Reader Poll: What Issue is Most Important to You?

Voting-boothThere are now just less than fifty days left until Election Day.

This leads to the question of what issue will have the biggest impact how you cast your ballot this November.

The conventional wisdom has been that, as in years past, the economy and jobs will be the most important issue to voters.

Yet several polls this year have shown that education matters more to PA voters. Governor Corbett’s re-election campaign believes this to be the case, releasing a new ad last week disputing the notion that he cut education spending.

There was also a lot of speculation that health care reform (aka Obamacare) would be the central issue of the campaign. After the embarrassing website failure, however, the law has proven successful and is now barely commented on.

The last potential hot-button issue is the environment and energy. The Marcellus Shale resources have provoked a spirited debate on fracking and a severance tax and it’s possible this issue could bubble to the surface.

With some many different possibilities we decided to ask you, our readers, what issue matters the most to you?

With the midterms approaching, what issue matters most to you?

View Results

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Reader Poll: Bill Clinton Would Be the Best Campaign Surrogate

Kane-ClintonIn a crowded field, former President Bill Clinton ran away with it, with nearly half of respondents saying he’d be the best campaign surrogate.

The result is a bit surprising as Democrats’ willingness to be seen with the 42nd President has varied over time.

Al Gore didn’t use him in the 2000 presidential election because of the ghost of Lewinsky while John Kerry welcomed him four years later. In 2008, Clinton infamously ran into trouble campaigning for his wife in South Carolina yet four years later gave what many pundits considered to be the best speech of the entire 2012 campaign at the Democratic National Convention.

Altogether, Clinton was voted by 358 readers as the best campaign surrogate.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren finished second (110) and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie came in third (87).

Interestingly, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wound up fourth with 68 votes, not overly impressive for the 2016 front-runner.

2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney got a small piece of revenge as he received 60 votes compared to the 21 of President Barack Obama. Incumbent’s are usually unpopular during the midterms but reports suggest the Commander-in-Chief may be coming to PA.

Rounding out the group, Jeb Bush got 18 votes while just 8 respondents chose 2008 GOP nominee John McCain.

The full results are included below:

Who would be the best campaign surrogate?


  • Bill Clinton (49%)
  • Elizabeth Warren (15%)
  • Chris Christie (12%)
  • Hillary Clinton (9%)
  • Mitt Romney (8%)
  • Barack Obama (3%)
  • Jeb Bush (2%)
  • John McCain (2%)

Total Voters: 730

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Reader Poll: Who Would Be the Best Campaign Surrogate?

Kane-ClintonWith fall descending upon us, we’re reaching the heart of the general election campaign.

Therefore, we should soon start to see the full deployment of each party’s heavy-hitters nationwide and perhaps even in the Keystone State.

So, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to ask who you, our readers, feel would be the most effective campaign surrogate.

For fairness sake we’ll include four Democrats and four Republicans. We’re also only including people from outside the state.

To be clear, the issue here is which figure do you believe would have the most positive effect on the total electorate.

Who would be the best campaign surrogate?

Who would be the best campaign surrogate?


  • Bill Clinton (49%)
  • Elizabeth Warren (15%)
  • Chris Christie (12%)
  • Hillary Clinton (9%)
  • Mitt Romney (8%)
  • Barack Obama (3%)
  • Jeb Bush (2%)
  • John McCain (2%)

Total Voters: 730

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Reader Poll: You’ve Already Made Up Your Minds

Voting-boothMillions of dollars are set to be spent in the next two months. Yet according to our readers, they’ll all be for naught.

The traditional narrative is that campaigns don’t really begin until after Labor Day because voters aren’t paying attention. In order to test that notion we decided to ask whether you’ve already decided which candidates to vote for.

The results weren’t even close. 95% of respondents, 679 readers, said they know who they’re voting for in the major electoral contests this fall.

Just 34 respondents said that they were not sure yet.

This does beg the question of just how many undecided Pennsylvanians will bother to vote this November.

The full results are included below:

Have you already decided which candidates you're going to vote for this year?


  • Yes (95%)
  • No (5%)

Total Voters: 713

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Reader Poll: Is Your Mind Already Made Up?

Voting-boothLabor Day has come and gone, so now according to tradition, the fall election season will officially begin.

In 2014, though, it’s worth asking whether the old Labor Day marker really means anything at all anymore.

With a 24/7 news cycle and a “permanent campaign” mindset prevalent throughout the nation, it seems worth asking whether the fall campaign and all it includes (debates, TV attack ads and massive get-out-the-vote efforts) really matters at all.

Therefore, we decided to ask you our dear readers, whether you’ve already decided who to vote for in the major electoral contests. For our purposes, we’ll classify major elections as the races for Governor, Congress, State Senate (where it applies) and State Representative.

So, have you already decided who you’re going to vote for in the major elections this year?

Have you already decided which candidates you're going to vote for this year?


  • Yes (95%)
  • No (5%)

Total Voters: 713

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Reader Poll: Republicans Will Hold State Senate

Harrisburg-Capitol-steps2The Republican Party will maintain their longstanding majority in the Pennsylvania State Senate.

That is the belief, at least, of our readers after we laid out the plan for Democrats to flip the chamber. The current partisan breakdown is 27 Republicans to 23 Democrats.

558 readers believe that the GOP will stay in the majority.

Meanwhile, just 356 respondents chose the Democrats to take the two or three seats (depending on whether Wolf-Stack wins and breaks a tie) necessary to control the Senate.

The full results are included below:

Which Party Will Control the State Senate After the November Elections?


  • Republicans (61%)
  • Democrats (39%)

Total Voters: 914

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Reader Poll: Who Will Control the State Senate?

PA_State_Senate_districts_by_party_svgThe State Senate has been a Republican stronghold for years, but Democrats believe this could be their year to finally become the majority.

The current composition of the upper chamber gives the GOP a four seat advantage (27 to 23) but with Tom Wolf holding a solid lead in the Governor’s race, his party is hoping his coattails are long enough to drag in the sufficient number of Senators to hand the chamber to the Dems.

To accomplish this, though, the Democrats would have to prevail in a number of closely contested races. As broken down by Thomas Fitzgerald of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the current Democratic plan is to hold two seats in Western PA (which is becoming more conservative) and pick up three seats in Eastern PA (which is becoming more progressive).

This will be a tough task for Democrats, the equivalent of drawing a straight flush in poker. Still, the Dems believe a blue wave led by Wolf would provide enough momentum to pull off just such a feat.

Republicans counter that the incumbency advantage, as well as the tendency for midterm electorates to lean more conservative than presidential electorates, favors the GOP.

So, we ask you our dear readers, which party will control the State Senate after the November elections?

Which Party Will Control the State Senate After the November Elections?


  • Republicans (61%)
  • Democrats (39%)

Total Voters: 914

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Reader Poll: There Should Be A Lieutenant Gubernatorial Debate

Cawley-StackAt the moment, three gubernatorial debates are scheduled but there are no such forums for the state’s Lt. Governor nominees.

Our readers feel that should change.

Last week, we asked our readers whether they’d like to see a debate between Lt. Governor Jim Cawley and Democratic nominee, State Senator Mike Stack.

332 readers voted to have a contest between the Lt. Gov candidates while 176 respondents felt there was no need.

The full results are included below:

Should There Be a Lieutenant Gubernatorial Debate?


  • Yes (65%)
  • No (35%)

Total Voters: 508

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Reader Poll: Should There Be a Lieutenant Gubernatorial Debate?

Cawley-StackA candidates’ debate is perhaps the most important yet overrated, overhyped but most-watched, event of any campaign.

Last week, it was revealed that gubernatorial candidates Tom Corbett and Tom Wolf will debate three times in the fall. These will be the only occasions throughout the long horse-race that is a political campaign where both candidates will face off one-on-one.

This got us to thinking about whether in addition to the three gubernatorial debates there should also be a debate between the candidates for Lieutenant Governor, Jim Cawley and Mike Stack.

Much like the Vice President, the Lt. Governor is a second-in-command with little powers who could have to step in at any moment. This begs the question, if the position is so potentially powerful and is included on the gubernatorial ticket, shouldn’t we have the opportunity to see the candidates debate one another?

Vice-Presidential debates have become a tradition and oftentimes are far more enlightening (and entertaining) than their counterparts. Perhaps this would also be the case with a Cawley-Stack encounter.

So, we decided to ask you our readers, should the Lt. Gov candidates hold a debate?

Should There Be a Lieutenant Gubernatorial Debate?


  • Yes (65%)
  • No (35%)

Total Voters: 508

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Reader Poll: Philly Will Host 2016 Democratic National Convention

philadelphiaThe people of the Keystone State are ready to host another political convention.

That’s the conclusion we reached when looking at the results of our latest reader poll.

Last week, reports emerged that Philadelphia was the front-runner to land the convention and a few days later the city’s leading political officials gave the DNC delegation their official tour.

In light of these events, we decided to ask whether you believe Philly will actually land the event.

324 readers, nearly two-thirds, said Philadelphia would win the bid while 180 respondents think that the convention will be held somewhere else.

The full results are included below:

Will Philadelphia Win Their Bid to Host the 2016 Democratic National Convention?


  • Yes (64%)
  • No (36%)

Total Voters: 504

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