Reader Poll: Which Gubernatorial Candidate Has Released the Best Ads?

tvWell, it’s campaign finance report week once again and we know that much of that money, for better or worse, will be going towards TV ads.

With the premiere of Allyson Schwartz’s first commercial last month all four Democratic challengers and the incumbent Governor have all made it onto the airwaves.

Therefore, this week we decided to ask you our readers which candidate has made the best TV spots so far.

To be clear, we’re not asking whose ads have been most effective overall as Wolf’s barrage of commercials have clearly moved his numbers the most at this point. Nor are we asking who your favorite candidate is but rather which one you honestly feel has made the best advertisements for their campaign.

We’ve tried to keep up with each new ad, so comb through PoliticsPA articles to refresh your memory of what’s run on TV thus far.

So, which candidate do you think has released the best TV ads?

Which candidate do you think has released the best TV ads?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...


Reader Poll: Guzzardi Won’t Survive Petition Challenge

Bob Guzzardi


When it comes to the battle between businessman and gubernatorial candidate Bob Guzzardi and the state Republican Party it appears our readers are pessimistic that Guzzardi stands a chance.

Guzzardi shocked the state’s political world when he amassed enough signatures to make the May 20th GOP primary ballot against Governor Tom Corbett. His petitions were soon challenged, however, by four Republicans backed by the state party.

With the fight currently in the courts, we decided to ask our readers whether they thought Guzzardi would survive the challenge and ultimately be on the ballot come May 20th.

Nearly two-thirds of voters felt he wouldn’t. 92 readers said Guzzardi would not be able to overcome his opponents while 54 said he would win and get his day with Governor Corbett at the ballot box.

An important note: There were an unusually low number of voters in this week’s poll for a simple yet frustrating reason. The shutting down of PoliticsPA’s server on Tuesday made readers unable to respond to the poll and we were unfortunately unable to fix it.

The full results are included below:

Which candidate do you think has released the best TV ads?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...


Mercyhurst Center: Pennsylvanians Support Marijuana Legalization

marijuana_leafThe Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics found that Pennsylvanians support the legalization of marijuana, 48% to 42%.

In an even stronger show of support for marijuana, 85% say that patients should be allowed to use marijuana when prescribed by a doctor and a solid majority (59%) says that they favor decriminalizing the possession of the drug.

When presented with a list of possible approaches to regulating the use of marijuana and asked which option best matches their opinion, 33% say they prefer allowing the use of marijuana by patients with a doctor’s prescription and 31% say they prefer making use of the drug legal for all adults. 15% prefer decriminalization of marijuana use, and 8% say the law should be left alone and 7% say it should be harsher.

Of those polled, 35% were Republicans, 38% were Democrats, 25% were Independent and 4% either refused, didn’t know or identified with another party.

The majority of the poll focused on the varying degrees of marijuana legalization, but they also asked whether they would support Governor Tom Corbett for reelection in the fall.

31% said they would vote for Corbett, 49% said they would support a Democratic candidate and 19% remain undecided.

Interviews were completed with 495 registered voters in Pennsylvania. For a sample size of 495, there is a 95 percent probability that our survey results are within plus or minus 4.3 points (the margin of error) of the actual population distribution for any given question. For subsamples the margin of error is larger (depending on the size of the subsample). The data were weighted on age and gender to correct for minor discrepancies between the sample and population. Question order was randomized whenever possible. Due to rounding, column totals may not equal 100 percent. Bracketed or italicized text are instructions to interviewers.

Reader Poll: Trivedi or Parrish in PA-6?

pa 6 d primary

Last month, Rep. Jim Gerlach shocked the political world by announcing his retirement from Congress.

While the move initially brought chaos to the Republican Party, they eventually rallied around Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello. The Democrats, however, find themselves with an intriguing primary match-up.

Mike Parrish, an ex-Republican, had already entered the race before Gerlach’s announcement and was expected to have an easy path to the nomination. Despite efforts by national Democratic leaders to keep it that way, however, one opponent emerged.

Manan Trivedi was the Democratic nominee against Jim Gerlach in 2010 and 2012. After the incumbent dropped out, Trivedi decided to run hoping the third time would prove the charm. Trivedi also received a large number of local endorsements in an attempt to counter Parrish’s bigger political muscle, the DCCC.

So, we ask you our readers, which Democrat do you think will win the primary in PA-6?

Which candidate do you think has released the best TV ads?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Reader Poll: Five Candidates Will Be on the Dem Primary Ballot

balloThe May primary election is just three months away, yet the field for the Democratic nomination for Governor still isn’t set in stone.

Currently there are seven candidates; Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski has already entered and dropped out while a potential Jack Wagner campaign looms on the horizon.

So, with that situation still somewhat up in the air, we decided to ask you our readers how many candidates you believe will be on the Democratic gubernatorial ballot come May 20th.

It appears from the results that our readers feel it’s more likely there will be fewer candidates come election day. 143 said that there would be five Democrats on the ballot while 83 chose four.

32 readers responded that six candidates will make the cut while only 20 voters said it would be the current tally of seven. Finally, three candidates finished last with just the support of 19 readers.

The full results of the poll are posted below:

How many Democratic candidates for governor will be on the ballot in May?

  • 5 (48%)
  • 4 (28%)
  • 6 (11%)
  • 7 (7%)
  • 3 (6%)

Total Voters: 305

Loading ... Loading ...

Reader Poll: How Many Dem Governor Candidates Will Be on the Ballot?

balloWe’re only about three months away, yet the field in the chaotic Democratic primary for Governor still isn’t set.

Recently, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski dropped out of the race and just last week former Auditor General Jack Wagner revealed he is still considering whether or not to jump into the race.

As it stands now, there are seven declared candidates in the race: State Treasurer Rob McCord, Rep. Allyson Schwartz, former Department of Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf, former DEP Secretaries Katie McGinty and John Hanger, Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz and minister Max Myers.

It remains to be seen, however, whether the list above will be the same lineup voters will see come May 20th.

Petition period begins soon, and when they’re due, our field will be set.

So, we ask you the readers, how many candidates do you think will be on the Democratic gubernatorial primary ballot on May 20th?


Which candidate do you think has released the best TV ads?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Reader Poll: Who Should Republicans Nominate in PA-6?

balloCongressman Jim Gerlach shocked the political world last week when he announced that he would not seek re-election this November. All of sudden, a formerly safe seat in the House of Representatives was up for grabs.

Gerlach’s retirement has led several Republicans to consider entering the race, especially after redistricting made the perennial toss-up 6th District a bit more red.

Among those mentioned as potential candidates are Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello and Chester County Republican Chairman Val DiGiorgio. State Senator John Rafferty hasn’t ruled out a run and former U.S. Senate candidate Sam Rohrer also remains in the mix.

Additionally, this weekend businessman Patrick Collins threw his name into consideration while noting that because of the short four-month “sprint” to the primary this race presents an usual opportunity.

So, we ask you, who do you think Republicans should nominate to replace Jim Gerlach in PA-6?

Which candidate do you think has released the best TV ads?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Reader Poll: Democrats Should Nominate Smith in HD-164



If our poll is any indication, State Representative Margo Davidson may face a difficult Democratic primary in her quest for re-election.

This news comes as a bit of a surprise as Davidson made a splash in 2011 when she became the first female and black legislator of her Delaware County district. There has even been talk of her pursuing a candidacy for the Lieutenant Governorship. Last year, however, she made headlines with some votes on abortion and school vouchers that angered the Democratic base.

Apparently, those votes have taken a toll on Davidson as former Philly Assistant DA and Lansdowne Councilman Billy Smith took over half of the vote in our three-way poll with Davidson and fellow challenger and political newcomer Dafan Zhang.

Smith finished with 139 votes while Davidson was chosen by only 62 readers. Finally, 44 respondents answered that they intend to support Zhang.

The full results of the poll are included below:

Who should Democrats nominate in HD-164?

  • Billy Smith (57%)
  • Margo Davidson (25%)
  • Dafan Zhang (18%)

Total Voters: 249

Loading ... Loading ...


Internal Poll: Halvorson Closing Gap with Shuster

Art-HalvorsonThere is good news and bad news in the poll released today by the Art Halvorson campaign.

The good news is that the poll that shows him cutting his deficit with Rep. Bill Shuster in half. The bad news is that the gap between the candidates is still 26 points.

Halvorson, a retired Coast Guard Captain, is challenging incumbent Congressman Bill Shuster in the GOP primary to represent Pennsylvania’s 9th Congressional District. Halvorson is running as a Tea Party insurgent against Rep. Shuster, who he feels is insufficiently conservative.

The Gravis Marketing poll released by the challenger shows Shuster just under the magic 50% line for incumbents at 49.1%. Halvorson meanwhile took in 22.5% of support, but 28.4% of respondents remain unsure.

Gravis Marketing is a new polling firm that leans Republican and was accused by several liberal blogs during the 2012 presidential election of ineffective techniques and inaccurate results.

“We’re very pleased with the results, it shows we’re ahead of schedule with this race,” Art Halvorson told PoliticsPA. “The fact that Mr. Shuster is under 50% before Christmas, with all the the money he has spent on the race so far is a good sign.”

“His money is not able to overcome the fact that he’s not a conservative and he’s who he says he is,” Halvorson concluded. “Money can’t buy him love.”

The Shuster campaign responded in kind.

“Art Halvorson’s survey is as laughable as his attempt to move to Pennsylvania to buy a Congressional seat. A real poll would survey all of the candidates, including Travis Shooley.  Survey after survey has consistently shown Congressman Shuster with a commanding lead in the primary,” Shuster campaign manager Sean Joyce said. “Pennsylvania voters will never believe Halvorson’s constant negative campaign which continually attempts to paint Congressman Shuster as something other than a proven conservative leader in Congress.”

The Halvorson campaign was quick to point out that an October Harper poll showed them down 52 points, meaning that they have cut their opponents lead in half in the two months since then.

Rep. Bill Shuster represents, PA-09 which consists of multiple counties along the southern border with Maryland between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. The district is strongly Republican, with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report rating the district R+14. Therefore, the winner of the GOP primary would likely win the general election.

Harper Poll: PA Supports Transpo Bill, Minimum Wage Hike, and Steelers

Harper Polling 2013 Minimum WageHarper Polling released a survey showing that Pennsylvanians seem to support making policy changes in the New Year.

Likely voters overwhelmingly supported the transportation funding bill that was finally signed this fall, by a margin of 55% to 28%, and when asked about other possible legislation for 2014, the response was favorable.

The bill passed with bipartisan support, but there were serious concerns from the GOP on the tax and spending increases; however, Republican voters approve of the transportation funding package 46% to 35%. Approval flips among self-identified conservatives 38 to 41%.

The poll question emphasized the investment side of the bill but did not mention critics’ top complaint: the likelihood of a tax increase at the pump.

Respondents said they oppose Governor Corbett’s plan to privatize the state lottery 62% to 20%.

While the minimum wage in Pennsylvania is currently $7.25 per hour, 60% of respondents favored an increase: 27% for $9 per hour and 33% for $10 per hour. Some respondents (11%) thought it should be lowered to $6.50, and 25% favored keeping the current $7.25 rate.

Despite these pro-worker results to the minimum wage question, respondents did not voice much support for unions. When asked who they trust when it comes to questions of Pennsylvania’s economic issues, 53% said that they trust businesses, 22% said labor unions and another 25% said they weren’t sure.

The poll also asked whether union members should have a right to not have their union dues spent on political activities with which they disagree, referred to by supporters as Paycheck Protection. Just 17% said they shouldn’t have this right, compared to the 66% who agreed that they should.

When analyzing these results, it’s important to note that Harper Polling is itself a Republican firm and is affiliated with Long Nyquist and Associates, a GOP consulting firm.

Wrapping up 2013, respondents were asked what the biggest news story of the year was. The roll out of Obamacare blew every other response out of the water, getting 61%. Other choices included transportation funding (18%), liquor privatization (12%), lottery privatization (6%) and Governor Corbett announcing his reelection campaign (3%).


Harper Polling also took a look at sports, asking how things are faring at Penn State, professional football team preferences and whether fans of the Eagles would let their daughter marry a Steelers fan.

59% of respondents said that, based on any information they’ve heard recently about PSU, things are improving. Just 12% who said things are getting worse.

Likely voters in Pennsylvania prefer the Steelers to the Eagles, 41% to 31%, though that had no effect on which team actually made it to the playoffs last week.

4% of respondents said they were Dallas Cowboys fans or, more likely, misunderstood the question.

Thankfully, very few respondents said that football allegiances would weigh in their decision to approve of their daughter’s marriage. The poll found that only 1 in 6 Steelers fan would not allow their daughter to marry an Eagles fans and the results are comparable when reversed.

Harper surveyed 604 likely voters via IVR with a plus or minus 4% margin of error between December 21 and 22. Party affiliation broke down to 43% Republican, 44% Democrat and 13% Independent or Other.

Web Design by 20/10 Solutions