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Politics & Government

Robert Morris Poll Shows Attorney General’s Support Slipping

In an online poll attempting to determine public opinion on state Attorney General Kathleen Kane's ability to lead, more than half of respondents said they didn't "know enough about it." 

Conducted by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute from May 8 to 16, the poll offered no context about the ongoing scandal. Of the 527 participants, 49.5 percent admitted they weren't sure. Those who did weigh in responded 2-1 that Kane should resign.

A grand jury recommended in January that the attorney general face charges of perjury and abusing the authority of her office. Allegations of wrongdoing stem from someone in Kane’s office leaking grand jury material in retaliation against her critics. Charges also include false swearing, official oppression, and obstruction of law.

“We really wanted to get the opinions of those people who have been following the Kathleen Kane story and felt confident enough to offer their opinion on what they knew,” said Phillip Harold, professor of political science at Robert Morris University.

That 33.5 percent suggested she should resign while 17 percent preferred she maintain her post surprised Harold, he said.

"That is showing her support really pretty low," he said.

Half of republicans and 34 percent of Independents responded that she should resign. One-fourth of democrats responded the same, while nearly 50 percent said they were unsure or lacked the information to make an informed decision.

Among the female respondents, 28.5 percent said Kane should leave office and 12.3 percent felt she should remain; the rest were unsure. About 41 percent of men were unsure.

As the age of the respondent increased, the likelihood that they agreed that they had enough information to form an opinion also increased, according to Harold.

“And that kind of makes sense because older people, typically, are more politically aware, engaged, and active," he said. "They have higher voting turnout rates, for example."

Harold said the results probably wouldn’t change if the same poll were done again today.

“When we get the results from the prosecutor that will probably move the numbers,” he said.

The poll had a +/- 4.5 percentage point margin of error. Participants of the poll were offered a $1 credit to either their Amazon or iTunes accounts. Information was not immediatelty available about the specific nature of the poll’s questions.