Most voters still believe then-attorney Tom Corbett not doing enough to investigate the child sex abuse scandal involving Jerry Sandusky but they also say the NCAA sanctions will hurt Penn State.
That's according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll which looked at some of the most controversial issues in the state, including gun control and Medicaid expansion.
Voters are split (47-48) on whether the ongoing Penn State issue will affect the 2014 governor's race.
“Pennsylvanians think Gov. Tom Corbett fumbled the Sandusky probe," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, adding this could create and opening for Democratic challengers.
Fewer voters (46 percent) say the NCAA sanctions are “too severe,” while 32 percent say they are appropriate, compared to the findings of a January 29 survey, in which 53 percent said the sanctions are “too severe” and 28 percent said “appropriate.”
Forty-two percent of voters say the sanctions imposed on Penn State will harm the university “a great deal,” while 33 percent say sanctions hurt “somewhat.”
The poll comes as the state awaits a ruling in the federal anti-trust case filed by Gov. Corbett against the NCAA over the sanctions.
Time has tempered voter opinion of the late Joe Paterno. Voters have a 47 – 27 percent favorable opinion of the legendary Penn State coach, compared to 43 – 29 percent favorable January 29.
“Despite a better-than-predicted record in the first post-Paterno season, all voters, even Penn State Football fans, are still steamed with the NCAA for the harsh sanctions imposed on the legendary program,” said Malloy.
Support for gun-control remains strong in Pennsylvania, the survey found, where 67 percent of voters, including 55 percent of voters in households where there is a gun, “strongly support” a law requiring background checks on people buying guns at gun shows or online. Another 17 percent support such a law “somewhat.”
A total of 88 percent of women support such a measure “strongly” or “somewhat,” compared to 77 percent of men. Every partisan, racial, regional, income and educational group strongly supports broader background checks.
“They may be divided by race, region or income bracket, but Pennsylvanians want better background checks. A broad spectrum of voters says we need to know more about people buying guns,” Malloy said.
By a smaller margin, (49-44 [percent) voters believe the state should expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
The survey of 1,032 registered voters was conducted between May 30 and June 4. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points and included live interviewers calling land lines and cell phones.
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