Poll finds Pennsylvanians dislike Rendell and the state budget


Gov. Rendell’s job-approval rating is still dismally low, but he has seen a slight uptick in his popularity since a tentative budget deal was announced two weeks ago, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released this morning.

Only 42 percent of those surveyed said they approve of how Rendell is handling his job as governor – three percentage points higher than when the university last polled Keystone Staters in mid July.

“Gov. Ed Rendell remains at the low ebb of his governorship when it comes to public opinion, perhaps not surprising given the lengthy budget stalemate,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

About one in four, or 26 percent, approved of his handling of the state budget. And Pennsylvanians also dislike the $28 billion budget deal put together three months late by the governor and legislative leaders.

Only 31 percent of voters approve of the agreement, while 37 percent disapprove and 31 percent aren’t sure, the poll found.

When asked who is to blame for the impasse, more people believe it was Rendell, 27 percent, than Republicans in the legislature, 21 percent.

But one component of the budget – allowing table games at casinos – got a resounding thumbs up. By an overwhelming 67 – 27 percent margin, Pennsylvanians said they backed the idea as a way to increase revenue for the state.

Rendell has said repeatedly that his popularity doesn’t matter to him since he is term limited, cannot run for governor again and plans to call his political career over when he leaves office in January 2011.

Meantime, the poll found that Attorney General Tom Corbett, a Republican, is best known among potential candidates to replace Rendell.

The poll was conducted from Sept. 21 to Sept. 28. It surveyed 1,100 Pennsylvanians and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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