F&M Poll: Voters Want Transpo Funding, But Not Gas Tax
Franklin and Marshall’s February poll shows strong opposition to the governor’s lottery privatization plan, majority support for sale of the state liquor store, and strong majority support for infrastructure improvements—even if voters don’t want higher transportation taxes and fees to pay for it.
Gov. Corbett made headlines when decided to push – without legislative action – to privatize the management of the Pa. Lottery.
That’s a non-starter according to most Pa. voters. According to the poll, just 18% of registered voters approve the governor’s plan to privatize the management of the lottery. Even support among Republicans is low—only 27% approve of the plan along with 21% of independents, and 11% of Democrats.
84% of respondents said the move should require legislative approval.
One in seven registered voters “frequently” plays the lottery and 52% of those players say they will play the lottery less frequently if management is privatized. But of all those polled (not just “frequent” players), 75% said they would play the lottery about the same amount under a private plan.
Liquor Store Privatization
While opposition to lottery privatization proved strong, a majority of Pennsylvanians support selling the state’s liquor stores to private companies. Overall, 53% of registered PA voters support privatization including 61% of Republicans, 51% of independents, and 48% of Democrats. 34% oppose privatizing state stores.
The 55-34 breakdown is within historic norms according to F&M surveys from 2010 and 2002.
This has to be the most frustrating issue breakdown for lawmakers.
While a large majority (82%) of registered voters believe PA should increase spending on improving and repairing state roads and other transportation infrastructure, just 43% of registered voters support a plan to eliminate the cap on the oil franchise tax and increase driver and vehicle fees. 47% oppose that plan, which Gov. Corbett proposed. Corbett would also reduce the gas tax at the pump that is paid directly by consumers.
(These results conflict with a recent non-scientific poll of PoliticsPA readers in which 74% supported removing the tax cap.)
Franklin and Marshall surveyed 622 registered Pennsylvania voters between January 29 and February 3, 2013. Of those polled, 37% identified themselves as registered Republicans, 50% as registered Democrats, 10% as registered independents, and 2% as something else. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 3.9 percentage points.