The Lincoln Institute of Public Opinon Research

Created in 1992, the Lincoln Institute is a 501c(3) non-profit educational foundation which conducts a wide range of public opinion polls, surveys and focus groups.


This week on ARJ & LRJ: Steve Bloom Talks Right to Work on Lincoln Radio Journal

(April 1, 2017 – April 7, 2017) This week on Lincoln Radio Journal: Lowman Henry talks with State Representative Stephen Bloom about making Pennsylvania a Right-to-Work state; Frank Gamrat and Eric Montarti have an Allegheny Institute Report on efforts to raise the hotel tax in Allegheny County; And, Beth Anne Mumford from Americans for Prosperity-PA has a Lincoln Radio Journal commentary on why state budget deliberations lack serious reform.

(April 1, 2017 – April 7, 2017) This week on American Radio Journal: Lowman Henry talks with David Schoenbrod author of DC Confidential about the five tricks of Washington politicians; Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on how moderates killed health care reform; Eric Boehm of Reason magazine reviews the history of health care reform efforts; And, Col. Frank Ryan, USMC, Ret. has an American Radio Journal commentary on how property taxes are killing the dream of home ownership.

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This week on ARJ & LRJ + Ben Shapiro Talks PA Leadership Conference on Lincoln Radio Journal

(March 25, 2017 -March 31, 2017) This week on Lincoln Radio Journal: David Taylor of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association talks with Daily Signal editor and PA Leadership Conference featured speaker Ben Shapiro about conservatism in the age of Trump; And, Lowman Henry has a Town Hall Commentary on breaking congressional rules.

(March 25, 2017 – March 31, 2017) This week on American Radio Journal: Lowman Henry talks with Elizabeth Slattery of the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal about how the Gorsuch confirmation process compares to past such proceedings; Doug Sachtleben of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on special elections to fill seats vacated by congressmen taking positions in the Trump Administration; Eric Boehm and Damon Root of Reason magazine look at what we learned from the Neil Gorsuch confirmation hearings; And, Dr. Paul Kengor from the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College has an American Radio Journal commentary on ranking the presidents.

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This week on ARJ & LRJ

(March 18, 2017 – March 24, 2017) This week on Lincoln Radio Journal: Lowman Henry talks with Anne McElhinney author of Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer; Joe Geiger from the First Nonprofit Foundation has Deborah Allen from the Pennsylvania Behavioral Health & Aging Coalition in the Community Benefit Spotlight; And, Beth Anne Mumford of Americans for Prosperity-PA has a Lincoln Radio Journal commentary on the GOP’s promise to repeal Obamacare.
(March 18, 2017 – March 24, 2017) This week on American Radio Journal: Lowman Henry talks with Doug Badger of the Galen Institute about how many will actually lose coverage under the GOP’s Obamacare replacement plan; Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on where that plan stands in congress; Eric Boehm of Reason magazine talks with Adam Andrzejewski of Open the Books about federal laws blocking transparency of the public pension system; And, Colin Hanna of Let Freedom Ring, USA has an American Radio Journal commentary on playing the Trump card in health care reform.

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This week on ARJ & LRJ

(March 4, 2017 – March 10, 2017) This week on Lincoln Radio Journal: Lowman Henry talks with Chris Nicholas of Eagle Consulting about how Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senators are navigating the new political landscape in Washington, D.C.; Eric Montarti and Frank Gamrat have an Allegheny Institute Report on the latest attempt to enact a severance tax on natural gas drillers; And, Anna McCauslin from Americans for Prosperity-PA has a Lincoln Radio Journal commentary on the impact of raising the minimum wage.
(March 4, 2017 – March 10, 2017) This week on American Radio Journal: Lowman Henry talks with Alison Winters of the Charles Koch Institute about policy initiatives in the President’s address to congress; Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on why congress has not yet repealed Obamacare; Eric Boehm and Ron Bailey of Reason magazine have a report on reforming the Federal Drug Administration; And, Dr. Paul Kengor from the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College has an American Radio Journal commentary on the Left’s latest hypocrisy. 

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Not Your Father 

A Pity Party, Not a TEA Party 
By Lowman S. Henry

The protests began immediately upon the election of Donald J. Trump to the presidency. Stunned by an election defeat they did not see coming; the far reaches of the Left reacted by taking to the streets in a brat fit seldom seen in American politics.

 The temper tantrum has not subsided.

 In the weeks and months since the 2016 Presidential election celebrities have vented on award shows, the aggrieved (even those who don’t know why they are aggrieved) have taken to the streets, to airports and even to the gates of President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. Lacking any discernible set of principles let alone a strategy for implementing them, it seems the only tactic remaining is for powerless Left wingers to complain – and to do so loudly.

 The pending repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act – which turned out to be not so affordable – has sent protesters scurrying to town hall meetings held by various Republican members of congress. This has given rise to comparisons to the grassroots TEA party movement that gained considerable influence early in the Obama presidency.

 But this is not your father’s TEA party. The differences between the TEA party movement of the Right and what we see happening today transcend mere ideology. The TEA party movement is reviled by the Left precisely because it occupies that sweet spot in American politics that brings together conservatives and much of the center. Its goals are clear; its principles are strongly rooted in the nation’s history and culture; and at its core it presents an optimistic vision for the future.

 The effectiveness of the TEA party scared the bejesus out of the Obama Administration to the point it began using government power, namely the Internal Revenue Service, to hinder and harass development of the movement. Efforts at countering the TEA party surge with a hapless group loosely known as the Occupy movement ended up being nothing more than an opportunity for frustrated campers to spend a few weeks in public parks.

 The week after the Presidential inauguration and the so-called “women’s march” protests that followed I was in Washington, D.C. As I sat at a downtown restaurant awaiting a breakfast meeting I struck up a conversation with the server and commented that the previous week must have been exciting. The expression on his face changed to one of anger as he recounted how protesters had smashed out the windows of the restaurant causing it to have to close for a day. For him that meant a day of lost wages.

 This illustrates a key difference between the TEA party movement and what is happening today on the American Left. TEA partiers did not vandalize buildings and set fire to cars. Protesters opposed to the Dakota Access pipeline, apparently lacking in employment, spent weeks in an encampment. When they left litter and debris was strewn across acres of formerly pristine land. TEA party activists are respectful of public places, value private property and channeled their anger into policy reform.  

 And the TEA party movement is about free speech and helping average Americans make their voices heard in the halls of government. The current blob of Left wing protesters seeks to stifle free speech. They have kept conservatives from speaking at college campuses and even blocked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from entering a public school. This is a favorite tactic of the Left: when you can’t win the argument, prevent the other side from arguing.

 Then there are the optics. When the TEA party rallies you see American and Gadsden flags, not women parading about town wearing hats replicating their private parts. Americans in the persuadable middle of the political spectrum are not going to be swayed on policy matters by violence and pornographic headwear. If a rally or protest looks like a Barnum & Bailey sideshow, then it won’t be taken seriously by average Americans who are looking only for family sustaining jobs for themselves and better educational opportunities for their children.

 No, the endless protests are not going to morph into a TEA party of the Left. Rather what you have is a pity party thrown by a group of people with nothing to offer but footage to fill the screens of the mainstream news media.

 (Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal. His e-mail address is

 Permission to reprint is granted provided author and affiliation are cited.

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Best of Times, Worst of Times

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness . . . ”  So begins Charles Dickens’s novel A Tale of Two Cities.  It is set in in the years prior to the French revolution, but actually applies to the recent performance of Republicans in the Pennsylvania legislature.

As official Harrisburg prepares for what is shaping up to be another epic budget battle, the big question is: which GOP will show up in 2017?  Will it be the Republican-controlled legislature that last year stood its ground and fought Governor Tom Wolf’s historic tax and spending proposals, or will it be the GOP that this year folded like a cheap suit and approved $1.4 billion in new spending?

The $1.4 billion spending hike might not qualify as the worst of times, but coming on the heels of a successful struggle against the Wolf Administration’s spending demands it did leave a lot of folks puzzled.  After winning the longest budget fight in state history, why turn around and cave in months later? This leaves most observers – and quite a few participants – at a loss when it comes to predicting how the 2017 budget war will unfold.

We are certain of a few things.

The toxic stew of tax increases and new taxes cooked up to pay for this year’s massive spending increase has failed to live up to expectations.  To date, revenue collections for the 2017-2018 fiscal year are running $261.8 million below estimates.  This, coupled with a “structural budget deficit” pegged at over a billion dollars means the new budget will begin with a significant gap between spending and revenue.

We also can be sure that Governor Wolf will again demand massive spending increases and the taxes to pay for that spending.  He used his budget address this year to lecture the General Assembly for its refusal to accede to his spending demands.  Since most of his priorities have not been funded chances are they will be dusted off and included in his new budget proposal.

But should Republicans sit back and wait for the governor to set the agenda?  Leo Knepper of the Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania, a pro-growth PAC, suggests a different course of action.  “If Republicans in the General Assembly were smart, they would upend a long-standing budget tradition and go on offense,” Knepper wrote in a recent policy brief.  “(They) should ignore tradition and pre-empt the Governor’s budget address with a plan of their own.”  Knepper observed this would “force the governor to play defense rather than the usual offensive position granted to governors.”

The question remains, however, whether or not legislative Republicans – or at least the leaders who actually sit at the negotiating table – want to go on offense.  Will the resolute leaders who fought and won the first budget battle show up to play, or the ones who forfeited this year’s game?

The final certainty is that all this will play out against the backdrop of the rapidly approaching 2018 election for Governor.  For his part, Governor Wolf will want to deliver the goods of higher spending to his largely urban constituency.

It won’t be so simple for Republicans.

With a number of legislators, including leaders who will negotiate the new budget, eyeing a race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, the upcoming budget battle is fraught with peril.  There are pressures for leaders to “be responsible” and give into spending demands.  But with a veto proof Senate majority and a historically large majority in the House, voters are not likely to be either understanding or forgiving if the GOP doesn’t stand firm.

Will it be the “best of times” with legislative Republicans going on offense and standing up to a tax and spend governor, or will it be the “worst of times” with the taxpayers of Penn’s Woods getting stuck with yet another round of tax hikes?  As the budget process begins a new cycle it is impossible to tell which of the GOP’s split personalities will emerge dominant in 2017, but both the pocketbooks of taxpayers and the political fortunes of many politicians will be affected by the outcome.

(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal.  His e-mail address is

Permission to reprint is granted provided author and affiliation are cited.

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This Week on Lincoln Radio Journal: Cleaning Up the Chesapeake Bay

Radio Program Schedule for the week of December 10, 2016 – December 16, 2016

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Dominic Bassani from the Coalition for Affordable Bay Solutions about cost effective policies to clean up the Chesapeake Bay
  • Eric Montarti and Frank Gamrat have an Allegheny Institute Report on financial challenges at the state’s symphony orchestras
  • Anna McCauslin has a Lincoln Radio Journal commentary on things to be thankful for as 2016 draws to a close

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Robert Graboyes from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University on why states should focus on health care delivery, not insurance
  • Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on how congress can repeal and replace Obamacare
  • Eric Boehm of Reason magazine says future President Trump will control the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • Dr. Paul Kengor from the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College has an American Radio Journal commentary on the death of Fidel Castro

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

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