An article recently published by national polling website FiveThirtyEight found that while most states are unlikely to find a new party taking over the Governor’s chair in 2014, Pennsylvania was ranked as the most likely to see a switch in the state’s highest office.
Dating back to the early months of 2013, the security of incumbent Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett began to appear unstable. In the past year, Gov. Corbett’s approval ratings have continued to drop and as a result, he has received the title of “most vulnerable governor” from national prognosticators.
Author Harry Enten is asserting that Tom Wolf is not merely leading Corbett, but actually went so far as to declare that Wolf is “crushing” Corbett in the early polls. His analysis indicates that at the present moment the Democratic nominee has an 89% chance of winning the election.
The article is primarily focused on data collected over the past 8 years on gubernatorial races “without a major third-party candidate and with at least one poll in the field from January through June of the election year.” By comparing the results predicted by early poll numbers and the actual results, Enten was able to learn the degree to which early polls are accurate.
What he found was that early polls are quite reliable, with the article stating that “of the 84 (gubernatorial) races since 2006 with available data, the average error between early polling and the election results was just under 7 percentage points…the candidate leading in early polling has won 91.6 percent of the time.”
Now there are still over five months left to election day, which can be an eternity in politics. Nonetheless, this article demonstrates that once public favor begins to turn it can be difficult to win it back. Gov. Corbett will focus his energies for the rest of this year on doing just that.