Poll finds support for liquor store sales
HARRISBURG — Six of 10 Pennsylvania voters support Gov. Tom Corbett's plan to sell the state liquor stores and allow sales of beer, wine and liquor in a combination of supermarkets and specialty stores, according to a poll released on Tuesday.
The poll sponsored by the Commonwealth Foundation found support for privatization even among union households and in the more conservative counties that form a “T” in central and northern Pennsylvania.
Statewide, 61 percent favored privatization, and 35 percent were opposed, with the rest undecided.
Matthew Brouillette, president of the conservative think tank, said the foundation used a nationally recognized pollster that has worked for Democratic clients, including former Gov. Ed Rendell. The question did not mention Corbett by name or his plan to use $1 billion from the sale of liquor licenses for schools.
Corbett, a Shaler Republican, said he believes the poll will give his proposal a boost to get through the state House. The governor would close 619 state stores and auction 1,200 retail licenses. House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Bradford Woods, gave no specific timetable but said he hopes the House will move forward within two months.
Asked about reluctance from some Republican Senate leaders to embrace full-scale privatization, Corbett said: “Let's go forward. Let's not tinker around the edges. … It's time to change the system.”
The survey of 800 voters by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, was conducted Jan. 22-27. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Among its findings:
• Support is strongest among voters who buy alcohol; 77-22 percent in favor among people who buy booze weekly. Those who never go to state stores oppose divestiture 58-35 percent with 7 percent undecided.
• The top reasons for favoring privatization: less government regulation, convenience, staying competitive with other states and better prices.
• Support was consistent among geographic regions except for Philadelphia, which opposes privatization, 50-46 percent with 4 percent undecided.
• People in Central Pennsylvania and a strip across the northern part of the state favored privatization 62-33 percent with 4 percent undecided. Historically, that has been an area of opposition.
• Union households favor selling liquor stores by a 58-38 percent margin with 4 percent undecided. Pollster Paul Maslin said the poll didn't break out how many union households had members of United Food & Commercial Workers, the union representing 3,500 state store workers which opposes the sale.
Brad Bumsted is the state Capitol reporter for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 717-787-1405 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: The series that will define these Pirates
- Steelers’ Timmons looks to reverse defense’s struggles
- Steelers’ Polamalu relying on smarts as physical skills decline
- Pirates hold on to beat Red Sox, complete 3-game sweep at PNC
- Crosby, Malkin to miss start of Penguins camp
- Pitt star running back Conner adjusting to higher profile this year
- Sutersville principal’s comments taken out of context, district claims
- Fire ravages 2 buildings in downtown New Kensington
- Alligator spotted along the banks of the Allegheny River in Cheswick
- Ex-Gateway coach Smith making mark at Penn State
- Scots reject independence from United Kingdom in historic vote