Corbett Sinks in Polls as Challengers to Pa. Governor Gain

Wednesday, 13 Mar 2013 12:31 PM

By Kenneth Hanner

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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s approval rating is sinking as new polls show the Republican is among the nation’s least popular governors.

A survey by Public Policy Polling showed Corbett with a 33 percent approval rating, compared with 58 percent of voters who disapprove of the governor’s performance, a decline of five points since December.

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Only two governors in the country have a higher disapproval rate—Democrat Pat Quinn of Illinois, and independent Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, the pollsters said.

Corbett fared slightly better in a new Quinnipiac University poll, with a 38 percent approval rating and 49 percent disapproval.

“It’s still early, but Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is going nowhere, and maybe even sliding a little as he prepares for what could be a tough re-election fight,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Both polling companies tested Corbett against a host of challengers for 2014 when his term expires.

Public Policy Polling sampled five Democratic challengers against Corbett, none of whom had high name recognition. In January, Corbett led all of them, but in the most recent poll Corbett trails them all — several by double digits.

Quinnipiac polled Corbett against eight possible Democratic challengers and found the governor trailing in four matches, with one dead heat. Former Rep. Joseph Sestak was the Democrat who would give the governor the toughest race, topping Corbett 47 to 38 percent.

Corbett’s handling of hot state issues has precipitated his decline in the polls. The PPP survey said only 25 percent of voters approve of the way he dealt with the Penn State sex scandal and just 17 percent support his plan to privatize the state lottery.

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