Poll Finds Correlation Between Joe Paterno, Donald Trump Supporters In Pennsylvania

A recent poll by Public Policy Polling conducted in Pennsylvania shows an interesting connection between respondents’ attitudes toward Joe Paterno and how they may vote this November in the United States presidential election.

The poll questioned more than a thousand registered voters in Pennsylvania on topics ranging from whether or not they support the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to whether or not they’re happy Chip Kelly was fired. One question with particular connection to Penn State asked respondents to identify their opinions of Joe Paterno, either favorable or unfavorable.

Results show that 49 percent of Pennsylvania voters view Paterno favorably, compared to 29 percent unfavorable. Twenty-one percent reported they weren’t sure how they felt about the former coach.

These statistics may not be surprising, but pollsters at PPP did not stop there, later asking respondents how they plan to vote in the presidential election. Of those with favorable opinions of Paterno, 48 percent reported they plan to vote for Donald Trump, while 34 percent reported they plan to vote for Hillary Clinton. Conversely, of those with unfavorable opinions of Paterno, 50 percent reported they plan to vote for Clinton, while 33 percent reported to be Trump supporters.

Further, Mitt Romney voters had a 60 percent favorable to 27 unfavorable opinion of Paterno, and Republicans have a 58 percent favorable opinion to 26 percent unfavorable. Democratic voters in Pennsylvania still maintain a  net positive opinion of Paterno, but at a much lower rate: Obama voters have a positive view of Paterno 42/34 and Democrats have a positive view at a 43/32 rate.

Paterno has a 58/28 favorability rating among men and a 42/30 positive mark with women. Whites have a 53/28 positive view, while blacks are split evenly 31/31.

We imagine that Trump also has a favorable opinion of Paterno, as evidenced by his call to return the Paterno statue at his April rally in Pittsburgh. Paterno himself was a lifelong Republican.

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James Turchick

James is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism, James enjoys writing about anything weird and is deadly allergic to bees. Onward State people are very nice to him.


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