May 23, 2003 - Rendell's Approval Holds, But Negatives Grow, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Slight Drop In Support For Gov's Tax Plan
Bad reviews for his handling of Pennsylvania's budget problems have pulled Gov. Ed Rendell's approval rating down slightly, to 49 - 27 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. This still is higher than the approval ratings for governors in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Gov. Rendell had a 51 - 19 percent approval rating, with 30 percent undecided, in an April 10 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University.

Voters support 50 - 42 percent Rendell's proposal to raise state income taxes in order to lower property taxes and increase aid to education. This is a drop from 53 - 38 percent April 10.

"After weeks of battering by legislative critics and anti-tax conservatives, both Gov. Rendell's approval rating and support for his tax swap program have slipped - but are holding - among Pennsylvania voters. While approval ratings for many other public officials in the northeast have been battered this year, Gov. Rendell's positive numbers remain virtually unchanged. He is picking up some more negatives. He gets strong marks for his leadership qualities and voters say he is honest and trustworthy and cares about people like them," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"The fact that only 38 percent approve of his handling of the budget is no surprise considering the giant deficit he inherited and the fact he has proposed a major state tax hike to close the gap. Bottom line is that 50 percent still support his call for a major state income tax hike if they get lower property taxes and an increase in state aid to education in return," Richards added.

Voters give Rendell mixed marks on the way he is handling key issues:
  • He gets a negative 38 - 44 percent on his handling of the state budget;
  • Voters approve 46 - 35 percent of his handling of education;
  • Voters split 42 - 39 percent on his handling of the economy and jobs.
In each category, Rendell's positives have held while his negatives have gone up since the April 10 Quinnipiac University poll.

Pennsylvania voters say:
  • 67 - 21 percent that Rendell has strong leadership qualities;
  • 53 - 28 percent that he is honest and trustworthy;
  • 52 - 35 percent that he cares about their needs and problems.
From May 13 - 20, Quinnipiac University surveyed 952 Pennsylvania registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 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




May 23, 2003 49 27 24 April 10, 2003 51 19 30 February 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


May 23, 2003 45 33 22 April 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


May 23, 2003 5 53 28 13 2 April 10, 2003 7 59 25 8 2 February 20, 2003 7 56 25 9 2 June 5, 2002 8 60 22 8 3



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

                      Supp      Opp       DK/NA


May 23, 2003 50 42 9 April 10, 2003 53 38 9



TREND: The governer has proposed legalizing slot machines at race tracks. Do you support or oppose this proposal?

                      Supp      Opp       DK/NA


May 23, 2003 61 34 5 April 10, 2003 62 32 6



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 49% 42% 59% 50% 47% 51% 46% Disapprove 27 32 21 25 25 28 32 DK/NA 24 26 20 25 28 21 22

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 45% 75% 51% 59% 35% 41% 38% Disapprove 33 11 28 15 35 43 31 DK/NA 23 14 21 26 30 16 31



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 45% 51% 42% 43% 47% 43% 49% Disapprove 33 29 37 37 33 34 36 DK/NA 22 20 22 21 20 23 15

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 39% 47% 42% 46% 44% 43% 48% Disapprove 48 36 38 25 35 32 30 DK/NA 13 17 20 29 21 25 22



13. 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 5% 5% 6% 4% 6% 4% 4% Smwht satisfied 53 59 50 51 51 54 48 Smwht dissatisfied 28 26 30 24 29 26 30 Very dissatisfied 13 8 12 22 11 14 15 DK/NA 2 2 1 - 2 1 3

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Very satisfied 1% 6% 4% 5% 1% 3% 8% Smwht satisfied 42 61 43 62 56 49 52 Smwht dissatisfied 37 18 37 25 26 31 26 Very dissatisfied 20 11 14 6 17 14 12 DK/NA - 4 2 2 - 3 2



14. Would you say that Ed Rendell -- has strong leadership qualities or not?

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds


Yes 67% 64% 72% 66% 65% 69% 64% No 21 23 17 22 23 19 25 DK/NA 12 12 11 12 12 12 11

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Yes 62% 86% 66% 82% 43% 55% 62% No 22 8 23 11 36 33 23 DK/NA 16 5 11 7 21 12 15



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

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds


Yes 53% 48% 61% 48% 52% 53% 49% No 28 32 22 28 28 27 32 DK/NA 20 20 17 24 20 20 19

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Yes 41% 71% 49% 75% 37% 33% 46% No 33 18 30 15 38 43 29 DK/NA 26 11 21 10 26 24 24



16. Would you say that Ed Rendell -- cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds


Yes 52% 47% 59% 51% 51% 52% 53% No 35 39 29 37 36 34 38 DK/NA 13 15 12 12 13 13 9

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Yes 47% 68% 52% 68% 33% 34% 46% No 38 26 34 24 53 48 36 DK/NA 15 5 14 8 14 18 18



17. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling the state budget?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds


Approve 38% 32% 43% 44% 41% 36% 39% Disapprove 44 47 42 42 44 45 49 DK/NA 18 21 15 14 16 19 12

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 28% 58% 34% 54% 29% 26% 30% Disapprove 57 28 52 28 60 54 46 DK/NA 15 14 14 18 10 20 24



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

                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds


Approve 46% 41% 50% 52% 48% 43% 47% Disapprove 35 40 29 33 33 36 36 DK/NA 19 19 21 16 18 20 18

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 48% 46% 51% 58% 35% 37% 40% Disapprove 37 33 33 28 48 38 35 DK/NA 15 20 16 14 17 25 25



19. 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% 43% 43% 43% 46% 39% 40% Disapprove 39 39 38 42 38 40 42 DK/NA 19 19 19 16 16 21 18

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 34% 54% 41% 54% 31% 28% 42% Disapprove 50 28 36 28 54 52 39 DK/NA 17 18 22 18 15 20 19



20. 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 support or oppose this proposal?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    hsHlds


Support 50% 41% 60% 51% 49% 51% 48% Oppose 42 50 33 40 45 38 45 DK/NA 9 9 7 9 6 11 7

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Support 46% 65% 53% 57% 39% 41% 45% Oppose 46 28 40 33 50 47 48 DK/NA 8 7 6 10 12 12 7



21. 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 61% 54% 66% 67% 69% 54% 70% Oppose 34 41 31 27 27 40 26 DK/NA 5 5 3 6 4 5 5

Algny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Support 70% 57% 70% 60% 58% 58% 60% Oppose 24 37 27 37 39 39 34 DK/NA 6 6 3 3 3 3 6