2/07/2013 Chris Karlesky

F&M Poll Shows Weak Support for Corbett, Privatized Lottery

  • The Pennsylvania state flag The Pennsylvania state flag

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's ratings are the lowest of his tenure, and most voters oppose his plan to privatize the management of the Pennsylvania Lottery, according to a Franklin & Marshall College Poll released Feb. 7.

About one in four (26 percent) registered voters believes Corbett, a Republican, is doing an "excellent" or "good" job, including 41 percent of Republicans, 26 percent of independents and 16 percent of Democrats surveyed. Corbett's job-approval ratings are the lowest for a sitting governor in the 22-year history of the Franklin & Marshall College Poll, according to the poll's Head Methodologist Berwood Yost.

The governor's proposal to have a British company manage the state lottery has weak support among Republicans (27 percent), independents (21 percent) and Democrats (11 percent) alike, with 64 percent of respondents opposing the change. Meanwhile, a majority (53 percent) of voters supports Corbett's proposal to sell state-owned liquor stores to private companies, a similar figure to surveys in 2010 (50 percent) and 2002 (55 percent).

In other findings:

  • More than two in five (42 percent) registered voters believe President Barack Obama is doing an "excellent" or "good" job, a slightly lower figure than in the October poll (46 percent).
  • There is broad agreement (84 percent) that the privatization of government functions should require approval by the Pennsylvania Legislature.
  • There is strong support for the state to spend more on repairing and improving roads, bridges and mass transit, with 35 percent supporting "much more" spending and 47 percent "somewhat more" spending.
  • Most voters (55 percent) oppose making the use of marijuana legal, while 36 percent favor its legalization. However, 82 percent of respondents support the use of marijuana for medical reasons if prescribed by a doctor.
  • More respondents (52 percent) favor allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry than do not (41 percent).

Interviews for the poll were conducted Jan. 29-Feb. 3 at the Center for Opinion Research at F&M and were overseen by Director G. Terry Madonna, Yost and Senior Project Manager Angela Knittle. The oldest statewide poll exclusively and directly produced in Pennsylvania, the Franklin & Marshall College Poll is produced in conjunction with regional media partners.

The data represent responses of 622 registered voters in Pennsylvania, including 313 Democrats, 232 Republicans and 77 registered as Independent/Other. The sample error for the survey is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

For complete results, visit www.fandm.edu/fandmpoll.

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