Crowded Democratic primary field underlines Corbett's re-election woes
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett's vulnerability to losing re-election in 2014 has grown in recent months. Outside race predictions by analysts at The Washington Post and Governing reflect the Republican governor's increasingly weak position heading into the election season, when his abysmal approval ratings and state Democrats, rabid for an ousting after years under a Republican trifecta, will finally be put to the test.
A survey taken July 1-2 by Harper Polling showed that just under a quarter of state residents think Corbett deserves to be elected again in 2014. Those results backed up earlier polling figures released by Quinnipiac University, which had him at 38 percent job approval and substantially behind Democratic gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz in a hypothetical general election match up. The Quinnipiac poll showed Schwartz beating Corbett by a whopping 10 points. Better odds, as it happens, than had been revealed in a similar survey conducted previously by Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican-aligned firm.
Back in April 2013, Schwartz was already looking especially threatening vis a vis Corbett's dismal popularity among female respondents, 54-27 percent of whom expressed opposition to Corbett’s re-election, a margin of 2 to 1.
There are 36 states holding regularly scheduled gubernatorial elections in 2014 and there are 5-10 seats considered most likely to face partisan switch, Corbett among them. He recently moved into to the top slot on the Washington Post's "engangered" list, after having been in third place during the prior rating cycle. Corbett's upgraded vulnerability status comes to bear on the heels of his failure to enact any of his three tent-pole policy initiatives during the recently concluded spring legislative session. The timing also corresponds to a further swell of Democratic candidates entering the 2014 governor's race, as if they sense the office drifting nearer to their party's grasp with each of Corbett's setbacks.
Including Schwartz, six Democratic hopefuls - Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger, his predecessor Kate McGinty, Cumberland County minister Max Myers, Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz and York businessman Tom Wolf - have formally launched 2014 campaigns for governor, and the group could expand more in the coming months, with Treasurer Rob McCord still mulling over a bid.
- The Washington Post, "Tom Corbett is the most endangered governor in the country," July 12, 2013
- Harper Polling, "Pennsylvania Poll: State Budget & Corbett Re-election," July 1-2, 2013
- Quinnipiac University, "Schwartz, Best-Known Of Unknown Dems, Tops Corbett, Quinnipiac University Pennsylvania Poll Finds; Girl Next Door Clinton Tops Native Son Santorum In 2016," June 7, 2013
- Public Opinion Strategies via the Philadelphia City Paper, "Pennsylvania Statewide/Philadelphia Suburbs Poll pdf," April 30-May 2, 2013
- Quinnipiac University Poll, "LEADING DEMS TOP CORBETT IN PENNSYLVANIA GOV RACE,QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY POLL FINDS;DEM PRIMARY IS A RACE BETWEEN SCHWARTZ AND SESTAK," April 29, 2013
- University of Virginia Center for Politics: Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2013-2014 Gubernatorial Races," April 29, 2013
- The Washington Post, "The Fix's top 15 gubernatorial races," March 22, 2013
- Governing Politics, "2013-2014 Governor's Races: Who's Vulnerable?," December 12, 2012
- Philadelphia Inquirer, "State Treasurer Rob McCord launches PAC for governors race," July 11, 2013
- PoliticsPA, "Exclusive: McGinty to Launch Guv Exploratory Committee," March 18, 2013
- The Associated Press, "AP: Ex-revenue chief Tom Wolf running for Pa. gov," April 2, 2013 (dead link)
- Lebanon Daily News, "Litz to announce run for governor July 2," June 18, 2013