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More Tepid Poll Numbers for Corbett

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

The latest Quinnipiac poll has confirmed Governor Tom Corbett’s lackluster numbers.

His job approval is positive by a narrow margin of 39 percent to 38 percent. 33 percent do not have an opinion. These numbers are almost identical to the April Q-pac poll, which found Corbett at 39 to 37 percent net approval.

The pollster points to a wide gender gap as the cause for Corbett’s stagnant numbers: Men approve of Gov. Corbett 48 – 34 percent, but women disapprove 43 – 30 percent. According to the pollster, Corbett’s low numbers among women are due largely to his efforts to cut state funding for higher education.

The budget is also drawing Corbett down. Voters disapprove 52 – 33 percent of the way Corbett is handling the state budget and say 48 – 36 percent that Corbett’s proposals to balance the budget are unfair to people like them.

On the bright side, voters say they like Corbett as a person by a 51 to 14 percent margin.

“The good news for the governor is that his numbers have apparently stabilized after falling sharply in our last poll in April,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Also, he is not in negative territory like other new Republican governors such as Florida Gov. Scott and Ohio Gov. Kasich. On the other hand, after five months in office, no governor could feel good about being at 39 percent in job approval.”

From June 7 – 12, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,277 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points. Live interviewers called land lines and cell phones.

Marcellus

The poll also took a look at a number of questions about Marcellus shale. It contained some bad news for environmentalists – by a margin greater than 2-1 (63 to 30 percent), voters believe the economic benefits of drilling outweigh the environmental impacts.

However, voters also support a tax on drilling by a 69 – 24 percent margin. Even Republicans support such a tax 59 – 33 percent.

“‘Drill, baby, drill,’ is the call from Pennsylvania voters, and ‘tax, baby, tax,’ is the follow-up as voters see natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale as an economic plus more than an environmental negative,” Malloy said. “They also see added taxes on gas drillers as one of the few acceptable ways to help balance the budget.”

The poll also shows support for selling the state’s liquor stores by a similarly strong margin, 69 – 25 percent; oppose 54 – 34 percent leasing the Pennsylvania Turnpike to a private company; support 70 – 26 percent a wage freeze for state employees; and oppose 62 – 31 percent funding cuts for state and state-related universities.

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