Poll: Toomey faring well, legislators get blame for tardy budget

Sen. Pat Toomey

More people approve of Republican Sen. Pat Toomey now than in June, and he leads both Democrats in the race, Joe Sestak and Katie McGinty, according to Thursday’s Franklin & Marshall College poll.

In hypothetical general election matchups, Toomey leads Sestak 41 to 29 percent and McGinty 35 to 28 percent.

But the vast majority of voters remain undecided on whether they prefer Sestak or McGinty in the Democratic primary.

Now, 40 percent of people believe Toomey is doing an excellent or good job, up from 34 percent in June.

Nearly half of the poll’s respondents believe Attorney General Kathleen Kane should resign after being charged with perjury, obstruction and abuse of power.

The poll of 605 registered Pennsylvania voters was conducted from Aug. 17 to Aug. 24. The poll’s margin of error was 3.9 percentage points.

Budget impasse

It’s been two months since the state’s budget deadline passed and there’s still no agreement.

As in years past, people are blaming the legislature more than the governor for the impasse.

The legislature took 54 percent of the blame for the deadlock and 29 percent blamed the governor. A similar percentage blamed the legislature and the governor during the budget impasses of 2007 and 2009.

People had little sympathy for the politicians involved in the budget standoff. The poll’s respondents said the most important problem facing Pennsylvania is the government and politicians — the same people who are supposed to be solving the state’s other top problems such as education and unemployment.

During last year’s election, education consistently polled as the state’s top problem.

Not only did people call politicians the state’s biggest problem, but two-thirds of the registered voters questioned in the poll said legislators should not be paid when the budget is late

Reach Eric Holmberg at 412-315-0266 or at eholmberg@publicsource.org. Follow him on Twitter @holmberges.