State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Poll finds for Corbett, more of the same

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Apr 29, 2013 2:49 PM
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It’s the season of early gubernatorial polls, but a new one from Quinnipiac University tells us not much has changed for Gov. Corbett since last month.

The governor’s approval rating is still low, with 47 percent of surveyed voters unhappy with the job he’s doing, compared with 38 percent who approve of his job performance.

The poll finds Corbett would lose in a hypothetical match-up against one announced Democratic gubernatorial challenger, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, and two others who are said to be considering a challenge: former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak and state Treasurer Rob McCord.

Democrats, predictably, say this is significant, even though the election is a year-and-a-half away.

“It’s a clear indication that the direction this governor has led this state the past two years now is in the wrong direction,” Senate Democratic leader Jay Costa told reporters on Monday. “I think people are much more interested in issues that he’s not interested in.”

But another top senator from the Republican side of the aisle is downplaying the importance of voter surveys this early before the election.

During his remarks to attendees of the Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon in Harrisburg Monday, Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati said he likes reading poll results as much as the next pol. “It’s a great, great sport for all of us around here,” he said.

But for now, gubernatorial election voter surveys are testing the winds on an unsure field. “I think as we get closer to who the governor is running against, and what the issues the governor is running on and for, I think that sets the table much differently,” said Scarnati.

A total of five Democrats have announced they’ll battle it out in the 2014 primary, but more are rumored to be interested. And at least one Republican is still very publicly toying with the idea of entering the race.

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