Wolf’s approval rating reaches its highest point in new Quinnipiac poll

By: - May 16, 2019 1:11 pm

Why is this man smiling?

Gov. Tom Wolf’s popularity with Pennsylvania voters is at its highest point, as the Democrat gets ready to embark on his fifth year of budget negotiations with the Republican-controlled General Assembly.

A clear majority of state voters, 54 percent, approved of Wolf’s job performance, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday. Not quite a third of voters, 33 percent, disapproved, pollsters found.

The new canvass of 978 state voters marks Wolf’s first positive approval rating as measured by Quinnipiac pollsters since he netted a 45-39 percent score in August 2015, at the height of a protracted budget battle with GOP lawmakers.

“Pennsylvanians are feeling good about their state and its economy and that seems to be helping Gov. Tom Wolf’s job approval rating,” Quinnipiac polling analyst Mary Snow said in a statement.

Wolf scored highest among female voters, notching a 59-28 percent approval rating, compared to 49-39 percent among men.

A majority of white voters, 53 percent, approved of Wolf’s job performance nearly five months into his second term, compared to 35 percent who disapproved. Nearly two-thirds of black voters (64-25 percent) also gave Wolf high marks for his job performance, pollsters found.

In addition, white voters with a college degree approved of the MIT and Dartmouth-educated governor 62-36 percent. White voters without a college degree disapproved 45-42 percent.

The poll’s results mirror a March 28 Franklin & Marshall College survey that showed Wolf with a 51 percent approval rating among Pennsylvania voters.

Respondents to the Quinnipiac poll split over Pennsylvania’s two United States senators.

State voters gave U.S. Sen Bob Casey, D-Pa., a 48-34 percent approval rating. Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, was upside down, with 41 percent of voters disapproving, compared to 37 who approved his job performance, the poll found.

Meanwhile, more than two-thirds of voters (66 percent) are “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with the way things are going in the Keystone State today. That’s the highest level of satisfaction Quinnipiac has measured since a 66 percent mark in April 10, 2003.

In other results:

Democratic respondents, 64-24 percent, called Medicare for All a “good idea,” compared to Republican respondents who said it was a “bad idea,” 76-17 percent. Independent voters split 44-47 percent, good-bad.

Nearly six in 10 of all respondents said it’s a “good idea” to keep the current healthcare system, while allowing adults to buy into Medicare. Twenty-six percent of all respondents said the opt-in was a “bad idea.”

Republican respondents favored the opt-in 48-36 percent, compared to 67-18 percent among Democrats and 60-26 percent among independent voters, the poll found. The poll found that “every listed party, gender, education, age and racial group says Medicare opt-in is a ‘good idea.'”

“On the divisive issue of healthcare, voters across the board in Pennsylvania do agree on something. They would like the option of buying into Medicare,” Snow said.

A majority of voters, 55 percent, said Congress should not investigate whether to bring impeachment charges against President Donald Trump, compared to 41 percent who support such a move.

The Quinnipiac poll, conducted from May 9 to 14, had a margin of error of 4.2 percent.

Read the full polling memo:

5/16/19 Quinnipiac University poll by jmicek on Scribd

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.