According to a recent Harper Poll, 57% of Pennsylvanians believe that Benjamin Franklin is the greatest citizen in our state’s history.
A majority of every region of the state picked Franklin as the greatest Pennsylvanian ever, and it’s hard to argue. Nicknamed the “First American,” Franklin helped unite the colonies and was a leading scientist. He also served as one of the first governors of the state from 1785 to 1788.
Comedian Bill Cosby came in second with 16% of respondents selecting him as the greatest Pennsylvanian. Among African Americans, Cosby garnered 45.07% of the vote while he earned 21% of the vote from Philadelphians.
William Penn, who founded the commonwealth, and pioneer Daniel Boone finished tied for third with 7% each. Others who earned votes included Betsy Ross (5%), businessman Andrew Mellon (3%), and the Keystone State’s only President James Buchanan (2%).
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 from June 25-26, 2014.
Harper polling is a nationally recognized Republican polling firm that explores public attitudes that impact voters’ decision in politics and public affairs. Brock McCleary, former Polling Director and Deputy Political Director of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), is the President of the firm.