HARRISBURG (KDKA) — A poll released Monday shows more than 70 percent of adults in Pennsylvania approve of Gov. Tom Wolf’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
No governor would want to see a thousand people at the state capital, protesting their policies.
Nor would they welcome officials at the county level — even some of their own party — openly defying their orders to remain closed amid a pandemic, let alone banding together to sue the administration.
Governor Wolf has seen all of that in recent weeks. And it might create the impression that he’s become wildly unpopular and untrusted.
New polling says that’s not so.
A Washington Post-Ipsos poll released Monday shows 72 percent of adults in Pennsylvania approve of the governor’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak. Data (collected April 27 – May 4) shows the governor with the approval of about 90 percent of Democrats and 50 percent of Republicans.
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Dr. Terry Madonna — a veteran, nonpartisan political analyst — heads the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster.
He says recent polling around the nation shows strong public support for the same approach Gov. Wolf has been taking.
“Go slow, open slowly, do it properly,” says Madonna.
The Post-Ipsos poll is not a one-off for Gov. Wolf.
A Fox News poll last month found 69 percent of Pennsylvanians approve of his handling of the pandemic, and 74 percent said his stay-at-home order was either “about right” or “not restrictive enough.”
“Now that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of folks out there who think there are places where the economy could be opened and should be opened, and there’s this tension,” Madonna said.
But has Madonna ever seen local officials go so far as to openly defy the state’s chief executive?
“I don’t recall anything quite like this,” Madonna said.
Cumberland County, for one, has already backed off talk of defiance.
And Madonna predicts the governor — backed by polls showing strong support — will hold firm.
“The governor is going to continue to move at his pace,” Madonna says. “I don’t think he’s going to be pushed.”