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RMU Poll Shows Corbett Losing Favor With Key Demographic

Gov. Tom Corbett is losing favor with a key demographic, those 50 and older, that helped him get elected in 2010.

An online survey conducted by Robert Morris University shows 30.8 percent of the 508 registered PA voters who were questioned said that they favored the governor. The poll was conducted from May 6th-13th—before the May 20th primary election.

“Governor Corbett continues to lose older voters in our poll. That’s where the votes are because Pennsylvania is an older state 68 percent of PA residents are over 50 compared to 48 percent nationally. And in 2010 Corbett won the general election fairly comfortably, by winning voters 50 and older,” said Philip Harold, associate dean of the RMU School of Education and Social Sciences.

Of the people who did not favor the governor, 29 percent cited education funding for the reasoning and 13 perecent mentioned a lack of tax on Marcellus Shale gas-- up six percentage points from the February poll by RMU.  Half of those who objected to no shale tax were seniors.

Corbett scored strongest, 39 percent favorable, with higher income voters.

“Across demographic categories the opinion of the governor is poor, with one exception and that is voters with an annual household income of over $100,000,” said Harold.

The poll also asked participants about the 2016 presidential election. It showed that 66.5% of PA voter participants favored former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Vice President Joe Biden  received 21.2 percent support down from 26 percent in February. Also Florida Governor Jeb Bush's support in the poll has grown from 20.9 percent to 33.3 percent.

Still Harold says that it is a long time until the elections in the fall for all candidates.

‘The governor has a long road ahead of him and the democratic candidate Tom Wolf has an opening, especially with the extraction tax on natural gas drilling. So it’s going to be tough for the governor, but a lot of things can change in a short amount of time.”

The poll also asked about gay marriage, 49.5% said that they supported it and 40.7% said that they opposed. The poll ended only a few days before a federal judge struck down the ban on gay marriage.

Jess was accepted as a WESA fellow in the news department in January 2014. The Erie, PA native attends Duquesne University where she has a double major--broadcast journalism and political science. Following her anticipated graduation in May 2015, she plans to enter law school or begin a career in broadcast journalism.