3/28/2019 Peter Durantine

F&M Poll: Pa. Voters Want Climate Change Addressed, Marijuana Legalized

Most Pennsylvania voters, 67 percent, believe climate change is causing problems and 68 percent believe state government should do more to address the issues, according to the latest Franklin & Marshall College Poll.  

The number of voters who believe climate change is causing problems is a 5-point increase from 2018 when this question was last asked.

“That’s a change,” said Berwood Yost, co-director and chief methodologist of the poll. “More citizens seem to be concerned that there needs to be some action about this.”

Forty-nine percent of the people polled, half the state’s registered voters, believe the state is “headed in the right direction,” while 32 percent report they are “better off” or, at 52 percent, “the same,” financially compared to last year.

“What’s going on here is the health of the national economy is bearing fruit in Pennsylvania,” said F&M Poll Director Terry Madonna. “It’s not helping President Trump, but it is helping Gov. Wolf.”

Fifty-one percent of registered voters believe Gov. Tom Wolf is doing an “excellent” or “good” job as governor, while 34 percent believe Donald Trump is doing an “excellent” or “good” job as president. Trump’s rating is similar President Obama at this point in his presidency.

“While there is a strong core of opposition, the poll shows that Trump is at least as well-positioned as Obama was heading into his re-election,” Yost said. “He’s a slight favorite.” 

On the legalization of marijuana, 59 percent, or nearly seven in 10 voters, support the idea while 47 percent favor an increase in the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $12 per hour, according to the poll. 

“These are two issues that for a number of years a majority of voters have supported,” Yost said.

The F&M Poll was conducted March 18-24. It, like all surveys, is a snapshot of a specific point in time, not a forecast. All polls have variability; voters change their minds; and events following a survey can sometimes influence voters’ decisions, including whether to vote at all.

Conducted by the Center for Opinion Researchat F&M, the poll reflects interviews with 540 Pennsylvania registered voters, including 254 Democrats, 216 Republicans and 70 independents. The sample error is plus or minus 5.5 percentage points.

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