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Poll: Perry Up, Electoral College Plan Down

By Brittany Foster and Keegan Gibson

A Quinnipiac poll released this morning is a veritable grab bag of interesting tidbits.

Pennsylvanians aren’t keen on the proposed changes to the electoral college; Obama’s PA disapproval is still above 50 percent, but he defeats all Republicans in head-to-head matchups; Bob Casey floating near the magic 50 percent number; and Perry takes a chunk our of Romney’s PA support.

Electoral College

Pennsylvanians prefer the current operation of the Electoral College to PA Sen. Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi’s congressional district plan by a 52 to 40 percent margin.

Voters in the Commonwealth also believe that the plan has been tailored to help Republicans win votes in the state 57 – 32 percent.

“Overall, most Pennsylvanians think the proposal is being presented to give partisan advantage to Republicans. By large margins, Democrats and independent voters are not buying that ‘will of the voters’ argument,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director at the Quinnipiac Polling Institute.

“The survey, not surprisingly, comes down along party lines. With 20 electoral votes at stake in a state that hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988, Republicans see an advantage in having electoral votes divided between candidates based on the individual congressional districts they win,” said Malloy.

But even among those Republicans, they aren’t pulling huge support. “Democrats especially are opposed, while independent voters side with them. Strangely, Republicans are not strongly in favor of the change,” Malloy added.

In addition to the lackluster numbers from every party affiliation, a majority Pennsylvanians also believe that the congressional district plan will dilute their importance in presidential elections which the poll also examined.

2012 Presidential Election

Voters say Obama does not deserve a second term by a 51 to 44 percent margin, and disapprove of his job performance 54 to 43 percent. Believe it or not, that’s an improvement from Quinnipiac’s previous poll on August 2nd.

Obama is in a virtual tie with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney at 45 – 43 percent with the President at a slight advantage. Former PA Senator Rick Santorum comes in second with Pennsylvanians but still trails Obama 42 to 45 percent. Texas Governor Rick Perry, the newest entry to the race, follows the president 40 to 46 percent.

These numbers haven’t changed much since the August poll. “Despite the debates and the fiery campaign rhetoric, there is not much movement in the presidential race,” Malloy said.

In the Republican primary, Perry has syphoned support from several candidates but none more than Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann. He leads among self-identified members of a Tea Party (20 percent) as well as born again Evangelicals (16 percent).

Overall, Romney leads the field with 18 percent, Perry bounded into second place with 16, and Santorum dropped from 14 down to 12 percent. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who has not indicated that she is planning a bid, dropped from 12 down to 8 percent. Bachmann had the furthest drop, from 11 down to 6 percent. The field was rounded out by Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Godfathers Pizza CEO Herman Cain at 5 percent each, former House Speaker (and Harrisburg native) Newt Gingrich at 4 percent, and former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman at 2 percent.

2012 Senate Race

Senator Bob Casey is still shy of the magic 50 percent mark that signifies a safe incumbent, but he comes close in this poll. His approval rating is positive 46 to 30 percent, a 2 percent drop in approval and 1 percent bump in disapproval since August. 48 percent of voters say that he deserves another six year term, up 1 percent from the previous poll.

Casey tops an, “unnamed Republican challenger,” by 50 to 31 percent, the latter being a fairly accurate description of the GOP field so far.

Methodology

These polls were conducted through live phone calls to cellular and land lines from the week of September 21 – 26. The survey reached 1,370 registered voters, 541 of whom are registered Republicans. The margin of error is 4.2 percent in either direction.

4 Responses

  1. We CAN have a national popular vote. One person, one vote. Candidate with the most votes wins.

    The congressional district method does not promote majority rule, greater competitiveness nor voter equality. Pursued at a state level, the district method dramatically increases incentives for partisan machinations. If done nationally, the congressional district system has a sharp partisan tilt toward the Republican Party.

    For states seeking to exercise their responsibility under the U.S. Constitution to choose a method of allocating electoral votes that best serves their state’s interest and that of the national interest, the district method falls far short of the National Popular Vote plan.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. That majority of electoral votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states wins the presidency.

    The bill has passed 31 state legislativ­e chambers, in 21 small, medium-sma­ll, medium, and large states, including one house in AR, CT, DE, DC, ME, MI, NV, NM, NY, NC, and OR, and both houses in CA, CO, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA, RI, VT, and WA. The bill has been enacted by DC (3), HI (4), IL (19), NJ (14), MD (11), MA (10), CA (55), VT (3), and WA (13). These 9 jurisdicti­ons possess 132 electoral votes — 49% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

  2. The Electoral college vote by Congressional Districts actually is closer to a direct vote for the President than the popular ‘winner take all” system. The winner take all system depreciates the direct vote and builds the myth that one state’s ‘importance’ is enhanced. Question is what does it enhance? Every state has but two Senators, and all the apportioned Congressional votes, regardless of whether the state Electoral vote was with the winner or not. If we’re not going to have ‘direct’ popular vote, then the Electoral votes should only be counted by Districts. Its anti-democratic to ‘confiscate’ the voters choice for other candidates.

  3. Romney 18 Perry 16…the free ride and honeymoon appears to be over for Perry. He was simply horrible in the debates. Obama would eat him alive in a debate…Gophers if you want to reclaim the WH you better get inboard with Romney…time to unite

  4. A survey of 800 Pennsylvan­ia voters conducted on December 16-17, 2008 showed 78% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
    Support was 87% among Democrats, 68% among Republican­s, and 76% among independen­ts.
    By age, support was 77% among 18-29 year olds, 73% among 30-45 year olds, 81% among 46-65 year olds, and 78% for those older than 65.
    By gender, support was 85% among women and 71% among men.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. That majority of electoral votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states wins the presidency.

    National Popular Vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state and district (in ME and NE). Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Now they don’t matter to their candidate.

    With National Popular Vote, elections wouldn’t be about winning states or districts (in ME and NE). No more distorting and divisive red and blue state and district maps. Every vote, everywhere would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. Support is strong in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed iin recent polls in closely divided battleground states: CO– 68%, IA –75%, MI– 73%, MO– 70%, NH– 69%, NV– 72%, NM– 76%, NC– 74%, OH– 70%, PA — 78%, VA — 74%, and WI — 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE –75%, ME — 77%, NE — 74%, NH –69%, NV — 72%, NM — 76%, RI — 74%, and VT — 75%; in Southern and border states: AR –80%, KY — 80%, MS –77%, MO — 70%, NC — 74%, and VA — 74%; and in other states polled: CA — 70%, CT — 74% , MA — 73%, MN – 75%, NY — 79%, WA — 77%, and WV- 81%.

    On Election Night, most voters don’t care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state or district… they care whether he/she wins the White House. Voters want to know, that even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was directly and equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans consider the idea of the candidate with the most popular votes being declared a loser detestable. We don’t allow this in any other election in our representative republic.

    The bill has passed 31 state legislativ­e chambers, in 21 small, medium-sma­ll, medium, and large states, including one house in AR, CT, DE, DC, ME, MI, NV, NM, NY, NC, and OR, and both houses in CA, CO, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA, RI, VT, and WA. The bill has been enacted by DC (3), HI (4), IL (19), NJ (14), MD (11), MA (10), CA (55), VT (3), and WA (13). These 9 jurisdicti­ons possess 132 electoral votes — 49% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

    NationalPo­pularVote

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  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?


    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

    Total Voters: 231

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