Poll shows most Pa. voters believe NCAA sanctions hurt Penn State football

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A majority of likely Pennsylvania voters believe the NCAA sanctions against the Penn State football team hurt the program somewhat or a great deal, a poll released this morning shows.

The independent Quinnipiac University poll conducted from Friday through Tuesday shows that 42 percent of likely voters believe the sanctions, which came on the heels of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal, hurt PSU a great deal; 33 percent say the sanctions hurt somewhat.

But 46 percent say the sanctions are too severe. Thirty-two percent say they are appropriate.

Forty-seven percent say the Penn State situation will be very important or somewhat important in their vote for governor next year, while 48 percent say it will not be important.

Voters strongly said -- by 58-23 percent -- that when he was state attorney general, Gov. Tom Corbett did not do enough to investigate the scandal. No single group polled said he did enough.

"Pennsylvanians think Gov. Tom Corbett fumbled the Sandusky probe," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "It's a penalty flag for the governor. Facing a blitz of solid Democratic defenders, he is going to have a hard time moving downfield."

Voter opinion of the late Penn State Coach Joe Paterno is improving slightly, the poll shows. Voters have a 47-27 percent favorable opinion of the coach, compared to 43-29 percent favorable view in a Jan. 29 survey.

The poll also shows support for gun-control remains strong in Pennsylvania, where 67 percent of voters, including 55 percent of voters in households where there is a gun, "strongly support" a law requiring background checks on people buying guns at gun shows or online.

And in an early look at a possible 2016 U.S. Senate race, Sen. Pat Toomey leads former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, 42-37 percent.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,032 registered voters for the poll with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. Interviewers call voters on land lines and cell phones.

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First Published June 6, 2013 11:00 AM


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