Senator’s approval climbs after effort f background checks on gun buyers.

Last updated: May 09. 2013 11:44PM - 2600 Views

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A new Franklin & Marshall College poll shows U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey’s rating with Pennsylvania voters went up from 26 to 35 percent since February after he pushed for a gun control bill that failed.

The poll, released Wednesday, did not include such good news for Gov. Tom Corbett.

The survey was taken April 30 to May 5 and included interviews from 526 Pennsylvania voters. Only a quarter of respondents viewed Corbett’s job performance favorably.

That’s a slight drop from the last poll conducted on the issue by the college that showed a 26 percent approval rating for the governor in February. At this point in his term, Corbett has a lower approval rating than former Govs. Ed Rendell and Tom Ridge had at the equivalent point in their first terms.

Toomey, the Republican senator from the Lehigh Valley, took flak from some members of his own party for cosponsoring a compromise bill that sought to expand background checks before a gun could be purchased. He seemed to have benefited from his willingness to cross party lines to get a gun control bill at least up for a full Senate vote.

It failed, and Toomey has since said, “the Senate has spoken on this issue.”

The poll also found:

* Fifty-four percent of voters oppose making the use of marijuana legal, though 82 percent are in favor of marijuana use for medical reasons. Thirty-eight percent oppose legalizing marijuana.

* Fifty-four percent are in favor of permitting gays and lesbians to marry, while 41 percent oppose.

* If the state liquor stores are sold, 32 percent of voters said the money should be used to assist local school districts, 26 percent said it should be used to reduce property taxes and 17 percent said it should fund road and bridge improvements.

The liquor store privatization issue saw support drop from a majority in February to a minority of those surveyed in May. Forty-seven percent of voters support selling the state-owned liquor stores to private companies. That percentage was at 53 in February.

The poll has a sample error of plus/minus 4.3 percentage points.

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