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For immediate release Wednesday, September 17, 2008

September 2008
Franklin & Marshall
College Poll
PENNSYLVANIA
th
11 CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
SURVEY
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

Prepared by:
Center for Opinion Research
Floyd Institute for Public Policy
Franklin & Marshall College

BERWOOD A. YOST
DIRECTOR, FLOYD INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY
DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR OPINION RESEARCH
HEAD METHODOLOGIST, FRANKLIN & MARSHALL COLLEGE POLL

G. TERRY MADONNA
DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR POLITICS AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS
DIRECTOR, FRANKLIN & MARSHALL COLLEGE POLL

JENNIFER L. HARDING
PROJECT MANAGER, CENTER FOR OPINION RESEARCH
PROJECT MANAGER, FRANKLIN & MARSHALL COLLEGE POLL

ANGELA N. KNITTLE
PROJECT MANAGER, CENTER FOR OPINION RESEARCH

BRAD A. NANKERVILLE
ASSISTANT PROJECT MANAGER, CENTER FOR OPINION RESEARCH

KAY K. HUEBNER
PROGRAMMER, CENTER FOR OPINION RESEARCH

September 16, 2008
Table of Contents

METHODOLOGY .......................................................................................................................... 2
KEY FINDINGS ............................................................................................................................. 4
TABLE A-1. PRESIDENTIAL VOTE CHOICE BY SELECTED DEMOGRAPHICS .......... 7
TABLE A-2. CONGRESSIONAL VOTE CHOICE BY SELECTED DEMOGRAPHICS .... 8
MARGINAL FREQUENCY REPORT......................................................................................... 9

Methodology
This release summarizes the findings of a survey of 547 registered adults

living in Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District conducted by Franklin and

Marshall College’s Center for Opinion Research. The survey interviewing was

conducted between September 9 and 14, 2008. The sample error for the entire

sample is plus or minus 4.2 percent but is larger for subgroups. Telephone

numbers for the survey were randomly selected from state voter registration lists.

The final sample includes 185 Republicans, 317 Democrats, and 37 adults

registered as Independent or something else. In addition to sampling error, this

poll is also subject to other sources of non-sampling error. Generally speaking,

two sources of error concern researchers most. Non-response bias is created

when selected participants either choose not to participate in the survey or are

unavailable for interviewing. Response errors are the product of the question and

answer process. Surveys that rely on self-reported behaviors and attitudes are

susceptible to biases related to the way respondents process and respond to survey

questions.

This survey used a registration-based sampling (RBS) scheme to identify

survey respondents. This sampling process uses voter lists and information about

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past voting history and date of registration to classify voters into separate strata

based on historical turnout in similar, prior elections. Historical turnout

information determines the selection probabilities within each stratum. The

sample was generated by Voter Contact Services, and a more detailed description

of the RBS scheme can be found on their website

(http://www.vcsnet.com/rbshelp.html). A methodological study describing the

merits of the RBS technique in comparison to traditional random-digit-dialing

sampling methodologies can be found in Donald Green and Alan Gerber (2006)

“Can Registration-Based Sampling Improve the Accuracy of Mid-Term Election

Forecasts?” Public Opinion Quarterly, 70 (2): 197 – 223.

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Key Findings
The latest Franklin and Marshall College Poll, conducted in

Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District, shows long-term incumbent

Democrat Paul Kanjorski trailing Republican challenger Lou Barletta by nine

points, 44 percent to 35 percent.

Congressman Kanjorski’s support among registered Democrats is weak;

only half of Democrats are planning to vote for him (see Figure 1). Lou Barletta

is supported by about seven in ten registered Republicans, and he also wins half

of independent voters. Barletta has a sizable advantage among men, and there are

differences in voter preference depending on county of residence (see Table A-2).

The most ominous sign for the incumbent is that less than two in five (35%)

registered adults in the district believe he deserves re-election.

Figure 1. Pennsylvania 11th CD Vote Choice by Party Registration
Barletta Kanjorski Other Don’t know

Republicans 69 11 21

Democrats 28 51 1 21

Independents/ 54 27 19
Other

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About one in five (21%) registered adults say the economy is the primary

issue driving their congressional vote choice, but nearly the same proportion say

concerns about government (19%) and immigration (17%) are driving their votes.

Kanjorski has a small advantage among those who are voting on economic issues,

but Barletta has a clear advantage among those concerned about government and

immigration (see Table 1).

Table 1. Pennsylvania 11th CD Vote Choice by Main Issue

Barletta Kanjorski Other DK
Immigration, illegal 84% 7% 0% 10%
Government, politicians 55% 35% 0% 10%
Taxes 33% 33% 0% 33%
Economy 31% 41% 2% 26%
Health care, insurance 27% 54% 0% 19%
Gasoline/oil prices, energy 27% 60% 0% 13%
Education, school 22% 44% 0% 33%
Other 38% 41% 0% 21%
Don’t know 29% 42% 1% 28%

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The Presidential Race

Barack Obama leads John McCain narrowly in the 11th Congressional

District, 43 percent to 40 percent, with about 14 percent undecided. McCain has a

one point advantage over Obama, 44 percent to 43 percent, among likely voters.

McCain garners more support from Republicans than Obama receives from

Democrats and he also has an advantage among registered independents (see

Figure 2). McCain leads among Protestants, and Obama leads among Catholics

(see Table A-1). By far, the economy is the primary issue driving voter

preferences in the presidential election (47%).

Figure 2. Presidential Vote Choice in PA 11th by Party Registration
Obama/Biden McCain/Palin Other Don’t know

Republicans 10 77 1 12

Democrats 65 17 3 15

Independents/ 31 47 8 14
Other

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Table A-1. Presidential Vote Choice by Selected Demographics (PA 11th CD)
If the November general election for president were being held today and the candidates were
(rotated) John McCain and Sarah Palin, the Republicans and Barack Obama and Joe Biden, the
Democrats, would you vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin, the Republicans, Barack Obama and
Joe Biden, the Democrats, some other candidate, or aren't you sure how you would vote?

McCain Obama Other DK
Gender
Male 45% 42% 3% 11%
Female 36% 44% 3% 17%
Age
18-34 39% 50% 3% 8%
35-54 40% 45% 3% 12%
55 and over 40% 42% 2% 16%
Education
High School or Less 41% 40% 2% 17%
Some College 41% 43% 5% 11%
College Degree 38% 48% 3% 12%
Household Income
Less than $35,000 39% 48% 2% 12%
$35-75,000 40% 43% 1% 16%
Over $75,000 40% 46% 3% 11%
Race*
White 40% 43% 2% 15%
Non-white 25% 58% 17% 0%
Marital Status
Married 43% 41% 2% 13%
Single, never married 35% 47% 4% 14%
Not currently married 31% 49% 3% 18%
Religious Affiliation*
Protestant 46% 33% 2% 19%
Catholic 38% 47% 1% 14%
Other/unaffiliated 36% 51% 9% 4%
Born Again Christian or Fundamentalist
Yes 49% 35% 1% 15%
No 38% 45% 3% 14%
Household Union Member*
Yes 31% 53% 4% 11%
No 43% 40% 2% 15%
Military Veteran*
Yes 52% 31% 3% 14%
No 37% 46% 3% 14%
County*
Columbia 53% 31% 0% 16%
Luzerne 44% 40% 2% 14%
Monroe 40% 41% 5% 13%
Carbon 33% 50% 2% 15%
Lackawanna 28% 54% 4% 14%
Party Registration*
Republican 77% 10% 1% 12%
Democrat 17% 65% 3% 15%
Independent/Other 47% 31% 8% 14%

* Significant differences (p<.05)

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Table A-2. Congressional Vote Choice by Selected Demographics (PA 11th CD)
If the November general election for the U.S. House of Representatives were being held today and
the candidates were (rotated) Lou Barletta, the Republican and Paul Kanjorski, the Democrat,
would you vote for Lou Barletta, Paul Kanjorski, or aren’t you sure how you would vote?

Barletta Kanjorski Other DK
Gender*
Male 49% 36% 0% 14%
Female 39% 35% 1% 26%
Age
18-34 47% 22% 0% 31%
35-54 40% 34% 1% 24%
55 and over 45% 36% 0% 18%
Education
High School or Less 44% 33% 0% 22%
Some College 43% 36% 0% 21%
College Degree 44% 37% 1% 18%
Household Income
Less than $35,000 40% 42% 0% 18%
$35-75,000 45% 33% 0% 22%
Over $75,000 42% 35% 1% 21%
Race
White 44% 35% 1% 20%
Non-white 23% 31% 0% 46%
Marital Status
Single, never married 48% 31% 0% 21%
Married 46% 33% 1% 20%
Not currently married 37% 43% 0% 20%
Religious Affiliation*
Protestant 46% 26% 0% 28%
Catholic 43% 38% 1% 17%
Other/unaffiliated 36% 48% 0% 16%
Born Again Christian or Fundamentalist
Yes 43% 29% 1% 26%
No 44% 37% 0% 19%
Household Union Member
Yes 42% 42% 1% 16%
No 45% 33% 1% 22%
Military Veteran*
Yes 59% 30% 0% 11%
No 40% 36% 1% 23%
County*
Columbia 58% 23% 1% 18%
Luzerne 50% 33% 0% 16%
Monroe 42% 35% 1% 22%
Carbon 31% 42% 0% 27%
Lackawanna 30% 43% 0% 26%
Party Registration*
Republican 69% 11% 0% 21%
Democrat 28% 51% 1% 21%
Independent/Other 54% 27% 0% 19%

* Significant differences (p<.05)

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Marginal Frequency Report

REG. Some people are registered to vote, and many others are not. Are you
CURRENTLY REGISTERED to vote at your present address?

100% Yes

RegPARTY. Are you currently registered as a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent,
or as something else?

58% Democrat
34% Republican
6% Independent
1% Something else
1% Don’t know

Vote_Nov. Many people will vote in the election in November, however, many other
people will not. What would you say are the chances you will vote in the November
presidential election? Are you certain to vote, will you probably vote, are the chances
fifty-fifty you will vote, OR don't you think that you will vote in the November election for
president?

88% Certain to vote
6% Will probably vote
3% Chances 50-50
2% Don’t think will vote

Pol_Int. Some people don't pay much attention to political campaigns. How about you?
Would you say that you are…in the 2008 presidential campaign?

71% Very much interested
25% Somewhat interested
4% Not very interested

IntFav. Please let me know your opinion of some people involved in politics today...Is
your opinion of __ favorable, unfavorable, undecided, or haven't heard enough about __
to have an opinion? (rotated)

Strongly Somewhat Somewhat Strongly Don’t
Undecided
favorable favorable unfavorable unfavorable know
Sarah Palin 31% 14% 8% 18% 12% 18%
Lou Barletta 31% 18% 9% 13% 16% 14%
John McCain 28% 21% 12% 22% 16% 2%
Joe Biden 27% 22% 10% 14% 12% 15%
Barack Obama 24% 23% 9% 22% 18% 4%
Paul Kanjorski 19% 21% 14% 24% 16% 7%

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Pres08. If the November general election for president were being held today and the
candidates were (rotated) John McCain and Sarah Palin, the Republicans and Barack
Obama and Joe Biden, the Democrats, would you vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin,
the Republicans, Barack Obama and Joe Biden, the Democrats, some other candidate,
or aren't you sure how you would vote?

43% Barack Obama/Joe Biden
40% John McCain/Sarah Palin
3% Other
14% Don’t know

Cert. Are you absolutely CERTAIN you will vote FOR [fill Pres08] in the election, or are
you still making up your mind?

448 Subsample size

82% Certain
18% Still making up mind

Lean. As of today, do you lean more to (rotated) John McCain and Sarah Palin, the
Republicans, Barack Obama and Joe Biden, the Democrats, or are you leaning toward
some other candidate?

84 Subsample size

31% Barack Obama/Joe Biden
23% John McCain/Sarah Palin
3% Other
44% Don’t know

IssPrim. What will be the single most important issue in your vote for president this year?
(rotated) Foreign policy, the Iraq war, the economy, healthcare, energy policy, taxes,
moral and family values, or something else?

47% The economy
12% The Iraq War
10% Healthcare
8% Energy policy
7% Moral and family values
6% Something else
4% Taxes
4% Foreign policy
3% Don’t know

CD08. If the November general election for the U.S. House of Representatives were
being held today and the candidates were (rotated) Lou Barletta, the Republican and
Paul Kanjorski, the Democrat, would you vote for Lou Barletta, Paul Kanjorski, or aren’t
you sure how you would vote?

44% Lou Barletta
35% Paul Kanjorski
21% Don’t know

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CertCD. Are you absolutely CERTAIN you will vote FOR [fill CD08] in the election, or are
you still making up your mind?

429 Subsample size

86% Certain
14% Still making up mind

LeanCD. As of today, do you lean more to (rotated) Lou Barletta the Republican or Paul
Kanjorski the Democrat?

115 Subsample size

32% Paul Kanjorski
30% Lou Barletta
38% Don’t know

IssCD. What will be the single most important issue in your vote for U.S. House of
Representatives this year?

21% Economy, personal finances, cost of living
19% Government, politicians
17% Immigration, illegal immigration
5% Taxes
5% Healthcare, insurance
3% Gasoline/oil prices, energy
2% Education, schools
1% Elder issues, social security
1% Civil liberties
1% Iraq War
1% Values, morality, religion
2% Other
23% Don’t know

DesRECD. Do you believe that Paul Kanjorski has done a good enough job in the U.S.
House of Representatives to DESERVE RE-ELECTION, or do you believe it is TIME
FOR A CHANGE?

35% Deserves re-election
54% Time for a change
11% Don’t know

RatePres. How would you rate the way that George Bush is handling his job as
president? Would you say he is doing an...as president?

4% Excellent
16% Good
25% Fair
54% Poor
1% Don’t know

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UStrk. All in all, do you think things in the United States are generally headed in the
RIGHT DIRECTION, or do you feel that things are off on the WRONG TRACK?

19% Right direction
76% Wrong track
5% Don’t know

MIP_YF. What do you think is the MOST IMPORTANT PROBLEM facing YOU and
YOUR FAMILY TODAY?

54% Economy, personal finances, cost of living
11% Healthcare, insurance
10% Gasoline/oil prices, energy
4% Taxes
2% Elder issues, social security
2% Education, schools
2% Terrorism, foreign policy
1% Values, morality, religion
1% Housing, real estate
1% Immigration, illegal immigration
1% Personal health issues
1% Government, politicians
1% Nothing
3% Other
6% Don’t know

Gov. Do you think that the problems facing you and your family can be solved with the
help of the government, or are these problems beyond what you think the government
can do?

71% With help of government
21% Beyond what government can do
8% Don’t know

FinToday. We are interested in how people are getting along financially these days.
Would you say that YOU and YOUR FAMILY are better off, worse off, or about the same
financially as you were a year ago?

11% Better off
44% Worse off
44% About the same
1% Don’t know

FinFut. Now looking AHEAD, do you think that A YEAR FROM NOW, YOU and YOUR
FAMILY will be better off financially than you are now, worse off, or about the same as
you are now?

27% Better off
15% Worse off
44% About the same
15% Don’t know

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I now have a final few questions for statistical purposes only.

CNTY. What is the name of the county you live in?

39% Luzerne
22% Lackawanna
17% Monroe
13% Columbia
9% Carbon

Resd. How many years have you lived at your current address?

24 Mean

AGE. What was your age on your last birthday?

2% 18-24
5% 25-34
10% 35-44
20% 45-54
24% 55-64
39% 65 and older

EDUC. What was the last grade level of schooling you have completed?

3% Non high school graduate
42% High school graduate or GED
12% Some college
12% Two-year or tech degree
19% Four year college degree
13% Post graduate degree

MAR. What is your CURRENT marital status, are you single, married, separated,
divorced, or a widower?

10% Single, Never Married
69% Married
1% Separated
7% Divorced
14% Widow or widower

PRTY1. Regardless of how you are registered, in politics, as of today, do you think of
yourself as a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent?

17% Strong Republican
10% Republican
11% Lean Republican
7% Pure Independent
11% Lean Democrat
14% Democrat
29% Strong Democrat
1% Do not know

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LABR. Are you or is any member of your household a member of a LABOR UNION?

26% Yes
74% No

VET. Are you a military veteran?

20% Yes
80% No

Hisp. Are you Hispanic or Latino, or not?

2% Yes
98% No

RACE. Which of the following categories best describes your racial background?

97% White
3% Non-white

REL. Do you consider yourself to be Protestant, Catholic, some other religion, or not
affiliated with any religion?

32% Protestant
55% Catholic
4% Some other religion
8% Not affiliated with any religion
1% Do not know

BAC. Do you consider yourself to be a born-again Christian or fundamentalist, or not?

18% Yes
81% No
2% Don’t know

NumA. Including yourself, how many adults 18 years of age or OLDER CURRENTLY live
in this household?

21% One
58% Two
14% Three
7% Four or more

WORK. Are you currently working FULL-time, PART-time, going to school, keeping
house or something else?

40% Full-time
10% Part-time
2% Going to school
6% Keeping house
2% Unemployed
2% Disabled
38% Retired

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INC1. And, just for statistical purposes, we need to know if your total family income is
above or below $50,000 per year?

16% Under $25,000
15% $25-$35,000
15% $35-50,000
21% $50-75,000
14% $75-100,000
13% Over $100,000
6% Don’t know

DONE. Sex of respondent:

55% Female
45% Male

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