Pennsylvanians increasingly think Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane should resign, according to a new poll from Robert Morris University.
Political science professor Philip Harold said 43.6% of the more than 500 people surveyed think she should resign, up 10 percentage points from May.
He said it’s the first time a clear plurality of those polled said she should quit, and he attributed that to increasing news coverage of the criminal charges Kane is facing.
“There’s a greater awareness of the issues involved and more people are saying she should resign as they become more familiar with what’s going on,” Harold said.
41.2% of those polled said they’re not familiar enough with the situation to make a judgment, down from 49.5% in May. The proportion of people saying she should remain in office dropped nearly 2 percentage points to 15.3% over the same time period.
Harold said Kane has recently attempted to shift the focus of the conversation away from the perjury charges she’s facing for allegedly leaking secret grand jury information, and toward the pornographic e-mail scandal that was first revealed in late 2014.
Kane has so far maintained her innocence and refused to leave office, despite Democratic Governor Tom Wolf’s statement that she should resign.
“I’m not sure what it would take to change her mind,” Harold said. “I think she probably would have to be removed by the Senate or impeachment. She’s just hung on this far and fought back and sees it as her versus her enemies.”
Republicans are still more likely to be in favor of Kane’s resignation than Democrats. 53.1% of Republicans said she should resign, versus 40 percent of Democrats.
The state Supreme Court suspended Kane’s law license last week, and the state Senate on Monday created a special committee to investigate how that suspension will affect her ability to do her job. It’s the first step toward potentially voting to remove Kane from office.
Harold said the suspension puts the entire Attorney General’s office in a state of limbo.
“It’s really damaging the office and the work they’re trying to accomplish,” he said. “I think there’s a strong sentiment that she should resign … for the good of everyone, for the good of the office, for the good of the commonwealth.”