The latest Franklin & Marshall poll shows Gov. Tom Corbett’s favorability rating has not changed in over two months, having stayed the same at 32 percent. But that might not be saying much.
The June poll numbers were a mixed bag for Corbett. Two months ago, his favorability rating rose to 32 percent where it stands now (which was up 3 percent from January’s poll), while his unfavorability rose more quickly – from 32 to 39 percent.
While the favorability has held steady these past two months, his unfavorability now stands at 42 percent, up 3 points from June.
This is not a good sign for Corbett, but given that there was a 7-point jump in the number of people who rate themselves as “very interested” in the election – at 58 percent, upcoming numbers boosts for Republican candidates could give him a boost, too.
Conversely, increasing popularity for the Democratic candidates could sink his numbers lower.
There is a clue as to why Corbett’s numbers continue to decline. Poll respondents ranked the problems facing Pennsylvanians today by order of importance, with unemployment, government or politicians, education, the economy and taxes rounding out the top five.
While voters are more likely to blame a sluggish economy on the President, negative feelings toward the government or conceived poor handling of education (particularly with continued ire over college tuition increases and slashed spending for public schools) are likely to account for Corbett’s poor polling.
This poll was conducted before a decision was handed down on Voter ID, however – a law that polls well in the state. A late June Public Policy Polling survey put Voter ID approval at 58 percent.
So perhaps voters will keep that law, promoted by the Corbett administration, in mind the next time a pollster calls.
Interviews were conducted from Aug. 7 – Aug. 12 at the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College, with 681 registered voters responding.
There were 343 Democrats (50 percent), 254 Republicans (37 percent) and 84 registered as Independent/Other (12 percent).
The sample error for this survey is +/- 3.8 percentage points.