Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Center for Opinion Research

Pennsylvania's Row Offices

Little Movement in Pennsylvania's Statewide Row Offices

Little has changed over the past month in the races for Pennsylvania's row offices, Attorney General, Auditor General, and Treasurer. The current Keystone Poll shows that voters have yet to focus on the campaigns or candidates. A third (33%) of the electorate remains undecided in the Auditor General contest, but Robert Casey, Jr., the son of former governor Robert Casey, holds a sixteen point margin over State Representative Bob Nyce, 42% to 26%. In the State Treasurer's race, Barbara Hafer, the current Auditor General, holds a seven point lead, 40% to 33%, over accountant Mina Baker Knoll, who is the daughter of the current State Treasurer. These races are virtually unchanged since the September Keystone Poll. The Attorney General's race has seen more movement than the other two row office contests. State Senator Mike Fisher has increased his lead over lawyer Joe Kohn since last month, and now leads by 13 points (36% to 23%) with most (41%) voters still undecided.

As the numbers suggest, the candidates for Pennsylvania's row offices are relatively unknown to many voters. More than half the electorate does not recognize Bob Nyce (72%), Joe Kohn (52%) or Mike Fisher (50%). About a third of the electorate does not recognize Bob Casey, Jr. (38%), Mina Baker Knoll (35%), or Barbara Hafer (30%).

Pennsylvania's House of Representatives: A Toss Up

The race for control of Pennsylvania's House of Representatives has tightened since August as more voters have started choosing sides. In August, more than one in four (28%) voters were undecided about their choice in their State House race. Today, one in six (16%) voters are undecided. The percentage of Pennsylvania voters that plan to vote for the Republican House candidate in their districts has risen from 33% to 42%. Support for Democratic House candidates has risen slightly since August, from 39% to 42%.

***SURVEY ITEMS AND FREQUENCIES FOLLOW***

In the upcoming election for State Attorney General, the Republican candidate is Mike Fisher and the Democratic candidate is Joe Kohn. If the election for Attorney General were held today, would you vote for:

      9/96 10/96
Mike Fisher    27%  36%
Joe Kohn       20%  23%
Don't Know     54%  41%

In the upcoming election for State Auditor General, the Republican candidate is Bob Nyce and the Democratic candidate is Robert Casey, Jr. If the election for Auditor General were held today, would you vote for:

          9/96 10/96
Bob Nyce   27%  26%
Robert Casey, Jr.   40%  42%
Don't Know 34%  33%

In the upcoming election for State Treasurer, the Republican candidate is Barbara Hafer and the Democratic candidate is Mina Baker Knoll. If the election for State Treasurer were held today, would you vote for:

          9/96 10/96
Barbara Hafer       40%  40%
Mina Baker Knoll    34%  33%
Don't Know 27%  27%

If the 1996 elections for Pennsylvania's state House of Representatives were being held today, would you vote for the Republican Party's candidate or the Democratic Party's candidate for the House in your district?

               8/96 9/96 10/96
Republican      33%  39%  42%
Democratic      39%  42%  42%
Undecided/Don't know     28%  19%  16%

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?

                        Not
                 Fav    Fav    Und      DK
 Bob Nyce 7%    8%    13%      72%
 Bob Casey, Jr.   23%   16%    22%      38%

 Mina Baker Knoll 23%   21%    21%      35%
 Barbara Hafer    30%   18%    22%      30%

 Joe Kohn11%   15%    22%      52%
 Mike Fisher      19%   10%    22%      50%

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    9/96  10/96
Right Direction 52%  47%   49%    41%    49%     49%
Wrong Track     32%  36%   36%    41%    34%     31%
Don't Know      17%  17%   15%    18%    17%     21%

What do you think is the most important problem facing Pennsylvania today?

                        9/96 10/96
 Drugs           5%     5%
 Taxes           9%     9%
 Crime           6%     9%
 Jobs/Economy   32%    30%
 Roads           4%     6%
 Govt Dissatisfaction     4%     4%
 Education      12%    11%
 Abortion        1%     1%
 Welfare         7%     5%
 Health Care     1%     3%
 Don't Know      7%     9%

Row Office and State House Cross Tabulations

                            Attorney General Vote Choice
                           Fisher       KohnDK
                            Row %       Row %       Row %
Party Registration
Republican          57%10%34%
Democrat            17%36%48%
Independent, Other  30%24%46%

Likelihood of Voting
Certain to Vote     37%24%40%
Probably will Vote  26%16%57%

County of residence
PHILADELPHIA        19%31%50%
NORTHEAST           31%26%43%
ALLEGHENY           36%29%35%
SOUTHWEST           44%18%38%
NORTHWEST           38%16%46%
CENTRAL             40%19%41%
SOUTHEAST           37%24%39%

Respondent Educational
   Attainment
High School or Less 34%25%41%
Some College, Tech
   Degree           40%16%43%
College Graduate or
   Postgraduate     35%25%40%

Respondent ideological
   leanings
Liberal             18%45%37%
Moderate            27%24%49%
Conservative        57%13%31%

Born again or
   fundamentalist
Yes                 43%18%39%
No                  32%25%43%

Veteran
Yes                 45%25%30%
No                  33%22%44%

Child in home
Yes                 36%19%45%
No                  35%25%40%

Listen to talk radio
Yes                 41%22%37%
No                  31%24%45%

Gun owner
Yes                 45%19%36%
No                  32%24%43%

Marital Status
Single              27%27%45%
Married             39%20%41%
Separated            7%40%53%
Divorced            44%21%35%
Widowed             33%26%41%

Race
Nonwhite            16%38%46%
White               38%21%41%

Income
Under $15,000       25%18%58%
$15-$30,000         34%27%39%
$30-40,000          36%25%39%
$40-50,000          35%21%44%
$50-75,000          41%21%39%
Over $75,000        41%22%37%

Gender
Male                41%22%37%
Female              32%23%45%

AGERANGE
18-24               25%23%52%
25-34               30%16%54%
35-44               39%21%39%
45-54               35%24%41%
55-64               40%25%35%
65 and over         40%26%34%


                             Auditor General Vote Choice
                            Nyce        Casey        DK
                            Row %       Row %       Row %
Party Registration
Republican          45%23%31%
Democrat             9%60%31%
Independent, Other  19%37%44%

Likelihood of Voting
Certain to Vote     27%42%31%
Probably will Vote  18%34%48%

County of residence
PHILADELPHIA        11%48%41%
NORTHEAST           27%42%31%
ALLEGHENY           20%42%38%
SOUTHWEST           22%44%33%
NORTHWEST           33%33%34%
CENTRAL             27%42%32%
SOUTHEAST           37%36%27%

Respondent Educational
   Attainment
High School or Less 24%49%27%
Some College, Tech
   Degree           26%36%38%
College Graduate or
   Postgraduate     28%36%36%

Respondent ideological
   leanings
Liberal             13%57%30%
Moderate            19%45%36%
Conservative        43%30%27%

Born again or
   fundamentalist
Yes                 30%40%30%
No                  25%42%33%

Veteran
Yes                 37%39%24%
No                  23%42%34%

Child in home
Yes                 27%40%33%
No                  25%42%32%

Listen to talk radio
Yes                 31%41%27%
No                  22%42%36%

Gun owner
Yes                 33%37%31%
No                  23%44%33%

Marital Status
Single              18%49%33%
Married             29%38%32%
Separated           13%60%27%
Divorced            26%33%42%
Widowed             25%46%29%

Race
Nonwhite            11%53%36%
White               28%40%32%

Income
Under $15,000       10%53%38%
$15-$30,000         24%49%27%
$30-40,000          27%38%35%
$40-50,000          29%35%36%
$50-75,000          31%44%25%
Over $75,000        27%36%37%

Gender
Male                30%39%30%
Female              23%43%34%

AGERANGE
18-24               12%48%40%
25-34               26%39%34%
35-44               23%39%38%
45-54               22%46%32%
55-64               37%35%28%
65 and over         32%42%26%

      
                             State Treasurer Vote Choice
                            Hafer       Knoll        DK
                            Row %       Row %       Row %
Party Registration
Republican          58%19%22%
Democrat            23%49%28%
Independent, Other  35%19%46%

Likelihood of Voting
Certain to Vote     41%34%25%
Probably will Vote  30%23%48%

County of residence
PHILADELPHIA        16%49%35%
NORTHEAST           43%34%23%
ALLEGHENY           46%37%18%
SOUTHWEST           33%39%28%
NORTHWEST           46%34%20%
CENTRAL             47%25%28%
SOUTHEAST           42%28%30%

Respondent Educational
   Attainment
High School or Less 35%40%25%
Some College, Tech
   Degree           47%23%30%
College Graduate or
   Postgraduate     41%33%26%

Respondent ideological
   leanings
Liberal             31%44%25%
Moderate            30%38%32%
Conservative        56%22%23%

Born again or
   fundamentalist
Yes                 45%29%26%
No                  37%35%27%

Veteran
Yes                 48%30%21%
No                  38%34%28%

Child in home
Yes                 37%34%29%
No                  41%33%26%

Listen to talk radio
Yes                 47%29%24%
No                  34%36%30%

Gun owner
Yes                 40%32%28%
No                  40%34%26%

Marital Status
Single              31%36%33%
Married             42%31%27%
Separated           20%47%33%
Divorced            49%26%26%
Widowed             46%44%10%

Race
Nonwhite            11%56%33%
White               43%31%26%

Income
Under $15,000       40%35%25%
$15-$30,000         35%40%24%
$30-40,000          43%32%25%
$40-50,000          42%31%27%
$50-75,000          47%30%23%
Over $75,000        39%29%33%

Gender
Male                43%31%26%
Female              38%35%28%

AGERANGE
18-24               25%38%37%
25-34               37%31%31%
35-44               36%35%30%
45-54               41%35%25%
55-64               47%28%25%
65 and over         48%33%19%


                               Vote in State House of
                                   Representatives
                         Republican  Democratic      DK
                            Row %       Row %       Row %
Party Registration
Republican          78% 8%14%
Democrat            11%75%14%
Independent, Other  27%33%40%

Likelihood of Voting
Certain to Vote     43%42%15%
Probably will Vote  36%38%26%

County of residence
PHILADELPHIA        22%63%16%
NORTHEAST           35%50%15%
ALLEGHENY           33%45%22%
SOUTHWEST           36%46%18%
NORTHWEST           43%43%15%
CENTRAL             53%33%14%
SOUTHEAST           53%30%17%

Respondent Educational
   Attainment
High School or Less 38%48%14%
Some College, Tech
   Degree           45%38%17%
College Graduate or
   Postgraduate     46%37%17%

Respondent ideological
   leanings
Liberal             20%66%14%
Moderate            33%48%18%
Conservative        66%22%12%

Born again or
   fundamentalist
Yes                 53%37% 9%
No                  38%44%18%

Veteran
Yes                 52%38%11%
No                  40%42%17%

Child in home
Yes                 46%37%18%
No                  41%44%15%

Listen to talk radio
Yes                 47%39%14%
No                  39%44%17%

Gun owner
Yes                 50%36%14%
No                  38%44%17%

Marital Status
Single              33%51%16%
Married             46%37%17%
Separated           20%60%20%
Divorced            40%44%16%
Widowed             43%46%10%

Race
Nonwhite            18%74% 8%
White               45%38%17%

Income
Under $15,000       30%60%10%
$15-$30,000         38%51%11%
$30-40,000          47%37%16%
$40-50,000          48%38%13%
$50-75,000          43%34%23%
Over $75,000        51%35%14%

Gender
Male                49%38%13%
Female              38%44%18%

AGERANGE
18-24               38%45%17%
25-34               48%36%15%
35-44               41%40%18%
45-54               32%49%18%
55-64               53%33%14%
65 and over         45%43%12%

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 was conducted October 25-28, 1996, among a random sample of adults living in Pennsylvania. Screening interviews were completed with 999 adults. Of those screened, 767 were registered to vote and 695 were determined to be likely voters. Among the 695 likely voters, 312 were Republicans, 327 were Democrats, and 56 were independents or others. The sample error for the total sample is plus or minus 3.7%, but is larger for subgroups.

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