Privatizing Penn Pike less unpopular than tolling I-80 - poll
By Peter Samuel
A new poll shows opposition among Pennsylvania voters to tolling I-80 is 62% to 28% in favor. This is a considerably greater margin of opposition than to privatizing the Turnpike with a longterm lease/concession (50/37).
When asked if they had to choose between tolling I-80 and leasing the Turnpike to a private company 41% choose the private lease concession, while 36% prefer tolls on I-80 to privatization.
The poll of 1,019 Pennsylvania voters Oct 30 thru Nov 5 conducted by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute has a statistical margin of error of +/- 3.3% points.
Nathan Benefield of the Commonwealth Foundation thinktank in Harrisburg has an interesting twist on this. He notes that Democrat voters actually favor leasing the Turnpike by a small margin (44/42) but it is Republicans who are strongly against it (60/27) in the poll. He thinks the question on privatization is skewed:
"My take is that leading with 'Governor Rendell has proposed' skewed the question. I wonder how the results would differ it it read 'The Commonwealth Foundation has proposed...' For those who forgot, we proposed it long before the Governor got on board."
COMMENT: We're right behind the Turnpike's leader Joe Brimmeier on this one. Sadly voters sometimes just don't know what's good for them. History will lionize leaders who lead based on their convictions of what is right despite the passing unpopularity of their longsighted policies. We're even more behind Gov Rendell... ah furgeddit.