State House Sound Bites

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

Corbett campaign looks to gain traction in re-election bid

Written by Mary Wilson | Sep 8, 2014 5:24 AM
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Photo by Mary Wilson / witf

A flurry of polls on the gubernatorial race show Republican incumbent Governor Tom Corbett's reelection bid is in trouble, as, his campaign rushed to point to polls showing a tighter contest.

But, what may be more significant are the point spreads that aren’t being publicized.

Democratic candidate Tom Wolf is up by 30 points or 11 points or nine points. According to a leaked internal poll, the York County businessman is only up by seven points.

Such have been the results of a slew of different polls, all with different methodologies, over the past two weeks.

The polls matter most to fundraisers, and people trying to change the perception of the horserace.

But political strategists say what matters more than publicized surveys are the internal polls being conducted by campaigns and their big donors -- those results may never out.

Wilkes University political science professor Tom Baldino is among many political observers who think the race will tighten up. 

"I suspect the gap will close a bit more regardless of which poll results you use, or which poll you refer to, by the time the election occurs," he says. "I would be shocked if Wolf wins by 20 points."

Meantime, a recent Corbett ad is working to link Wolf to President Obama, whose popularity is also down.

Baldino says Corbett is just borrowing a common Republican strategy.

"As a strategy linking any Democrat to Obama or an unpopular Democratic policy or Obama policy is worth doing," he says "Whether or not it works in Pennsylvania remains to be seen."

A Republican strategist says the move might not be effective because Wolf has not explicitly tied himself to Obama during his campaign.

Two months remain until the November election.

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