Poll: Casey, Wolf lead over op­po­nents

The Republican Herald - - FRONT PAGE - BY BORYS KRAWCZENIUK STAFF WRITER

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.

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