While 39 percent of Pennsylvania voters approve of the job Gov. Tom Corbett is doing, 37 percent disapprove, a statistical tie, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. This is a big jump in his negative ratings from a 39 - 11 percent job approval rating in a February 16 survey.
Pennsylvania voters say 50 - 39 percent that Gov. Corbett's budget-cutting proposals are unfair to people like them, the independent Quinnipiac University survey finds. There is a large gender gap as men say the cuts are fair 45 - 43 percent, a tie, while women say unfair 55 - 34 percent. Republicans say 59 - 27 percent the cuts are fair, but Democrats say unfair 69 - 22 percent and independent voters say unfair 47 - 41 percent.
Still, voters say 55 - 39 percent that balancing the state budget should be done by spending cuts only and not by a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts.
Although 97 percent say Pennsylvania's budget problems are "very serious" or "somewhat serious," and a majority want only cuts to meet the budget gap, 35 percent say Corbett's budget cuts go too far, while 20 percent say not far enough and 31 percent say they are about right.
"Although Gov. Tom Corbett's numbers are not impressive by traditional standards, they are a good deal better than many of the new Republican governors around the country who are offering a similar approach of no new taxes and large spending cuts," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Voters express some conflicting views about Gov. Corbett and his program, saying they agree on the need not to raise taxes, yet they are not happy with some of the spending reductions that he has proposed."
Corbett gets a thumbs up on job approval from Republicans 64 - 18 percent and independents 40 - 31 percent, but gets a 55 - 20 percent negative rating from Democrats. Like many of his fellow Republican governors around the country, he has a gender gap. Men approve 43 - 30 percent while women disapprove 43 - 36 percent.
"Gov. Corbett has a problem with women: He has a gender gap on his job approval and a gender gap on his proposed budget cuts," Brown said. "Women find the cuts unfair while men are divided on whether they are fair."
Pennsylvania voters disapprove 52 - 35 percent of the way Corbett is handling the state budget, but by 55 - 40 percent voters agree with his position that a tax hike is not necessary to balance the budget.
Despite this view, by 57 - 33 percent they don't think Corbett will be able keep his campaign promise to balance the budget without raising taxes.
On a variety of budget-cutting steps, Pennsylvania voters:
-- Oppose 50 - 43 percent state worker layoffs;
-- Oppose 53 - 36 percent selling or leasing the Pennsylvania Turnpike;
-- Support 64 - 28 percent selling state liquor stores;
-- Oppose 64 - 32 percent cutting state funding for state and state-related universities;
-- Support 68 - 27 percent freezing the wages of state employees;
-- Support 69 - 22 percent instituting a new tax on companies drilling for natural gas in the state's Marcellus Shale region.
Detailed results of the poll are available online.