Poll: Pennsylvanians Want End to Government Booze Sales

Union Households, Consumers, Parties, Genders and Regions Agree

FEBRUARY 12, 2013 | News Release

Contact: Jay Ostrich: 717-649-6547| jay@cfpolicy.com

A strong majority of Pennsylvanians favor ending government sale of wine and liquor according to a comprehensive poll conducted by nationally-renown pollster, FM3, released by the Commonwealth Foundation today.

The poll found more than 3 out of 5 Pennsylvania voters support privatizing the 80-year-old state store system, with more than 41 percent strongly favoring the measure.  Support transcended political affiliation, gender, region, and union membership.  Consumers who make purchases at the state stores most often favor change by more than 70 percent.  Despite vigorous union opposition from the United Food and Commercial Workers union, nearly 6 in 10 union households favor selling the system to private owners as well as the majority of union members themselves.

"In the most comprehensive poll ever created on this issue, Pennsylvanians are overwhelmingly voicing their support for commonsense laws that bring consumer choice and convenience with taxpayer freedom from a system that only benefits special interests," said Matthew J. Brouillette, president and CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation.  "Constituents are loudly asking legislators to serve ‘last call' for government-sold alcohol."

More than two-thirds of voters in Allegheny County and suburban Philadelphia favored ending government control of wine and liquor sales, the largest regional support in the poll.  Philadelphia County voters were in support of keeping the system, though a Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board survey found more than 45 percent of those area consumers broke the law to get what they wanted at privatized stores in other states.   

"Government in the booze business is a lose business for Pennsylvanians," said Brouillette.  "Consumers and taxpayers are tired of pouring their hard-earned money down the drain when they are forced to cross state borders for lower prices, better selection, and more convenience."

Unprompted reasons for supporting the change had strong support on issues of ending government control, greater consumer convenience, and the proven success of privatized systems in other states.  To view the poll results go to www.commonwealthfoundation.org/boozefacts.

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For more information, please contact Jay Ostrich, director of public affairs at 717-649-6547 or jay@cfpolicy.com.  The Commonwealth Foundation crafts free-market policies, convinces Pennsylvanians of their benefits, and counters attacks on liberty.

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