Poll declares majority of voters like Wolf, dislike Trump, will vote in person

LANCASTER – According to a recent poll, more than half of the state’s registered voters (54%) have a favorable opinion of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, with 49% rating his performance in office as “excellent” or “good” and nearly half of the state’s registered voters believe Pennsylvania is “headed in the right direction.”

The August 2020 Franklin and Marshal College poll was prepared by the college’s Center for Opinion Research and Floyd Institute for Public Policy.

According to the poll, Democrats (73%) and independents (51%) provide more favorable job ratings for the governor than do Republicans (21%), with nine in 10 (86%) liberals, three in five (61%) moderates, and one in six (17%) conservatives giving the governor positive job ratings.

In addition, the August 2020 Franklin & Marshall College Poll finds that half (46%) of the state’s registered voters believe the state is “headed in the right direction,” — below the recent high of 57% reported nearly a year ago in October.

This general optimism holds despite significant concern about COVID-19. Registered voters list COVID-19 (31%) as the most important problem facing the state today, but concerns about the economy and personal finances have sharply increased in the past month, rising from 12% to 22%. Most registered voters believe that Pennsylvania has managed the coronavirus outbreak better (52%) or the same (27%) as other states.

Those polled, however, are less optimistic about their finances than they were prior to the coronavirus outbreak.

Fewer voters polled report they are financially “better off” (23%) today compared to January (33%) and fewer expect to be “better off” (24%) financially next year than felt that way in January (31%).

On the national level, one in four (27%) registered voters believes that the U.S. is “headed in the right direction,” down from two in five (38%) in January.

About two in five (41%) registered voters in Pennsylvania believe President Donald Trump is doing an “excellent” or “good” job as president, which is consistent with his rating in the July 2020 Franklin & Marshall College poll.

More of the state’s registered voters have an unfavorable (56%) than favorable (43%) opinion of President Trump; equal proportions have a favorable (48%) and unfavorable (49%) opinion of Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, according to the poll, more voters expect to cast their ballot in person (62%) than by mail (31%) in 2020.

Of those polled, Democrat Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump among the state’s registered voters, 49% to 42%. There are fewer registered voters in 2020 who express support for a third-party candidate or who are undecided compared to August 2016.

Trump continues to have an advantage, according to registered voters polled, when it comes to economic matters, but Biden holds an advantage over the President on all other characteristics tested, most notably on issues in dealing with the coronavirus and on personal attributes such as character and honesty.

The survey findings presented are based on the results of interviews conducted Aug. 17 – 23 at the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College on behalf of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs.

The poll was designed and administered by the staff of the Center for Opinion Research. The data included in this release represent the responses of 681 Pennsylvania registered voters, including 321 Democrats, 272 Republicans, and 88 independents.

 The sample of registered voters was obtained from Marketing Systems Group. All sampled respondents were notified by mail about the survey. Interviews were completed over the phone and online depending on each respondent’s preference. Survey results were weighted (age, gender, education, geography and party registration) using an iterative weighting algorithm to reflect the known distribution of those characteristics.