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Clinton strong in Pa 2016 polls

Published by James O'Toole on .

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s potential presidential candidacy attracted strong support from Pennsylvania voters in two early tests of the speculative 2016 field.
She was the overwhelming choice of the state’s Democratic voters as their nominee in a survey by Public Policy Polling, and she topped every Republican candidate tested in separate trial heats conducted by PPP, and the Quinnipiac University poll.

Despite the controversy over his associates’s roles in the notorious George Washington Bridge lane closings, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie won the most support among GOP voters although no Republican enjoyed the dominant position of the former First Lady.

President Barack Obama, who twice captured the state’s electoral votes by big margins, may be glad not to have to face the state’s voters a third time. In the Quinnipiac University survey, only 44 percent of the state’s voters approved of the way he is handling his job, while 53 percent disapproved. There was a predictable Republican-Democratic contrast in views of the president, but a strong majority of independents, who broke his way in 2008 and 20012 in Pennsylvania, expressed disapproval, by a margin of 63 percent to 32 percent.

The state’s U.S. senators, Democrat Bob Casey and Republican Pat Toomey, received middling grades from the voters. Mr. Casey’s approval rating was 44 percent, while 27 percent disapproved. Mr. Toomey, whose seat will be on the 2016 ballot, got a positive rating of 41 percent, with 27 percent disapproving.

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Christie to stump with Corbett

Published by James O'Toole on .

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the head of the Republican Governors Association, will be campaigning in Pittsburgh with Gov. Tom Corbett Friday.
Gov. Christie was to attend a lunchtime fund-raiser for state Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, at the William Penn Hotel.  After that, Mr. Christie and Mr. Corbett were to appear at a separate fund-raiser for the RGA, while also doing some retail politicking in Downtown Pittsburgh.
The joint appearances come as Mr. Corbett trails Democratic nominee Tom Wolf in early post-primary polling of the governor’s race.  Mr. Christie has been dogged by the lingering controversy over his associates’ roles in the much criticized George Washington Bridge lane closings last year.  But the stories don’t appear to have ruined his  popularity in with the voters of his neighboring state.  
Public Policy Polling, a Democratic leaning survey firm, reported Thursday that in a recent trial heat, Mr. Christie was the leading choice among Pennsylvania Republicans as a 2016 presidential nominee.  He was preferred candidate for 23 percent of the state’s GOP voters, followed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, 14 percent; and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, 12 percent.

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Boilermakers back Corbett

Published by James O'Toole on .

Gov. Tom Corbett picked up another union endorsement Wednesday, with the backing of Boilermakers Local 154.  And with the poll numbers that have been coming out, Corbett could probably use a boilermaker, maybe a couple.

The decision of the Pittsburgh-based local, representing more than a thousand members, follows that of the Laborers District Council of Western Pennsylvania, which announced its support for the Republican just after the primary.

You can check out the Corbett campaign's release on the development after the jump.

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Workers rally on minimum wage

Published by James O'Toole on .

By Kate Giammarise/Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
 
HARRISBURG -- June is always a busy time at the Capitol, with dozens of advocacy groups rallying all month long to make sure legislators remember their issues as lawmakers complete the state budget, which must be passed by June 30.
 
Among other rallies Tuesday, was the Raise the Wage coalition, advocating for Pennsylvania to raise its minimum wage. 
 
Raising the minimum wage has been a hot topic of late, with Democrats pushing the issue nationwide, and a number of states and municipalities hiking wages.
"Folks, the tide is turning," said Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, speaking to the crowd in the Capitol Rotunda, noting the other states that have recently increased wages.
 
The state's current minimum wage is $7.25; the General Assembly last voted to raise the wage in 2006.
 
 
Business groups oppose such a raise, saying it would hurt businesses and workers. 
“Employers across the Commonwealth have continually expressed their concerns that a government mandated wage increase would put jobs at risk. This is especially true of the state’s small businesses,” said PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr in a letter sent to lawmakers today.
 
For a more detailed story on the issue and these arguments, check out our piece from a few months ago here.
To read the PA Department of Labor and Industry's most recent annual report on the minimum wage in Pennsylvania, click here. The report has some fairly detailed information about who, demographically speaking, in Pennsylvania is earning the minimum wage.

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Gov-race polls galore

Published by Karen Langley on .

We know what you're wondering: What about those Quinnipiac governor's race numbers due out first thing Wednesday?

Wonder no more.  The university found that the York businessman emerged from the primary with a whopping 53-33 percent lead over Gov. Tom Corbett.

That reinforced the findings of two earlier surveys: Specifically, the 20-point lead over Corbett that the Rasmussen survey posted Sunday, and the the 25-point lead of the Public Policy Polling report Tuesday?

The Rasmussen poll showed Wolf with 51 percent of likely voters compared to Corbett's 31 percent, a difference greater than the 14 percent the survey found are undecided.

PPP found Wolf with 55 percent of voters and Corbett with 30 percent. The Democratic firm also found that only 27 percent of voters approve of the job Corbett is doing, while 58 percent disapprove. Wolf, on the other hand, had 47 percent of voters seeing him favorably and 20 percent with a negative opinion.

Wolf led Corbett 63-20 among independents in the PPP poll.  We'll have more on the Q poll later.

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