By Danielle Ardner, Contributing Writer
Erie – Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney 44 to 36 percent among Pennsylvania women, a recent poll has found. Romney was the only Republican candidate tested.
The Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics surveyed the political temperature among Pa’s female voters.
64 percent of female voters within PA believe that the U.S. economy is on the wrong track, but despite that fact, 79 percent of the women surveyed who voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 feel that they made the right choice.
As far as the 2012 election is concerned, 38 percent of female voters say they are certain or likely to vote for Obama, 40 percent are certain or likely to vote against him. 21 percent of women remain unsure about who their vote will go to.
Where the blame lies for the state of our economy is at an almost equal divide, between the Obama Administration at 28 percent and the Bush Administration at 26 percent. 25 percent of women surveyed believe that the state of our economy can be directly attributed to the collective decisions between both administrations, as well as the Republicans and Democrats in Congress.
Female voters were asked to grade Obama. While 26 percent of women gave Obama a B, his grades averaged out to a C.
One-word descriptors even placed Obama more favorably in the eyes of PA’s female voters; “intelligent,” “leader,” & “honest” were among words used to characterize the President (image above). Romney, on the other hand, was classified as “businessman,” “Mormon,” and “arrogant” (image below).
31 percent of the female voters polled considered themselves Republican, while 42 percent called themselves Dems. 23 percent were Independents.
24 percent of the women surveyed had a high school degree, while 32 percent had some college/associates/certificate. 26 percent of the women surveyed had a four year degree and 18 percent earned a graduate degree.
The majority of women polled were married, holding high at 65 percent. When adding together the yearly incomes of the households the women surveyed resided in, 14 percent classified themselves as less than $30,000/year. 18 percent fell between $30,000 – $50,000/year. 27 percent made between $50,000 – $100,000/year.
To maximize the accuracy of MCAP’s results, the data was weighted on age, race, and party and adjusted to represent the population from which the sample was drawn.
MCAP interviewed a total of 598 subjects. There was a 95 percent probability that the results are within a +/- 4.01 percentage point margin of error. Within MCAP’s survey, a variety of techniques were employed to reduce common sources of non-sampling error, such as calculating the response rate of those who wish to participate in a study and those who do not. Respondents were contacted during the weekday hours of 6:00pm and 9:00pm and sometimes on Saturday mornings and afternoons. No fewer than eight attempts were made in order to make contact with individuals. Research associates use conversion techniques, consistent with research ethics, to reel people into interviews, ensuring high rates of cooperation.
The questionnaire was randomized so that respondents did not receive a set order of response options. Research associates were trained to probe for clarity for close-ended questions. For open-ended questions, research associates conducting the interviews were trained to record verbatim responses.
Dr. Joseph Morris is the Director of MCAP, while Dr. Rolfe Peterson serves as the Methodologist behind MCAP; both Political Science professors at Mercyhurst University. Sean Fedorko also serves as their right-hand-man and Project Manager. The Center for Applied Politics conducts interviews with the help of many talented research associates that attend Mercyhurst University. Research is overseen by the Mercyhurst University Institutional Review Board.
Dr. Morris and Dr. Peterson would agree that when you have a room full of research associates, interviewing respondents, MCAP truly transforms into a magical atmosphere. Complete an interview, receive a Swedish fish; every research associate has incentive.
The writer is a former Research Associate at the MCAP.