By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor
Tom Corbett handling of the recent flooding crisis has earned the Governor a significant boost in job approval, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll.
The Governor has apparently rebounded from his summer doldrums and negative approval rating, and now enjoys a favorable job performance rating by a margin of 50 percent to 32 percent. That represents 10 points of net approval from his August numbers, 44 percent positive job marks to 36 percent negative.
The pollster did not delve into the cause for Corbett’s growth, but its seems more than likely to do with his approach to the flooding crisis. Among all demographic groups tracked in the poll, voters in area heaviest hit by the floods – northeast PA – showed the sharpest spike in approval for the Governor (from 31 percent in Quinnipiac’s August 3, 2011 survey, to 48 percent today). His approval among women increased 8 percent.
“Gov. Tom Corbett’s batting average with women and Republicans has surged, getting him to the important 50 percent benchmark in approval rating,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a press release.
“Compared to struggling first-term Republican Governors Rick Scott in Florida and John Kasich in Ohio, two other swing states, Gov. Corbett’s .500 average makes him an all-star candidate.”
Voters also like the Governor as a person by a wide margin, 52 percent to 12 percent. They approve his policies by a much narrower 42 to 37 percent.
Approval for the state legislature is hovering at 31 percent, in line with the general trend over the past few years.
Approval for freshman Senator Pat Toomey is down slightly from the August poll; his 43 to 32 percent job approval reflects a statistically insignificant net drop of 2 percent.
In other policy issues, voters believe 62 to 30 percent that the economic benefits of Marcellus shale gas drilling outweigh environmental concerns. Even Democrats back drilling 50 – 41 percent.
Voters support 64 – 27 percent a new tax on gas drilling companies, with 51 to 37 percent support among Republicans.
They support privatizing liquor stores by a margin of 62 to 31 percent, oppose privatizing health care in state prisons 43 to 37 percent, and oppose 64 to 28 percent privatizing the operation of state parks.