Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Center for Opinion Research

Keystone Poll (April 22-26, 1995)

Pennsylvania Statewide Poll

Prepared by:
Dr. G. Terry Madonna, Director
Center for Politics and Public Affairs

Berwood A. Yost, Director
Center for Opinion Research
Head Methodologist

Pennsylvanians' Optimistic

The latest Keystone Poll finds that Pennsylvanians are optimistic about the direction in which the state is headed and about their own personal fortunes. More than half (52%) of the state's residents feel the state is moving in the right direction, while only one in three believe the state is on the wrong track. In fact, most Pennsylvanians find the state is an excellent (22%) or good (48%) place to live--only four percent believe the state is a poor place to live. Another indication of growing optimism among Pennsylvania residents is the increase in the number of people who believe they are better off financially than they were a year ago. One quarter (25%) now indicate they are better off, an increase of ten points since February 1994. Finally, more Pennsylvanians believe they will be better off (37%) next year than worse off (12%).

Crime Tops List of Concerns

Reflecting lessened concerned about personal finances, crime (22%) has taken over first place as the most important problem confronting Pennsylvania, replacing unemployment (21%) which has been the top problem since the inception of the Keystone Poll. In November of 1994, 18% found crime to be the most important issue while 28% cited unemployment.

Republican Primary

Bob Dole would easily win the state's Republican presidential primary if balloting were held today. He defeats Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter, the state's senior U.S. Senator, 37% to 11%. Phil Gramm runs a distant third with 8%. Still, almost one in five (23%) Republicans are undecided.

President Clinton

President Clinton's popularity in the state of Pennsylvania has increased since October, 1994. At that time, he was viewed favorably by 30% of the state's voters. Presently, Clinton is viewed favorably by 39% of registered voters. Those voters who held an unfavorable opinion of the President declined from 46% to 36%. But Clinton still has much ground to make up in the state, as only one third (36%) of the state's voters say he deserves reelection, while more than half (52%) believe it is time for a change.

In a head to head match up among all voters, Senator Bob Dole narrowly leads President Clinton, 45% to 41%, with 14% undecided. Bill Clinton would defeat Arlen Specter in a race between the two, 45% to 33%, but 22% are undecided.

Governor Ridge

As Tom Ridge completes his first 100 days as Pennsylvania governor, he is off to a solid start. More than half say Ridge is doing an excellent (7%) or good (46%) job as governor. Only two percent say he is doing a poor job. He has an impressive favorable (45%) to unfavorable (6%) ratio; the strongest among Pennsylvania's major office holders.

Questions Asked of the Entire Sample (n=625)

All in all, do you think things in Pennsylvania are generally headed in the right direction, or do you feel that things are off on the wrong track?

   Right Direction  52%
   Wrong Track    32%
   Don't Know   17%

We are interested in how people are getting along financially these days. Would you say that you and your family are better off, worse off, or about the same financially as you were a year ago?


       4/95 2/94
   Better Off   26%  16%
   Worse Off    21%  20%
   Same     52%  62%
   Don't Know    1%   2%

Now looking ahead, do you think that a year from now, you and your family will be better off financially than you are now, worse off, or about the same as you are now?

       4/95 2/94
   Better Off   37%  32%
   Worse Off    12%  13%
   Same     44%  47%
   Don't Know    7%   8%

As a place to live, do you think Pennsylvania is excellent, good, fair or poor?

   Excellent    22%
   Good     48%
   Fair     25%
   Poor      4%
   Don't Know    2%

All things considered, do you think Pennsylvania has gotten better or worse than it was four years ago, or has it stayed about the same as a place to live?

   Better     16% 
   Worse    28%
   Same     50% 
   Don't Know    5%

I'd like to turn to some issues and problems facing Pennsylvania today. First, what do you think is the most important problem facing Pennsylvania today?

       4/95  10/94  2/94
   Crime/Violence 22%  18%   18%
   Unemployment   21%  28%   31%
   Health Care   1%   6%  5%
   Economy     4%   4%  2%
   Education   5%   4%  2%
   Taxes    10%  12%  7%
   Environment   3%   3%  2%
   Drugs     6%   2%  4%
   Welfare     5%   3%  0%
   Roads     3%   3%  3%

Unless Otherwise Noted, Each of the Following Questions Was Asked of Registered Voters Only (n=397). I'd like to ask you a few questions about some people involved in Pennsylvania politics. Is your opinion of . . . favorable, not favorable, undecided, or haven't you heard enough about . . . yet to have an opinion?

          Fav   Not Fav   Und   Don't Know
   Rick Santorum    23%   14%   25%   37%  
   Arlen Specter    32%   31%   23%   14%  
   Tom Ridge      45%    6%   26%   22%
   Bill Clinton     39%   36%   21%    4%

The Following Question Was Asked of Republicans Only (n=160) If the Republican primary for President were being held today and the candidates were Bob Dole, Phil Gramm, Pete Wilson, Pat Buchanan, Lamar Alexander, Richard Lugar, Alan Keyes, Arlen Specter, and Robert Dornan, would you vote for :

   Dole     37%
   Gramm     8%
   Wilson    4%
   Buchanan    3%
   Alexander   1%
   Lugar     4%
   Keyes     4%
   Specter    11%
   Dornan    4%
   Don't Know   23%

If the 1996 election for President were being held today and the candidates were Bob Dole, the Republican, and Bill Clinton, the Democrat, would you vote for:

   Bob Dole   45%
   Bill Clinton   41%
   Don't Know   14%

If the 1996 election for President were being held today and the candidates were Arlen Specter, the Republican and Bill Clinton, the Democrat, would you vote for:

   Arlen Specter  33%
   Bill Clinton   45%
   Don't Know   22%

How would you rate the way Tom Ridge is handling his job as Governor? Would you say he is doing an excellent job, a good job, only a fair job, or a poor job?

   Excellent   7%
   Good     46%
   Fair     24%
   Poor      2%
   Don't Know   21%

Do you believe that Bill Clinton has done a good enough job as President to deserve re-election, or do you believe it is time for a change?

   Deserves re-election   36%
   Time for Change    52%
   Don't Know       12%

The Following Question was Asked Only of Those Who Believe Clinton Deserves Reelection (n=140) Would you vote to re-elect Bill Clinton no matter who ran against him?

   Yes        35%
   No         40%
   Depends (Volunteered)  21%
   Don't Know      5%

The poll was directed by G. Terry Madonna. Data analysis and quantitative and methodological work were done by Berwood Yost. A statement relative to sample design and methodology is available upon request.

Any use of this survey must indicate that it was conducted at Millersville University.