Harper Poll: Benjamin Franklin Chosen as “Greatest Pennsylvanian”

Ben FranklinEarly to bed, early to rise makes you the greatest Pennsylvanian of all-time.

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.

5 Responses

  1. While I wholeheartedly agree on franklin as the greatest Pennsylvanian I am surprised that Thadeus Stevens received no reportable share of the vote. He was certainly more notable than James Buchanan, presidency notwithstanding.

  2. I can think of a few others from the political realm. Gifford Pinchot was a great conservationist but a mixed-bag as Governor (pretty good in most respects, but he did start the state liquor store system). Arlen Specter definitely made a difference, but he could get folks from both sides riled up. Bob Casey Senior? None are in Franklin’s or Penn’s class, but they’re definitely worth mentions.

  3. The post by “David Diano on July 1, 2014 at 11:29 am ” is a fake post.

    That doesn’t mean it’s not true. 🙂

    As for the poll, they pre-selected a list from which voters chose. If Bill Cosby was on the list, one could argue for Bradley Cooper or Kevin Bacon or Ann B. Davis (Alice from the Brady Bunch), or Frank Gorshin (the Riddler), or W.C. Fields.

  4. While I agree with the poll on Franklin, the poll falls short in two category, which puts the whole thing into doubt as to the people polled.

    “Penn State University holds the crown as the most respected institution of higher learning in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania”

    GAG. If they said “lower” learning, I might agree. It’s ridiculous that those polled ranked PSU over University of Pennsylvania.

    Then, they picked Reagan as the “greatest modern United States President”. Clearly, some dim recollections about a old senile guy who traded arms for hostages, ignored the AIDS epidemic, decided “ketchup” counted as a vegetable for school lunches, gave us trickle-down-economics, and more then doubled the national debt with irresponsible tax cuts and unnecessary military expenditures, while cutting student loans and other programs.

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