Pennsylvanians continue to express pessimism about the economy. Four in ten (41%) say they are financially worse off this year than last, and only three in ten (28%) expect their personal finances to be better off a year from now. These figures have changed little since January.
The poll also found;
•Among registered Democrats, Senator Specter leads Joe Sestak (33% to 16%) in the primary race for U.S. Senate, although 44 percent remain undecided. In possible general election match-ups, Pat Toomey continues to lead both Specter (44% to 34%) and Sestak (38% to 20%) among likely voters. Registered Pennsylvanians cite the economy (30%) and healthcare (21%) as the most important issues in their vote for U.S. Senate.
•Nearly three in four (72%) Pennsylvania Democrats remain undecided about their primary race for governor. Tom Corbett continues to lead Sam Rohrer (26% to 4%) among Republicans for their gubernatorial nomination, but 65 percent remain undecided about their preference. Registered Pennsylvanians cite the economy (29%) and budget issues (13%) as the most important issues in their vote for governor.
•President Obama’s favorability rating is 49 percent (compared to 44% in January), and his unfavorable rating stands at 39 percent (compared to 44% in January). Senator Specter’s favorability rating is 32 percent (compared to 35% in January), and his unfavorable rating stands at 45 percent (compared to 43% in January).
President Obama’s job approval in Pennsylvania has remained stable, with 41 percent (compared to 38% in January) saying he is doing an excellent or good job. Senator Specter’s job approval is 30 percent (compared to 34% in January), and only a quarter (25%) of Pennsylvanians say he deserves re-election (compared to 29% in January). Those who say Specter does not deserve re-election cite his length of service (32%) and party switch (23%) as the main reasons.
•Pennsylvanians continue to express dissatisfaction with the direction of the state. Fifty percent say the state is off on the wrong track (compared to 53% in January), while 37 percent say the state is headed in the right direction (compared to 39% in January).
•Six in ten (62%) registered Pennsylvanians say they are familiar with the tea party movement, while 35 percent have heard nothing about it. Among those who are familiar with the movement, 39 percent say they support it, and 45 percent say they would likely vote for a tea party candidate.
•Tea party supporters and opponents have very different ideas about the movement’s primary goals. Supporters most commonly cite smaller government/fiscal responsibility (31%) and more representative government (14%) as the movement’s primary goals, compared to opponents who give less concrete responses, such as anti-Democratic/pro-Republican motives (35%) and general negative comments (15%). Supporters also are more knowledgeable about the movement’s goals-only nine percent say they don’t know compared to one quarter (24%) of opponents.