Reader Poll: For Whom Would You Vote for President in 2016?

white-house-north-2007-djThere’s no getting around it, we’ve reached the dog days of summer and while there is plenty of exciting political activity lying ahead, for now the political currents have come to a notable (if temporary) pause.

Given this reality, we thought it would be fun to venture into everyone’s favorite political parlor game: speculating about the next presidential election. So for this week’s poll we’re asking you, our dear readers, who your preferred prospective 2016 candidate is.

Of course, we must start with Hillary Clinton. While the former Secretary of State says she hasn’t made a decision, she has a large lead and therefore is widely expected to run.

Also on the Democratic side Vice President Joe Biden has made some noise that he may be interested in jumping into the race. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has repeatedly denied interest but should Hillary not run, the progressive populist could reconsider.

Meanwhile, on the Republican side, despite his bridge troubles, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie still seems intent on making a go of it. Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP’s 2012 VP nominee, is also brandishing his credentials with a new series of policy proposals. Finally, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has been expected to carry his father’s mantle of presidential runs since he was first elected four years ago.

Those are just a few of a cavalcade of potential candidates but we want to hear from you. At this moment, who is your preferred presidential candidate?

Who is your preferred 2016 presidential candidate?

View Results

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Reader Poll: Thornburgh Favorite Recent Governor

Dick_ThornburghWell, consider this a late birthday present for former Governor Richard L. Thornburgh.

Our readers voted Gov. Thornburgh as their favorite ex-Governor of the modern era, which we defined as after the 1968 State Constitutional Convention that allowed incumbents to run for a second term.

Thornburgh, who would go on to become Attorney General from 1988 to 1991 during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush presidencies, received 376 votes.

Gov. Ed Rendell came in a close second with the support of 368 readers while Gov. Tom Ridge (who also moved on to a presidential cabinet as the first-ever Secretary of Homeland Security during the George W. Bush Administration) accumulated 337.

Bob Casey Sr. was voted favorite ex-Governor by 242 respondents while poor Gov. Milton Shapp received just 82 votes.

The full results are included below:

Who is your personal favorite former PA Governor?


  • Dick Thornburgh (27%)
  • Ed Rendell (26%)
  • Tom Ridge (24%)
  • Bob Casey Sr. (17%)
  • Milton Shapp (6%)

Total Voters: 1,405

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Reader Poll: Who is your Favorite Former PA Governor?

PA-Governor-Mansion2Well, we once again find ourselves in the midst of a gubernatorial race.

Given that we’re stuck in that summer lull between the end of primary season and Labor Day, it seems like the perfect opportunity to take a look back at the past occupants of the Governor’s Mansion.

Since the 1968 State Constitution, PA’s leaders have been able to run for a second term. Therefore, this makes sense as a logical point to start with. Additionally, since incumbent Governor Tom Corbett is still in the midst of this tenure it wouldn’t be fair to include him.

Finally, we’ll only include chief executives who were elected to their position (sorry Gov. Schweiker).

So, dear readers, which former Governor is your favorite?

Who is your personal favorite former PA Governor?


  • Dick Thornburgh (27%)
  • Ed Rendell (26%)
  • Tom Ridge (24%)
  • Bob Casey Sr. (17%)
  • Milton Shapp (6%)

Total Voters: 1,405

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Reader Poll: Financial Reports Affect Voter’s Perceptions of a Race

Money-bagApparently, money does matter.

At least that’s the views of our readers. In the wake of the recent FEC quarterly fundraising reports, we decided to ask readers whether cash totals change their view about an election contest.

According to our readers, fundraising reports do affect their perceptions of a race.

191 responded that financial totals are a good indication of how the campaigns are doing. Meanwhile, 131 feel money has nothing to do with the quality of the candidates.

The full results are included below:

Do financial reports affect your perception of a race?


  • Yes, they are a good indicator of where the campaign currently stands (59%)
  • No, they have absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the candidates (41%)

Total Voters: 322

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Reader Poll: Do Financial Reports Affect Your Perception of a Race?

Money-bagIt’s that time of the year again. It’s quarterly campaign finance report season!

Every three months, campaigns throughout the country are required to reveal their finance reports to the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

These numbers, particularly in congressional races, are considered a major sign of a candidate’s viability and the conventional wisdom is that a fiscal report can make or break a candidate.

But is the conventional wisdom right or do we over-rate the impact money has in politics?

To find out, we decided to ask you our readers whether financial reports affect the way you view a race. Do they make you more or less likely to volunteer or give money yourself? Do reports shift your attention away from some races to other races with closer money totals? Basically, we’re asking do they in any way change your opinion about an election.

Do financial reports affect your perception of a race?


  • Yes, they are a good indicator of where the campaign currently stands (59%)
  • No, they have absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the candidates (41%)

Total Voters: 322

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Reader Poll: Corbett’s Deliberation Hurt His Re-Election Chances

Tom-Corbett-upsetGovernor Tom Corbett didn’t help himself with his budget maneuvering.

At least that’s the verdict of our readers after the Governor deliberated over whether to sign the budget for ten days.

Corbett finally decided to sign the document into law although not without vetoing some funds that were appropriated for the legislature.

In the midst of the pension reform stalemate, we decided to ask our readers if they felt this would help, hurt, or not affect the Governor’s re-election chances.

364 readers said they believed his actions would hurt his campaign while 301 responded that it would not matter.

Just 158 asserted that all this would help Gov. Corbett’s quest for re-election.

The full results are included below:

Will Corbett's Decision to Delay Signing the Budget Help or Hurt His Re-Election Chances?


  • Hurt (44%)
  • It Won't Matter (37%)
  • Help (19%)

Total Voters: 823

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Reader Poll: Will Corbett’s Budget Decision Help or Hurt in November?

GovernorCorbettIn case you haven’t noticed, we’re at a bit of a budget standstill.

The state legislature passed a budget plan just hours before the June 30th deadline but Governor Corbett shocked the state when he declined to immediately sign it.

We are now entering the second week of this stand-off and little has changed. The Governor has until Thursday to sign or veto the bill or else it automatically becomes law (the reverse of the pocket veto in federal law).

While this episode will end one way or another relatively soon, everyone of course is thinking about how this action will affect Gov. Corbett’s re-election odds in November.

So, we decided to ask what you, our readers, think. Will the Governor’s decision to withhold his signature help his re-election chances, hurt his re-election chances, or will they have no impact at all?

Will Corbett's Decision to Delay Signing the Budget Help or Hurt His Re-Election Chances?


  • Hurt (44%)
  • It Won't Matter (37%)
  • Help (19%)

Total Voters: 823

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Reader Poll: Majority Disapprove of Paterno’s Conduct in Sandusky Scandal

JoePaterno1Joe Paterno remains just as polarizing as ever.

That’s the main takeaway from our latest reader poll. After the release of the Moulton report, and Governor Corbett’s comments that he would never “condemn” Paterno, we believed it would be an opportune time to test the feelings of our readers.

After a long and storied career coaching at Penn State, Paterno was fired when it was revealed he had been informed at least once about Sandusky’s actions yet never contacted the state police.

Since then, JoePa has become a divisive figure with many stridently defending him.

According to our results, though, about 54%, or 455 respondents disapprove of Paterno’s conduct in the Sandusky case.

Still, 383 readers approve of his actions.

The full results are included below:

Do you approve of Joe Paterno's conduct concerning the Jerry Sandusky scandal?


  • No (54%)
  • Yes (46%)

Total Voters: 838

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Harper Poll: Pennsylvania’s Favorite Amusement Park, Vacation Spot, and Holiday

pocono-mountains-area-mapA new Harper poll sheds light on the amusement parks, vacation destinations, and holidays that are favorites in Pennsylvania.

Amusement Park

According to the survey, 36% of the state believes Hershey Park is Pennsylvania’s top amusement park. Dorney Park comes in second with 18%, followed by Knoebels at 15%. Idlewild trails just behind Knoebels with 14% of the vote.

Not surprisingly, the results are divided by region. Idlewild wins the Pittsburgh/Southwest region with 39%, while Knoebels is the choice among those living in the Lehigh Valley. The Philadelphia/Southeast region chose Dorney Park as their favorite. Hershey gained wide-ranging appeal in the Northern and South Central areas.

Vacation Destination

The Jersey Shore is Pennsylvania’s top vacation destination with 33% of the commonwealth selecting it as their favorite vacation spot. This is in part due to overwhelming support from the Philadelphia/Southeast region, which picked the Jersey Shore 53% of the time.

Maryland’s Eastern Shore comes in second with 17% of respondents picking it as their favorite vacation location. The Pocono mountains–the only destination included in the poll inside of the commonwealth–came in at a close third with 16% of the vote. Other destinations that received votes in the survey include Upstate New York (10%) and Deep Creek Lake, Maryland (7%).

Holiday

Christmas, rather predictably, finished first with 56% of respondent’s choosing December 25th as their favorite holiday. Thanksgiving garnered 20% of the vote while the Fourth of July was favored by 9% of Pennsylvanians. Easter (8%) and Memorial Day (4%) were also included in the poll.

Gender made a difference as women favored Christmas 64% of the time though only 48% of men chose Christmas. Thanksgiving was favored among 24% of men and only 16% of women.

The poll, which was conducted by Harper Polling, surveyed 568 Pennsylvanians over the phone from June 25th to June 26th. The margin of error is plus-minus 4.11%

Harper Poll: Which PA Team Will Win the Next Title?

Sports GraphicPennsylvanians love their sports and Harper Polling sought to delve into those feelings with their latest survey.

Among the questions asked were what Keystone State team would be the next to win a championship.

Football lead the way with the Steelers grabbing 29% and the Eagles 24%.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Pirates finished third and fourth with 15% and 7% respectively. Meanwhile the Phillies and Flyers tied with 6% while the Sixers brought up the rear with 3%. 11% were unsure.

As should be expected the Western half of the state sided with the Steel Curtain while the Eastern half supported their Iggles.

There were, though, several demographic gaps. For example, women choose the Steelers by an eight-point margin (30%-22%). Men, however, tied with 26% going to each NFL team. Additionally, the Eagles actually prevailed among Democrats and blacks while the Steelers are favored by Republicans and whites.

Harper also polled Pennsylvanians on who was the better NFL coach, the Eagles’ Chip Kelly or the Steelers’ Mike Tomlin.

Inexplicably, (at least to this Eagles die-hard) Tomlin won with 46% compared to 34% for Kelly, while 19% were not sure.

Given last year’s results, the rookie Philly coach led his team to a division title while the Steelers racked up a disappointing 8-8 record, these results are more likely based on past performance and legacies. The Steelers, for instance, have won an NFL-record six Super Bowls while the Eagles have won…let’s just say less than six.

Greatest Athlete

The Harper group also asked which native-born Pennsylvanian was the greatest athlete.

Not surprisingly basketball legend, and 100-point in-game scorer, Wilt Chamberlain finished in first place with 24% of the vote. Golfer Arnold Palmer (not the beverage) and former Dolphins QB Dan Marino tied for second with 13%.

Kobe Bryant and Joe Namath also tied for fourth place with 10% while Ken Griffey Jr., Stan “The Man” Musial, and Johnny Unitas rounded out the group with 6% each. 11% responded not sure.

The only significant discrepancy was a partisan gap between Democrats who favored Chamberlain by about twenty points and Republicans who rated him third behind Palmer and Marino.

The sample size for the survey is 568 and the margin of error is +/-4.11%.  The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) automated telephone survey was conducted June 25-26, 2014.

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