In Franklin & Marshall College poll, Gov. Corbett's numbers are down
HARRISBURG — Arlene Miller is a Republican but has reservations about GOP Gov. Tom Corbett.
Miller, 76, of Punxsutawney says Corbett is “wasting a lot of time,” getting sidetracked on proposals such as privatizing the state lottery by giving a British firm a 20-year management contract. He wants to privatize the state liquor stores.
“Privatizing everything? I don't know,” she said. “They keep turning things over to another country.”
Only one in five Pennsylvania voters believes Corbett has performed well enough to warrant a second term, a statewide poll found. The Franklin & Marshall College poll showed Corbett's performance rating lower than former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell and ex-Republican Gov. Tom Ridge at this point in their terms — even lower than President Obama, whose popularity hit an all-time low of 41 percent unfavorability in an NBC/Wall Street Journal national poll this week.
The Pennsylvania poll of 628 registered voters, conducted last week, revealed one in three Republicans rates Corbett's performance “excellent” or “good,” said G. Terry Madonna, the poll director.
“We're confident (voters) will support him for re-election,” said Corbett's campaign manager, Mike Barley. “He said he was going to reduce taxes and create jobs, and he's done that.”
Corbett hasn't formally announced his candidacy.
“He's got to change the narrative,” Madonna said, “and that means doing something in a major way that's positive.”
Wes Leckrone, a political science professor at Widener University, agreed: “Barring any change to the status quo, I don't think he can pull out of the tailspin to win next year.”
The poll's error margin is 3.9 percentage points. Madonna said he “weighted” it to approximate voter registration: 50 percent Democrats, 37 percent Republicans and 13 percent independent. Barley disagrees with the poll's use of registered voters instead of likely voters.
Republicans appear divided on Corbett in the poll: By a 44-42 percent margin, they said he should not run again. Fourteen percent are undecided. That question used a smaller sample of 231 registered voters, putting its margin of error at 6.4 percentage points.
Despite dissatisfaction within party ranks, Corbett will garner most Republican votes, Leckrone said.
“The question would be, who would really challenge him in the primary? It doesn't seem like anyone wants to run against him. At the end of the day, Republicans still fall in line behind their candidates,” Leckrone said.
Another potential hurdle is whether an anti-incumbency mood from the federal government shutdown continues next year. Corbett and other state candidates could suffer voter backlash even though they have nothing to do with what happens in Washington, Leckrone said.
The national poll found 63 percent of voters want to replace their own member of Congress.
In Pennsylvania, Obama rates better than he did in the NBC poll: 50 percent of voters have a favorable view of the president and 44 percent, unfavorable. Five percent are undecided.
Obama's signature health care law could help Corbett even though, as a former attorney general, Corbett sued to block the law.
“Perhaps Medicaid reform, if that goes through, will help him,” Leckrone said.
The Supreme Court last year upheld the law but allowed states to decide whether to expand Medicaid. Corbett is seeking federal approval of his plan to use federal money to provide privately purchased insurance to hundreds of thousands of uninsured residents and require recipients to pay a premium and seek work or job training.
A plan similar to Corbett's won approval of 72 percent of voters in the Franklin & Marshall poll; 18 percent oppose it and 10 percent are unsure.
If approved, the idea might give Corbett a campaign argument that he's a bipartisan governor who tailored a plan for Pennsylvania based on “free-market principles,” Leckrone said.
Brad Bumsted is Trib Total Media's state Capitol reporter.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Elizabeth Forward team honored for playoff berth
- Board vote turns in favor of union workers
- White Oak church keeps alive Scots community celebration
- Harvest of Hope fundraiser to support cancer patients
- Red Wings rally, shock Penguins in overtime
- Predators winger Neal caught ‘blindsided’ by trade from Penguins
- Report linking field surface to cancer elicits Mt. Lebanon protest
- Falling fuel prices help airlines — not fliers
- Rossi: Middling Steelers must make a statement
- The real Captain Phillips brings story of piracy to St. Vincent College
- Ferrante defense questions results of cyanide test