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By 2-to-1 margin, Pennsylvanians with opinion say AG Kane should resign

| Wednesday, June 3, 2015, 1:45 p.m.
Investigators with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office served search warrants Thursday, June 18, 2015, in the human resources and information technology offices of Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
Investigators with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office served search warrants Thursday, June 18, 2015, in the human resources and information technology offices of Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania residents by a 2-to-1 margin say Attorney General Kathleen Kane, facing myriad legal problems, should resign, according to a Robert Morris University poll.

The statewide poll released Wednesday shows, however, that nearly half of those surveyed don't know enough about Kane to take a position.

“Polls are merely a snapshot in time and must be viewed that way,” said Kane's spokesman Chuck Ardo. “The attorney general believes that as events unfold, poll results will reflect more positively.”

The Montgomery County district attorney is investigating a state grand jury report recommending Kane be charged with perjury, obstruction of justice and official oppression. There are allegations she committed criminal contempt of court.

Her legal difficulties stem from documents leaked to a Philadelphia newspaper in an effort to embarrass a political rival, a fellow prosecutor with whom she had feuded.

Kane denies any wrongdoing or illegal acts. She contends the material she authorized providing to the newspaper was not covered by grand jury secrecy.

Kane, the state's first Democrat and woman elected attorney general, has been criticized for not prosecuting several Philadelphia Democrats caught in a bribery sting.

“Attorney General Kathleen Kane's support has evaporated,” said Philip Harold, a Robert Morris political science professor who analyzed the data. Harold said the numbers show that the more Pennsylvanians learn about Kane's legal problems, the more they favor her resignation.

Yet, despite a bleak political outlook for Kane, Harold said, “I don't think she is in too deep of a hole to dig out.”

Her odds improve significantly if she is not prosecuted, he said.

Kane has said she'll run for re-election next year.

Among 51 percent of respondents with an opinion on Kane, 33.5 percent said she should resign and 17 percent said she should remain, the poll found.

Nearly 60 percent of women were unsure, compared with 40.6 percent of men.

The online poll, sponsored by Trib Total Media, surveyed 529 residents from May 8-16. Its margin of error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Support for Kane's resignation was higher among Republicans than Democrats. It was 45 percent among people 65 and older, 35 percent among those ages 45-64, and 29 percent among those younger than 45.

Brad Bumsted is Trib Total Media's state Capitol reporter. He can be reached at 717-787-1405 or bbumsted@tribweb.com.

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