The August 2021 Franklin & Marshall College Poll finds that concern about COVID-19 is increasing among the state’s registered voters. After declining from one in three (31%) in March to less than one in ten (7%) in June, one in five (17%) voters now say that COVID-19 is the state’s most important problem. Concerns about government and politicians (20%) and the economy (13%), including unemployment and personal finances, are other top concerns. For the first time in the history of the Poll, a notable portion of voters (4%) mentioned “election integrity” as one of the state’s pressing issues.
Pennsylvanians’ pessimism about conditions in the state have stabilized. Only two in five (37%) registered voters believe the state is “headed in the right direction,” essentially unchanged since the March and June Franklin & Marshall College Polls. This is not true of voters’ assessments of the United States, as more registered voters now believe that things in the US are “on the wrong track” (69%) compared to June (62%). There is also no notable improvement in voters’ assessments of their personal finances. Most respondents say they are “better off” (15%) or “about the same” (60%) financially as they were last year, although there has been a decline since June in the proportion who report their finances will be “better” a year from now, falling from 22 percent to 17 percent.
More than three in five (63%) registered voters believe that state redistricting practices need reformed, and two in three (65%) support having an independent commission redraw state legislative districts, a sentiment that crosses party lines: 76 percent of Democrats, 69 percent of independents, and 58 percent of Republicans support the use of an independent commission to draw state legislative districts.