Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pennsylvania Miscellaneous

-Pennsylvania Republicans might need to do a really good job with their redistricting next year in order to hold onto the seats they won last fall. Voters in the state say if there was an election for Congress today they'd go for Democratic candidates by a 42-36 margin on the generic ballot, suggesting the party could very well win back some of the stuff it lost last year.

It's interesting to see Democrats with a 6 point generic House ballot lead, given that this same poll found Barack Obama with dreadful approval numbers at 42/52 and struggling in match ups with Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum. Obama polling poorly while things are looking up for House Democrats has actually been a theme throughout our April polling though. We've found Democrats leading on all three national generic Congressional ballot surveys we've done this month, even as we've also found Obama's approval numbers hitting record lows.

Usually you would expect the fortunes of both the President and House Democrats to be headed in the same direction but at least for this month that has not been the case. Voters are just responding negatively to everyone who's in charge and the unhappiness is cutting across party lines to affect both Obama and House Republicans.

-Pennsylvania voters may warm back up to Arlen Specter and Ed Rendell some day but apparently three months out of office has not been enough time to win them any forgiveness. Only 33% of voters in the state have a favorable opinion of Rendell to 55% with a negative one. Republicans (81%) are a whole lot more unified in their dislike of him than Democrats (50%) are in their favor and independents split against him 26/58. Specter's numbers tell a pretty similar story. 32% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 53% with a negative one. He has the same problem as Rendell of Republicans (77%) disliking him a lot more than Democrats (46%) like him and independents go against him by a 24/57 spread.

-There's been a fair amount of speculation that another run for statewide office might be in Joe Sestak's future and if there is he'll have a lot of reintroducing himself to do to the voters. A plurality of voters, at 37%, now say they don't know enough to have an opinion about Sestak either positive or negative. Those who do have one are divided almost evenly with 32% rating him favorably and 31% unfavorably.

-63% of Pennsylvania voters support some form of legal recognition for same sex couples to 35% who think there should be none. The 63% breaks down 30% who support full marriage rights and 33% who favor civil unions. Even Republican voters by a 51/47 margin support either marriage or civil unions for gay couples.

Full results here


Anonymous said...

I think you're being a little disingenuous in your reporting on gay marriage and I think you know this. In the Pennsylvania poll, a narrow plurality of 35% oppose any legal recognition of gay unions while 30% supported gay marriage yet you referred to it merely as a 'bare plurality'. Yet when the exact same percentage of 35% supported gay marriage in your Iowa poll (and 33% opposed gay marriage) you referred to it as a plurality of note. That is not balanced reporting.
Additionally, you know very well the 3-way question has been asked a lot and trying to equate support for civil unions as the same as gay marriage overall is terribly misleading. For instance, polling found about the same sort of 3-way split in Florida in November 2008 yet they voted overwhelmingly to ban gay marriages and civil unions.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the poster above me. I also object to the fact that you refer to same-sex marriage as "marriage equality" in your press releases, which is clearly a biased term. I like to come away from reading information on your site and other polling sites without any knowledge of how the pollsters themselves feel personally about an issue, because it should not be relevant. It is obvious that whoever is writing the press releases is in favor of same-sex marriage, which is fine, but please use a more neutral term to call it what it is - same-sex or gay marriage.

Like the poster before me noted, Florida voted to overwhelmingly ban civil unions in 2008. Like it or not, I am sure that Pennsylvania would do the same. However, polling on social issues is difficult to do in general because of something of a Bradley effect, so there probably isn't much that PPP can do differently on that.

Anonymous said...

PPP works at the pleasure of Markos now. You both should know this.

Dustin Ingalls said...

So when African-Americans earned the right to vote, was that not civil equality, or was that just "special black voting rights"? Also, we're a Democratic polling firm. Our poll numbers are accurate, but our analysis of them isn't necessarily meant to be objective.

Anonymous said...

I'm honestly surprised at the comments above. They clearly said that 63% support giving same-sex couples the same rights with civil unions, and that's exactly what the headline says. If you want to read more into it than that, then that's your problem but there's NOTHING misleading about the results. If anything I think the marriage questions are biased in the other direction.

Polls that include "civil unions but not marriage" as an option are more misleading than polls that simply have a yes or no vote to legalization. I would really like to just see an up or down vote about legalization. Simply do you support legalization of same-sex marriage or not. Civil unions are a different issue and I think having 3 options clearly dilutes the polling numbers of support. I just wish it had been a separate question dealing with civil unions if anything.

Interesting results nonetheless and I really appreciate you including the issue as a question, regardless of the issues with the nuances of the wording.

joyce said...

i would like to know when you take these polls because i have never taken a poll on gay marriages i do not agree with this i know a lot of people who don't agree with gay marriages this crap of taking polls and only getting the gays vote is a bunch of bull............ start being honest and ask the people what they want the government has got our country so screwed up hell most of them are gay we want the right to vote so ask all pa what they want next you will want us to lay down with animals just because some people do so tired of the bull... i live in pa stay out of here if you don't like our rules.

joyce worley said...

so if you don't like my answer you just don't post it where is the truth

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