Pennsylvanians still have a pretty high opinion of Joe Paterno, but they also agree with Penn State's decision to fire him.
51% of voters in the state view Paterno favorably to 28% with an unfavorable opinion. With all the recent controversy those are still far better numbers than any politician in the state can boast. Every demographic group PPP tracks continues to have a positive take on Paterno.
Although Pennsylvanians may still like Paterno, they also see the need for him to move along. 45% of voters agree with the decision to fire Paterno to 38% who disagree and 17% who don't have an opinion one way or the other. Almost every group is supportive of Paterno's firing with the exception of voters identifying as 'very conservative,' who oppose his being removed by a 33/46 margin, and Republicans who split evenly at 41%.
There's been a lot of concern about the effect this scandal is having on Penn State's overall image, but voters in the state still see the school in an overwhelmingly positive light. 61% of voters have a favorable opinion of it to only 25% with a negative opinion. Most Pennsylvanians are not going to let this series of incidents define the university for them.
While Penn State and Paterno are still polling pretty well, Jerry Sandusky breaks the all time PPP record for the least popular person we have ever polled on. A whooping 88% of voters in the state have a negative opinion of him to only 3% with a positive one. It's clear his NBC interview last week did little or nothing to rehabilitate his image. Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, seen unfavorably by 83% of voters in his state, was previously the most unpopular person PPP had ever polled on.
Shifting gears to the NFL, the Steelers are overwhelmingly the favorite team of voters in the state. 49% say they're their team compared to only 20% for the Eagles, 6% for the Cowboys, 4% for the Ravens, 3% for the Browns and Giants, and 2% each for the Jets and Redskins.
Full results here