Pennsylvanians Love Punxsutawney Phil, Despite Weak Forecasting Skills
With all this talk about Tom Wolf getting sued by the Senate GOP, Kathleen Kane pledging not to resign after a Grand Jury recommended criminal charges against her, and the resignation of Rob McCord; it’s time we get down to the greatest issue of our time: What do Pennsylvanians think about Punxsutawney Phil?
As it turns out, it’s not so controversial. According to a new Public Policy Poll, 59% of Pennsylvanians have a favorable opinion about the state’s infamous Groundhog, while a measly 12% have a negative one.
Despite this, only 8% of Pennsylvanians actually feel that Punxsutawney’s weather prediction skills are actually reliable, leading researchers to believe that Pennsylvania’s fondness with the animal may have more to do with cuteness than faith in his weather prediction skills.
However, 50% of Pennsylvanians still believe that Punxsutawney Phil would do a better job than most members of Congress. Only 29% think he wouldn’t.
In the same PPP study, Pennsylvanians revealed that their overall opinion of Joe Paterno has improved significantly since the last poll taken on the subject in July of 2012. At that time, Paterno’s favorable/unfavorable rating was at 45/37. In PPP’s most recent survey, these numbers have increased in Paterno’s favor, rounding out at 54/26.
In addition, the poll found that an overwhelming 47% of PA residents are Penn State fans. Rounding out the top three most popular colleges are University of Pittsburgh with 18% and Temple University with 11%.
Eagles vs. Steelers
Regarding the state’s two favorite professional football teams, PPP’s poll revealed that Steelers fans outnumber Eagles fans statewide by a rate of 42/31. Support for the Eagles is held by a plurality of Democrats, with the the team’s fanbase split 40/27 in the Democratic/Republican ratio. The Steelers’ fanbase political associations are vastly different, with a split of 48/37 in favor of the GOP.
Yet Eagles fans are much more happy with their team’s head coach, Chip Kelly, who has a favorable/unfavorable rating of 62/9. Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin’s same rating is still good, yet not quite as overwhelming, coming out at 50/24.