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PPP Poll: Voters Approve Corbett on NCAA Suit, But Not Him

Penn State LogoGov. Tom Corbett is winning this round, according to the latest survey from Public Policy Polling. But his approval rating and his head-to-head performance against several Democrats leaves much to be desired.

52 percent of Pa. voters support his lawsuit against the NCAA and just 34 percent oppose it. Those who root for Penn State support the move 62 percent to 23.

Overall, Pa. voters think the NCAA’s sanctions against PSU in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal were too strict. 62 percent said the sanctions were too strict, while 27 percent think they were ‘about right’ and 8 percent think they were too lenient.

Corbett announced last week that his administration was suing the NCAA on the grounds that it didn’t have the authority to sanction PSU over a non-athletic, criminal issue.

But Penn State continues to be a toxic issue for Corbett overall. Just 27 percent of voters said they approved his overall handling of the situation from the time he was the Attorney General investigating the Sandusky case until now. 50 percent disapprove.

“Corbett clearly knew what he was doing politically with the Penn State lawsuit. But he continues to be one of the most vulnerable Governors in the country headed into 2014,” wrote PPP Director Tom Jensen.

The poll’s crosstabs tell and interesting story about Penn State alumni. They disapprove Corbett’s job performance 48 percent to 45, but they love Attorney General-elect Kathleen Kane. They have a favorable opinion of her by 31 points: 48 percent to 17.

Approval rating and head to head numbers

Nearly a dozen Democrats have floated their names as possible gubernatorial contenders in 2014, and that’s been driven by his numbers. In this poll, voters disapprove of Corbett’s job performance by a 14 point margin, 52 percent to 38.

They tested Corbett head to head against 8 potential opponents, and the results are interesting – as are the name ID numbers for so many of the names they tested.

Only one, former Pa. Gov. Ed Rendell, beats Corbett in a matchup. But according to the pollster, “The undecideds in all of these races lean strongly Democratic- they’re generally voters who disapprove of Corbett but aren’t familiar yet with the potential alternatives. His consistent 40-42% standing would put him in trouble against pretty much any of these folks.”

A few key takeaways: Rendell has 90 percent name ID. Kathleen Kane, Michael Nutter and Joe Sestak are around the 50 percent name ID mark. 76 percent of people have no opinion of Pa. Treasurer Rob McCord, who was re-elected 2 months ago.

Here they are, in order of competitiveness, and for fun we included numbers about their statewide name ID:

Corbett: 40 percent
Former Pa. Gov. Ed Rendell: 46 percent
–Favorable: 47 percent
–Unfavorable: 43 percent
–Not sure: 10 percent

Corbett: 42 percent
Attorney General-elect Kathleen Kane: 42 percent
–Favorable: 33 percent
–Unfavorable: 19 percent
–Not sure: 47 percent

Corbett: 41 percent
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter: 38 percent
–Favorable: 30 percent
–Unfavorable: 17 percent
–Not sure: 52 percent

Corbett: 41 percent
Former DEP Secretary John Hanger: 37 percent
–Favorable: 7 percent
–Unfavorable: 23 percent
–Not sure: 70 percent

Corbett: 42 percent
Former Rep. Joe Sestak: 36 percent
–Favorable: 24 percent
–Unfavorable: 25 percent
–Not sure: 50 percent

Corbett: 41 percent
Pa. Treasurer Rob McCord: 35 percent
–Favorable: 13 percent
–Unfavorable: 11 percent
–Not sure: 76 percent

Corbett: 41 percent
U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz: 34 percent
–Favorable: 19 percent
–Unfavorable: 16 percent
–Not sure: 65 percent

Corbett: 41 percent
Former Revenue Sec. Tom Wolf: 29 percent
–Favorable: 8 percent
–Unfavorable: 13 percent
–Not sure:  percent

PPP surveyed 645 registered Pa. voters via IVR from January 4 to 6. th. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.8 percent. The survey included 48 percent Democrats and 38 percent Republicans, an accurate reflection of the state’s voter registration figures but more favorable to Democrats than typical turnout patterns.

Though PPP is aligned with Democrats, their polling was rated the most accurate in the country in 2012. Their 2012 polling mostly comprised surveys of likely voters, a measure that is difficult or impossible so early in the 2014 cycle.

9 Responses

  1. Anyone supporting a liar and a cheat (Corbett) has little to recommend them to ME. Watching the losing GOP going insane trying to redistrict in order to negate legal voters…..should all rot in hell. Liars and cheats. And a few other things I won’t type on the internet, but you know what I’m thinking.

  2. “After all, your shoe size must be diminutive compared to the rest of the posters on this blog.”-John
    Hey I resemble that remark…er ….never mind.

  3. The Kane Freed election can be viewed as a proxy election on Tom Corbett because Freed was so closely identified with Corbett by Republican voters who, then, voted for the Democrat to clean house.

  4. Nice try, Kathleen.

    While it is a robo poll, and that should be taken into consideration, PPP has been accurate since 2006. I did not see you complaining when they showed Corbett winning by 9% a few days out of the 2010 elections, and accurately predicting the demographic composition of the electorate (older, whiter). Also, looks like they were spot on in 2012, when many conservative activists were crying that they were wrong, and Romney had the momentum.

    The fact is that this survey, taken into consideration with myriad others showing Corbett weak and vulnerable, scares the GOP, and with good reason.

    The sample size is right on, and shows that the electorate, if the people were to cast ballots today, would look almost identical in 2014 as it did in 2010. You probably don’t bother to look at crosstabs, though, because they do not help your argument.

    The most discouraging thing for Corbett has to be that women are less than 50% of the sample, most respondents are older and white, and he still can barely crack 42% against unknown candidates statewide. Your arrogance about the Governor’s standing, most likely shared by his political people, will be his downfall in 2014.

    But I don’t expect you to respond in an intelligent way–mostly to attack the facts. After all, your shoe size must be diminutive compared to the rest of the posters on this blog.

  5. Bruce Castor is the last person anyone would listen to re political appts. This guy would sell his soul to be in Corbett’s seat.
    A PPP poll? Seriously, does anyone with an IQ higher than their shoe size put weight in any of these biased polls other than Ed Rendell, Nutter, and Ramsey?

  6. Kathleen Kane received more votes than any other candidate in the 6 November election; more than the well known and well liked Bob Casey and more than Barack Obama. Kathleen Kane 3,125,557 compared to Republican Dave Freed’s 2,313,506. As Bruce Castor pointed out , the Kane Freed vote was a referendum on Tom Corbett who had personally chosen Dave Freed which Pennsylvania State Committee, in obedience to incumbent governor, Pennsylvania’s premier distributor of patronage money, endorsed.

    What is note worth is how significantly Freed/Corbett underperformed other Republican state wide candidates. My view is that Republicans were aware that Dave Freed was a close associate of Tom Corbett and his Establishment donors and that Dave Freed as Attorney General would protect Corbett from claims of slow rolling the Sandusky investigation in exchange for 100s of 1000s of campaign contributions as well as sabotaging LeRoy Zimmerman/Hershey Trust investigation.

    Mitt Romney – 2,680,434; Tom Smith – 2,509, 132; John Maher Auditor – 2,548, 767: Diana Irey Vaughan – $2,405, 654.

  7. Corporate Tom is about to break the streak of two-tem governorships – purely on merit (or lack thereof). Over his head, and out of touch.

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    Total Voters: 30

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