Keystone Poll (July 19-22, 1996)

Pennsylvania Statewide Poll

EMBARGOED UNTIL 9:00 A.M. JULY 24, 1996

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

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

Clinton Leads Dole in Keystone State

Bill Clinton holds a huge lead over Republican challenger Bob Dole in the latest Keystone Poll. Clinton has a staggering 24 point spread over Dole, 56% to 32%. Clinton has increased his margin over Dole by seven percentage points from the April Keystone Poll. Clinton leads Dole in every region of the state, except for conservative Central Pennsylvania, where he and Dole are running evenly. The President carries both male and female voters; his lead among women is 31 percentage points.

The President continues to be viewed favorably by the state's registered voters. More than two in five voters (44%) have a favorable opinion of the President while just over one in three (35%) have an unfavorable opinion of him. On the other hand, voters continue to feel unfavorably toward Bob Dole--two in five (39%) voters have an unfavorable opinion of the Republican candidate, while only about one in four (23%) have a favorable opinion of him. Both Clinton and Dole's favorability scores have remained stable since April's Keystone Poll.

Ridge for Vice President?

Nearly half (46%) of Pennsylvania voters believe that Governor Tom Ridge should accept the Republican nomination for vice president, if offered by Bob Dole. But, the addition of Tom Ridge to the Republican ticket makes no difference in Dole's chances of carrying the state in November's general election. As many say they are more likely (19%) to vote for Bob Dole with Ridge on the ticket as are less likely (19%) to vote for the ticket, while most voters (57%) say it makes no difference in their vote. Those voters who say they are more likely to support Dole with Ridge as his running mate are familiar with and approve of Ridge's performance as governor (54%). Those who are less likely to support Dole with Ridge on the ballot cite Ridge's lack of experience and their dissatisfaction with his performance as governor (47%). Disapproval of Dole (20%), support for Clinton (24%), and the lack of importance of the vice presidency in the presidential vote choice (26%), are the primary reasons voters are not affected by Ridge's presence on the ticket.

The state's constitution does not require the governor to resign should he/she become a candidate for president or vice president, and there is no formal mechanism to temporarily turn over the reigns of the governor's office to the lieutenant governor's office. Yet, more than two thirds (67%) of Pennsylvania voters believe that Governor Ridge should surrender his office, either temporarily or permanently, to campaign if he is selected as Bob Dole's running mate. Only one quarter (23%) believe he should keep his job while campaigning.

Ridge as Governor

Ridge's job performance ratings improved slightly between April and July, but still fall considerably below his September 1995 high. Currently, 47% of the state's registered voters say Ridge is doing an excellent or good job as governor, up from 44% in April. But almost an equal number (46%) believe he is doing a fair or poor job, a slight decline from April.


***SURVEY ITEMS AND FREQUENCIES FOLLOW***

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:

4/95 9/95 2/96 4/96 7/96 Bob Dole    45%   40%   33%   34%   32% Bill Clinton   41%   42%   47%   51%   56% Don't Know 14%   18%   20%   16%   11%

I'd like to ask you a few questions about some people involved in Pennsylvania politics. Is your opinion of Bill Clinton favorable, not favorable, undecided, or haven't you heard enough about Bill Clinton yet to have an opinion?

Not   Fav   Fav    Und DK 9/95 40%   38%    19% 3% 4/96 45%   33%    19% 3% 7/96 44%   35%    19% 3%

Is your opinion of Bob Dole favorable, not favorable, undecided, or haven't you heard enough about Bob Dole yet to have an opinion?

  Not   Fav    Fav    Und DK 4/96 19%    43%    31% 8% 7/96 23%    39%    27%    11%

Is your opinion of Tom Ridge favorable, not favorable, undecided, or haven't you heard enough about Tom Ridge yet to have an opinion?

  Not   Fav    Fav    Und DK 4/95 45% 6%    26%    22% 9/95 45% 7%    24%    25% 4/96 36%    25%    28%    12% 7/96 35%    26%    27%    13%

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?

4/95    9/95   4/96   7/96 Excellent    7% 11% 4% 6% Good 46% 50%    40%    41% Fair 24% 27%    38%    31% Poor   2%   3%    12%    15% Don't Know 21% 10% 7% 6%

If Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole asks Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge to be his vice presidential running mate, do you believe Governor Ridge should accept the position, or not?

Yes   46% No    29% Don't Know 24%

If Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge was running as Bob Dole's vice-president, would you be more likely or less likely to vote for Bob Dole if he were running against Bill Clinton, or wouldn't it make a difference in your vote?

  9/95 7/96 More likely    18%  19% less likely    11%  19% No difference 64%  57% Don't know   7%   6%

If Tom Ridge is selected as Bob Dole's vice presidential running mate, do you think he should keep his job as governor while campaigning, should he resign as governor to campaign, or should he temporarily hand over power to his lieutenant governor to campaign?

Keep job as governor    23% Give up job as governor    30% Temporarily hand over power   37% Don't Know 10%

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?

   4/95    9/95    2/96    7/96 Right Direction 52% 47% 49% 41% Wrong Track   32% 36% 36% 41% Don't Know    17% 17% 15% 18%

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    2/96    7/96 Better Off    26% 21% 21% Worse Off 21% 21% 22% Same    52% 57% 56% Don't Know 1%   1%   1%

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    2/96    7/96 Better Off    37% 29% 24% Worse Off 12% 16% 12% Same    44% 49% 54% Don't Know 7%   6% 10%


The Keystone Poll is conducted by the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Millersville University for KYW-TV3, Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Daily News, and the Harrisburg Patriot. The telephone survey of 677 Pennsylvanians was conducted October 7 and October 30, 1997, among a random sample of adults living in the state. The sample included 474 registered voters. The sample error for the total sample is plus or minus 3.8%, but is larger for subgroups. The survey data were weighted by age and gender to reflect the known distribution of these variables in the state.

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