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Big storm gives Gov. Corbett lift in approval ratings

| Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, 1:00 p.m.
Tribune-Review
Governor Tom Corbett talks about deploying the National Guard across Pennsylvania in response to tropical storm Sandy during an end of the day briefing at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) in Harrisburg on Tuesday, October 30, 2012. Corbett said although the State was not done surveying the damage left in Sandy's wake in regards to cleanup, 'We are ahead of where we thought we'd be.' He added, 'I'll feel better when we're out in the field tomorrow.' Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review

HARRISBURG — Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's job approval rating rose as voters gave him credit for his handling of superstorm Sandy, a poll shows.

A poll Quinnipiac University released on Thursday found Corbett's job approval rating at 40 percent, with 38 percent disapproving, said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the university's polling institute. That left 22 percent of voters undecided or unwilling to answer.

It's Corbett's highest rating since March, when his job approval was at 41 percent, the poll showed.

Benefiting from positive views of his performance during the storm, which caused relatively minor damage in Pennsylvania compared with New Jersey and New York City, Corbett moved from negative ratings to a break-even standing with voters, Malloy said. His numbers were roughly within the poll's 2.5 percentage-point margin of error. The poll surveyed more than 1,400 Pennsylvania voters from Nov. 9 to 13.

Corbett talked numerous times with reporters at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Headquarters during three days of storm responses. He later toured Southeastern Pennsylvania, which was hardest-hit and where hundreds of thousands of residents were without power.

Sixty-one percent of voters gave him a positive nod for storm management, compared with 74 percent who thought President Obama's handling of the hurricane was “excellent” or “good.”

Overall, Corbett's approval/disapproval is 42-38 percent among men. Women split 37-37 percent, according to the poll. Republicans approve 61-16 percent, and independent voters split 37-37 percent. Democrats disapprove of Corbett's performance 54-26 percent.

Brad Bumsted is state Capitol reporter for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 717-787-1405 or bbumsted@tribweb.com.

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