Poll: Casey, Wolf lead over opponents
Five months before voters decide, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and Gov. Tom Wolf still have double-digit leads over their opponents as they seek reelection, according to a new Franklin & Marshall College poll released Wednesday to The Times-Tribune.
Casey led U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta by 17 percentage points, and Wolf led former state Sen. Scott Wagner by 19 points, according to the poll. Casey and Wolf are Democrats; Barletta and Wagner are Republicans.
The numbers almost exactly match the results of a March F&M poll.
“The burden is truly going to be on these Republicans, Wagner and Barletta, to make a case, given these substantial leads that the Democrats have in an election in which the Democrats are more interested in the election,” G. Terry Madonna, the poll director, said.
The poll surveyed 472 registered voters — 224 Democrats, 185 Republicans, 63 independents — between June 4 and Sunday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 6.5 percentage points. In other poll findings: • Half of voters (50 percent) said they would favor a Democratic congressional candidate in November, while more than a third (36 percent) said they would vote for a Republican.
• Democrats are also more enthusiastic about voting so far with 62 percent very interested compared to 50 percent of Republicans and 41 percent of Independents.
• President Donald Trump’s numbers improved since a March F&M survey — 40 percent see him favorably compared to 36 percent — but more than half (51 percent) think he’s doing a poor job.
• More voters again (45 percent) thought the state is headed in the right direction than thought it’s on the wrong track (39 percent).
• Only a third of voters (33 percent) said they noticed their household income increase because of the tax cuts Congress passed in December while almost three in five (59 percent) said they haven’t noticed any difference.
• Most voters (69 percent) think the current health care meets their needs at least pretty well. Among the ones who don’t, 55 percent blame the Affordable Care Act or high insurance premiums and deductibles.
• Almost three quarters of voters (72 percent) think state government needs reform. By almost two-thirds or more, they think the state should alter financing of election campaigns and state and local governments, reduce the size of the state General Assembly and
impose term limits, change the way legislative districts are created. They also want a constitution convention to consider altering the state constitution.
“They overwhelmingly think there needs to be major reform in state government,” Madonna said.
• They generally think positively of the state having casinos — 43 percent more positive than negative, 31 percent more negative than positive. They don’t feel the same way about a bill that authorized 10 mini-casinos and allowed gambling at truck stops, airports and online. Only 40 percent favored expansion while 54 percent opposed.