Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 11, 2016

The Most Vulnerable Governor in the Country

Corbett is seeking re-election in 2014 in the Keystone State. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Corbett is seeking re-election in 2014 in the Keystone State. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

There is still a year until the midterm election, but Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is in very serious jeopardy of losing re-election in 2014.

The Republican governor’s polling numbers continue to sag. According to a new survey, conducted October 22-27 by Franklin & Marshall College, just 19 percent of registered voters gave Corbett an excellent or good job rating, while 39 percent said “only a fair job” and 37 percent gave him a poor rating. Just 20 percent said he deserves re-election and 25 percent believed Pennsylvania is headed in the right direction.

That’s just the latest in a series of polls over the course of the year that have showed Corbett with slumping job ratings, poor personal image with voters and often trailing in general-election ballot tests.

Even though GOP strategists are trying to get Corbett back on track, the governor can’t seem to get his footing (in part because of his recent comments about same-sex marriage licenses). And his handling of the Penn State scandal continues to be a problem below the surface, according to one GOP source. We’ll see if voters change their tune on Corbett after seeing more “human” images of him, mingling with crowds, showing shirtsleeves and playing with his dogs.

Philadelphia-area Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz is the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, but a small crowd of candidates will compete in the May 20 primary. State Treasurer Rob McCord, wealthy businessman Tom Wolf and Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski are running, along with former state Environmental Protection secretaries John Hanger and Kathleen McGinty, Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz and minister Max Myers. Clearly, Democrats smell blood.

At this stage of the race, Corbett will likely start the general election as the underdog against the Democratic nominee.

Corbett isn’t the only governor in the country to have poor job ratings. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois has struggled in his first term. But there haven’t been recent public polls in that race and Quinn as the advantage of running for re-election as a Democrat in a Democratic state. Corbett doesn’t enjoy the same dynamic.

The Pennsylvania gubernatorial race is now rated Lean Democrat (from Tossup/Tilt Democrat) in the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call ratings.

  • southerndemnut

    Corbett is gone, whether it is in the primary or the general election.

    If he is indeed the nominee, the question is not whether if he would lose, but whether he will drag down the rest of the GOP in the state. It is like having an anchor on both legs, Corbett + national GOP. PA is a purple state and the GOP is overrepresented at all levels. The GOP then is ripe for a fall, the question is just how hard the fall will be.

  • teapartyidiots

    I saw this headline and was like, “Oh, Corbett, no question.” I’m in Illinois, and Quinn’s reelection hopes really depend on how the GOP plays this. If they nominate someone like Bruce Rauner, or maybe Dillard, they’d have a legit shot (I’d vote for Rauner over Quinn in a nanosecond), but if they nominate Brady again, forget it. Ultrasound wands don’t play here.

    • Rich-3

      What you point out is the real problem with the dims. They will vote dim no matter what. Quinn should be toast no matter what state he is in but the dims will put him back in the big chair to screw the state up more. Corbett on the other hand stands a good chance of losing right now but the problem with the polls is they are based on generic terms and once the dims have a person to run it will change the numbers. I really do not think Schwartz has a chance now most of the others I am not familiar with and they prolly would stand a better chance.

      • teapartyidiots

        I just said I’d vote for Rauner, a Republican, if he’s nominated. I won’t vote for someone who’s going to put in regressive social policies, and I’m hoping I’m not forced to vote for Quinn because of it. Also, I don’t have a party affiliation, but pejoratives like “Dims” are not for adult conversations.

  • hawkny1

    It would be nice to see Corbett take 5-6 GOP Congressmen with him….

    • MonarchPass

      Sure. Because what this country needs is one-party rule. The last month has certainly proven that, hasn’t it?

      • mjcc1987

        Republicans are not a party, just opposition. No ideas. Just hate, fear, and loathing.

  • Rob_Chapman

    his handling of the Penn State scandal continues to be a problem below the surface

    If people like Corbett, in a position to help the kids at Penn State, can get away with looking the other way, what hope is there?

    • Rich-3

      That crap went on long before he was AG so spare me the bs buddy. If you want to talk trash about someone know the facts. You can surely say he should have gone after them when things bubbled up his way but again all of this was after the fact and the real finger goes to the people who were there that let that happen and did nothing all those years back. He did not look the other way, they had already since looked the way by the time it had come to him years after the fact.

      • Rob_Chapman

        Yet when Corbett, who ran for AG as a crime fighter, came into office the pedophile predation at Penn State continued to be covered up.

        Corbett is a clueless hack whose tenure in whatever office merely extends the status quo in favor of the wicked.

  • Aaron Gribble

    Let’s get things straight first. I’m only 14 years old, and I clearly tell this was a Biased article written by A Pro Democratic Author. I believe Tom Corbett will win ReElection in 2014, if he runs on Rep.Schwartz vote record. According to what I’ve read, she has a very liberal voting record in the house. She also voted for the Affordable Care act, and never voted to repeal it. Corbett has a path to ReElection. As for Pat Quinn, he’s done. State Senator Kirk Dillard is leading him by 8 points and is sure to will the Governorship next fall.

    • Jawad Pullin

      First of all, and this is coming from a 17-year old, you can’t tell a biased article. If you knew anything, you’d know that Schwartz does not have a liberal voting record, but in fact has a very centrist background. Case and point, the ACA. Corbett has no path to reelection being one of the most unpopular governors in the country. Facts only please…

  • BBWeekly

    So is this all the Penn State thing? What else is making him so unpopular?

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...