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What are Pennsylvanians thinking about their health, abortion, firearms?

Muhlenberg College's PA Public Health Survey says politics a great source of stress

  • Scott LaMar
The question What Do You Think in red text on an index card pinned to a cork notice board

The question What Do You Think in red text on an index card pinned to a cork notice board

Aired; April 15th, 2024.


Results of Muhlenberg College’s Institute of Public Opinion’s Spring 2024 Pennsylvania Public Health Survey were released last week. It’s a unique poll in that many of the questions don’t have to do with politics or candidates.

For example, seven out of ten of those surveyed had positive responses to the quality of healthcare in the state. There was an increase in the number of respondents who said their mental health was better than a year ago.

However, that doesn’t mean politics is not mentioned – a majority of those surveyed said politics and current events were a major source of stress for them as Dr. Christopher Borick, Director of the Muhlenberg College Institute for Public Opinion said on The Spark Monday,”A majority saying that’s either a major or at least somewhat of a stress, on their lives in Pennsylvania. And that’s probably not all that shocking, in some ways that Pennsylvania is at the heart of American politics, right? We are a purple state. We are a swing state. We are seeing lots of contested races from the presidency, the Senate to congressional races, state House, state Senate races. We’re loaded with with politics happening all the time, we get bombarded with more ads than almost any other place in the country. We are constantly in the midst of these political, moments, if you will. And Pennsylvanians report that that takes a bit of a toll on their mental health. And now we’re not alone. Lots and lots of Americans are reporting that politics is a stress. We’re in a difficult time in terms of our politics. But I think looking more, narrowly at the Commonwealth, that’s very, very true. And that individuals across demographics, if you look at our cross tabs at the end of our study, it’s not just Democrats, it’s not just Republicans, it’s not women, or just men or across age groups. It’s widespread across various, cohorts within the Keystone State.”

On some other issues, the Muhlenberg poll found Pennsylvania don’t support more restrictions on abortion by 59%-41%; they do favor more restrictions on firearms 59%-41%; 49% support would like to see marijuana legalized for adult use compared to 31% who don’t and 20% said they neither favor or oppose legalization.

The word crisis is used often in describing problems we face but the Muhlenberg poll found the majority of those responding said aggressive driving, fracking, climate change, obesity and domestic violence were all problems wouldn’t go as far as saying they were at crisis stage yet.







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