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F&M Poll: Optimism On Rise; Shapiro, Biden, Casey Approval Ratings Improve

Joe Biden, Josh Shapiro, Bob Casey

Pennsylvanians approve of the job performance of Gov. Josh Shapiro according to a new poll from Franklin & Marshall College’s Center for Opinion Research.

Almost half of the respondents to the survey (47%) that was conducted August 9-20 said that Shapiro was doing an “excellent” or “good” job as governor. That number is four points higher than in April (43%) and could reflect that the populace does not hold him responsible for the state’s budget situation.

In fact, just one in five (20%) registered voters thought the missed budget deadline was mostly the governor’s responsibility – equal to the number that blamed House Democrats, while nearly a third blamed Senate Republicans (32%). Nearly one in three said they trust the governor to make decisions about the state budget.

The 47 percent is the highest approval rating for a governor at this point in his first term since Gov. Tom Ridge in 1995.

Shapiro also has a +30 favorability rating with 56% having a strong or somewhat favorable opinion of the former Pennsylvania Attorney General, while just 26% held an unfavorable opinion.

President Joe Biden also saw his job approval ratings rise in the Keystone State from 27% to 30% since April. Biden is still underwater when it comes to folks having a favorable opinion of the chief executive at minus-18 (40-58%).

Sen. Bob Casey Jr., who is running for reelection in 2024, saw his job approval rating take a two-point bump from 29 to 31% since April. That figure is 12 points lower than it was at this time six years ago (43%), but only five points shy of his August 2012 poll numbers (36%). Casey has a +9 favorability rating (39-30).

The Pennsylvania state legislature was a target for those surveyed, as only 13% felt the General Assembly was doing an “excellent” or “good” job, while three in four (76%) said it was doing a “fair” or “poor” job.

Pennsylvanians are more optimistic since April as 39% say the Commonwealth is headed in the right direction versus 32%, while the “off the track” choice has fallen below 50% for the first time since October 2020 at 48%. Fifteen percent said they were better off than they were a year ago – a change of +4% – while 39% said worse off which was a drop of seven percent.

When asked if respondents favor giving state tax dollars to parents so they can send their children to a private or religious school of their own choosing instead of their local public school, 47 percent favored having that option, while 51 percent opposed.

Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed said that former President Donald Trump’s actions to try to remain in power after the 2020 election were serious crimes, while just 35% said they were not serious. Trump is still the favorite among PA Republicans as a 2024 candidate at 39%, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was second at 21%.

In a possible 2020 rematch, Biden led Trump in the poll, 42-40%.

The survey interviews were conducted August 9 – 20, 2023, by interviewers at the Center for Opinion Research. The data represent the responses of 723 registered Pennsylvania voters, including 324 Democrats, 297 Republicans, and 102 independents. The sample error for this survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points when the design effects from weighting are considered.

2 Responses

    1. Come on, man. Fetterman is 5 years out till the next run. Dr. Oz did not even get his shoes resoled.





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