.

Rendell is "honest and trustworthy" voters say 57 - 27 percent, and voters approve 44 - 38 percent of the way he is handling education. He gets a negative 37 - 48 percent for his handling of taxes.

But the legislature gets a negative 32 - 51 percent approval for its handling of education and a negative 29 - 56 percent approval for its handling of taxes.

From December 11 - 14, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,092 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?

                      App     Dis     DK/NA


Dec 16, 2003 46% 34% 19% Oct 16, 2003 50 28 22 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: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?

                      App     Dis     DK/NA  


Dec 16, 2003 38% 44% 18% Oct 16, 2003 43 37 19 Aug 6, 2003 41 39 20 May 23, 2003 45 33 22 Apr 10, 2003 49 24 27



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


Dec 16, 2003 4% 50% 28% 17% 1% Oct 16, 2003 5 51 30 13 1 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



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 46% 37% 57% 47% 47% 46% 43% Disapprove 34 45 23 34 36 33 37 DK/NA 19 18 21 19 17 21 20

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 44% 62% 53% 62% 30% 35% 35% Disapprove 35 18 25 25 47 43 44 DK/NA 21 20 22 13 22 22 21



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 38% 48% 31% 32% 38% 38% 33% Disapprove 44 35 51 49 46 43 50 DK/NA 18 17 18 20 16 19 18

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 27% 38% 43% 46% 34% 33% 38% Disapprove 60 43 36 34 53 57 42 DK/NA 13 19 21 21 13 11 20



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% 4% 4% 5% 4% 7% Smwht satisfied 50 55 48 44 50 49 42 Smwht dissatisfied 28 25 31 29 27 28 28 Very dissatisfied 17 16 14 23 17 17 21 DK/NA 1 - 2 1 1 2 2

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Very satisfied 4% 8% 6% 5% 3% 3% 3% Smwht satisfied 36 49 56 58 39 38 55 Smwht dissatisfied 36 25 27 24 33 32 26 Very dissatisfied 24 17 10 11 25 26 15 DK/NA 1 2 1 2 - 1 1



18. In his first year in office, would you say Ed Rendell is doing a better job as governor than you expected, a worse job, or about what you expected?

                                                                      Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     hsHlds


Better 13% 11% 15% 13% 9% 16% 8% worse 19 21 15 23 19 19 24 As expected 62 63 63 57 64 60 63 DK/NA 6 5 8 6 8 5 5

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Better 11% 22% 20% 13% 12% 10% 9% worse 19 7 15 19 28 22 21 As expected 65 63 58 65 56 61 62 DK/NA 4 9 7 3 5 7 8



19. Would you say that Ed Rendell is honest and trustworthy or not?

                                                                      Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     hsHlds


Yes 57% 47% 67% 58% 55% 58% 50% No 27 35 18 27 29 26 34 DK/NA 16 19 15 14 16 16 17

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Yes 56% 64% 60% 74% 44% 43% 48% No 28 23 23 17 32 37 33 DK/NA 16 14 18 8 24 20 19



20. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling -- education?

                                                                      Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     hsHlds


Approve 44% 36% 52% 45% 43% 44% 39% Disapprove 38 44 30 38 38 37 50 DK/NA 19 19 18 17 19 18 11

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 38% 66% 47% 52% 35% 29% 37% Disapprove 33 25 30 32 48 46 47 DK/NA 29 10 23 16 17 25 17



21. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling -- taxes?

                                                                      Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     hsHlds


Approve 37% 30% 45% 37% 38% 36% 37% Disapprove 48 56 39 48 48 47 50 DK/NA 16 14 16 16 14 17 14

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 30% 55% 34% 53% 26% 24% 28% Disapprove 55 28 48 33 58 57 57 DK/NA 15 17 18 13 16 19 14



22. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling education?
                                                                      Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     hsHlds


Approve 32% 36% 30% 28% 32% 33% 28% Disapprove 51 45 53 58 53 49 60 DK/NA 17 19 17 13 15 18 13

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 27% 29% 36% 35% 28% 25% 37% Disapprove 49 55 44 50 54 59 49 DK/NA 24 16 20 15 18 15 14



23. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling taxes?

                                                                      Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     hsHlds


Approve 29% 36% 25% 25% 31% 27% 29% Disapprove 56 51 58 63 56 56 59 DK/NA 15 14 18 12 13 16 12

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 20% 27% 28% 35% 27% 24% 32% Disapprove 67 52 51 51 59 63 55 DK/NA 12 21 21 14 14 13 12



24. 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 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% Good 33 41 31 23 35 32 31 Not so good 43 37 45 51 41 44 43 Poor 21 19 21 24 22 20 23 DK/NA 2 2 2 1 1 2 2

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Excellent - - 2% 2% 1% 1% 2% Good 16 36 40 47 18 24 34 Not so good 50 40 41 36 54 42 43 Poor 31 21 17 13 27 32 18 DK/NA 3 3 - 2 - 1 2



25. 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 35% 43% 28% 32% 38% 32% 36% Get worse 15 11 16 20 11 19 17 Stay the same 47 43 54 46 49 46 45 DK/NA 3 3 2 3 2 3 2

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Get better 33% 39% 39% 41% 32% 21% 33% Get worse 11 12 14 8 23 24 18 Stay the same 48 48 44 50 42 51 46 DK/NA 8 1 2 1 3 3 2



26. 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 38% 42% 34% 36% 43% 33% 38% Worse off 35 28 39 40 31 38 36 SAME(VOL) 27 28 27 23 26 27 26 DK/NA 1 1 1 1 1 1 -

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Better off 29% 40% 30% 44% 35% 38% 39% Worse off 44 34 39 30 39 32 33 SAME(VOL) 26 27 30 24 26 28 27 DK/NA - - 1 1 - 2 1



27. The state legislature is considering a plan that would raise the state income tax from the present 2.80 percent to about 3 percent to help pay for state aid to education. That would mean about $75 more per year in income taxes for someone making $50,000. Do you support or oppose this plan?

                                                                      Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     hsHlds


Support 52% 43% 59% 60% 52% 52% 56% Oppose 42 51 34 35 44 40 40 DK/NA 6 6 7 5 4 8 4

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Support 49% 52% 55% 57% 50% 48% 52% Oppose 44 41 40 35 41 47 44 DK/NA 7 7 5 8 8 5 4



28. Would you support or oppose a larger increase in the income tax if the money paid for new education programs?

                                                                      Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     hsHlds


Support 50% 40% 61% 52% 50% 51% 49% Oppose 43 53 33 41 45 42 43 DK/NA 7 8 6 6 5 8 8

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Support 50% 48% 51% 49% 52% 54% 50% Oppose 42 46 45 42 42 40 44 DK/NA 7 6 4 9 6 6 6



29. Who do you blame for the eight month budget standoff in Harrisburg that left Pennsylvania schools without their usual state school aid subsidies Governor Rendell, the State Legislature, or are they both equally to blame?

                                                                      Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     hsHlds


Rendell 12% 19% 8% 6% 14% 11% 16% State Legislature 23 14 32 22 24 22 27 Equally to blame 57 58 55 63 54 58 52 DK/NA 8 10 5 9 7 9 4

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Rendell 12% 12% 11% 8% 13% 14% 16% State Legislature 32 36 19 27 17 15 16 Equally to blame 48 42 62 56 66 63 59 DK/NA 7 10 8 9 4 8 9



30. (IF "State Leg." OR "equally to blame" ASK:) Is it mainly the House or Senate, that is mainly responsible for the failure to pass a budget?

                      STATE LEGISLATURE OR EQUALLY TO BLAME Q29.............
                                                                      Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     hsHlds


House 27% 23% 28% 30% 28% 25% 24% Senate 20 22 20 20 21 19 21 BOTH(VOL) 19 16 17 24 20 18 20 DK/NA 35 40 35 26 31 37 35

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

House 26% 33% 25% 23% 32% 30% 24% Senate 15 21 22 24 12 27 17 BOTH(VOL) 17 21 17 17 22 15 21 DK/NA 42 25 35 36 33 29 37