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Quinnipiac Poll: Corbett Approval Falls, Trails Most Dems

Governor Corbett
Governor Corbett

The latest Quinnipiac poll has bad news for Tom Corbett. The survey found the Governor’s job approval rating at its largest net negative ever. He trailed all but one of 7 Democratic opponents in head-to-head matchups.

Voters disapproved his job performance 53% to 36%, a net negative of 17 points. Respondents said he does not deserve re-election by 20 points, 56% to 36%.

Corbett’s gender gap persists. He was at negative 5 points in job approval among men (47% to 42%) versus negative 27 points among women (58% to 31%).

Unsurprisingly, his numbers with Democrats were poor. Only 16% of Democratic respondents approved, compared to the 75% who disapproved. 53% percent of independents disapproved versus 35% who approved.

Approval amongst the Republican party was lukewarm; 61% of registered GOPers approved and 27% disapproved.

In terms of ideology, the plurality of respondents said that Corbett was “just right,” 37%. Another 33% said he was too conservative and 15% said he was too liberal.

52% of respondents said he should not even run in 2014 – including 32% of Republicans.

“If it were a Penn State game, it would be a blowout,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Some 56 percent of Pennsylvania voters say Gov. Corbett does not deserve a second chance and 52 percent say he shouldn’t even come out of the locker room for the second half.”

In this survey, voters’ personal opinions of Corbett hurt the Governor. 46% of respondents said he is not honest and trustworthy; 43% said he is. 57% said he “doesn’t care about their needs and problems”; 35% said he does. The silver lining for Corbett: 48% to 45%, voters said he is a strong leader.

But they disapprove his handling of most specific issues. On government spending, negative 38 points (64% to 26%). On education, negative 34 points (62% to 28%). On taxes, negative 34 points (62% to 28%). On the economy, negative 22 points (57% to 33%). On “the Penn State situation,” negative 21 points (50% to 29%). On health care, negative 18 points (51% to 33%). On “issues of special concern to women,” negative 15 points (42% to 27%).

He earned his best marks on transportation, where his performance earned a mere 13 points of disapproval (47% to 34%). The transportation bill Corbett signed this fall is one of his signature legislative achievements to date.

Head-to-Head Matchups

Every Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Quinnipiac tested outpolled the Governor, all except former DEP Secretary John Hanger.

Former Auditor General Jack Wagner, who has floated a bid but not declared one, did the best against Corbett. He led by 12 points, 48% to 36%.

Of the announced candidates, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz had the widest margin over Corbett at 8 points, 45% to 37%.

Former DEP Secretary Katie McGinty and former Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf followed closely with a 7 point margin. Each led Corbett 44% to 37%.

State Treasurer Rob McCord was close behind, winning the head-to-head with Corbett by 3 points, 42% to 39%.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski eked out a win over the governor by 2 points, 41% to 39%.

Only former DEP Secretary John Hanger trailed Corbett, by 5 points (42% to 37%).

Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz and Cumberland County pastor Max Myers are running in the primary, although neither was tested.

State Government

Governor Corbett is not alone in his poor job approval. The state legislature had a negative approval rating of 25 points, 56% to 31%, near its all-time low. The state legislature performs horribly among Democrats, who disapprove with by the immense margin of 68% to 18%. Women also strongly disapprove, 59% to 27%; compared to men to disapprove at a smaller margin, 52% to 37%.

Respondents were pretty much unhappy with everything in this poll. When asked how they felt about the direction that the Keystone State was heading, 57% said they were dissatisfied compared to the 41% who said they were satisfied. Just 2% said they were “very satisfied.”

Much of the dissatisfaction comes from Democrats, 72% of whom said they are dissatisfied, compared to just 40% of Republicans.


Gambling got mixed reviews in this poll. When asked whether the current legal gambling in Pennsylvania is a “good thing,” voters said yes, 55% to 37%. But voters opposed 57% to 39% having casino gambling in the town or city where they live. Voters also opposed 62% to 33% legalized online gambling in the state. This is a pretty good statistical representation of the Not In My Backyard (NIMBY) phenomenon. But voters agreed 71% to 26% with the argument that it’s better for people who like to gamble to keep their money in Pennsylvania rather than gamble in another state.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,061 registered voters from December 11 to 16 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3%. Live interviewers called land lines and cell phones.

The head-to-head matchups were conducted using a split sample of a size Quinnipiac did not reveal, meaning the margin of error was higher for those questions.

8 Responses

  1. Hanger did fine in the PPP poll. The various polls are all over the place and 5 months before the real poll—-you know, the one where Democrats actually vote and select their nominee. Hanger is still the best Democrat in the race. (What is disappointing is that polling never includes Max Myers or Jo Ellen Litz. Conjecture and prognostication aside, it might be informative to know what the results might be when people are given the entire list of candidates to “vote” for. Very irresponsible not to include them. Do I sense some “handicapping the race” or some “working the ref” so to speak)?

  2. PoliticsPA should block his IP if he doesnt chill out. Thats how most sites handle constant spam.

  3. “found the Governor’s job approval rating at its largest net negative ever”

    “If it were a Penn State game, it would be a blowout,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

    Shocking! Although well deserved!

  4. Seriously, does nobody else get annoyed with the constant messages from PAIndy1?!?!?! Even if I agree with him I roll my eyes when I see he has posted yet again…

  5. THE PA HOUSE NEEDS TO PASS THE CHRISTIANA BILL TO TEACH COS GROMIS BAKER THAT IT WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED BY UPMC’S AND HER HUSBAND’S INTIMIDATION TACTICS. If the Goverance of Penn State was flawed, then the Goverance of UPMC is horribly flawed. UPMC is in the midst of an insurance war. UPMC is under an attempt to be unionized by SEIU. Facing these significant external challegenes, why has the UPMC board allowed its CEO to purchase a $50 million jet for the System? Why hasn’t the UPMC board cleaned up the mess of its insider dealings? Why does the UPMC Board allow Jeff Romoff and Scotty Baker to intimidate courageous Pennsylvania Legislators? Has the UPMC board been sold a false bill of goods that the UPMC has total political control of the Keystone State? Who sold the board this erroneous premise?

  6. THE PAGOP HAS A TOM CORBETT PROBLEM-TOM CORBETT HAS A PATERNO PROBLEM-DOES THE UPMC BOARD HAVE A ROMOFF PROBLEM WHICH WILL BECOME AN EVEN BIGGER PROBLEM FOR CORBETT AND THE PAGOP? I’ve been complaining for months about the conflict of COS GROMIS-Baker and her husband Scotty. But after UPMC’s purchase of a $50 million jet and their attempts to put their jackboots on the throats of PA legislators it is time to speak up. The UPMC board is totally asleep at the switch. Can the public have full disclosure on the salaries of Jeff Romoff, Scotty Baker and Jeff’s daughter Rebecca Kaul? How much did the UPMC system pay Doug Romoff over the years for advertising? Who on the board approved this contract with Jeff’s brother? Why does the public in PA have to put up with this sick joke that UPMC has no employees? If the UPMC board thinks that Jeff Romoff is indispensible then I want nothing to do with this institution. Why isn’t UPMC’s cancer program rated higher in the US NEWs and World Report Rankings? U.S. News Score
    Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University
    St. Louis, MO
    See Cancer scorecard
    Ranked in St. Louis metro area and Missouri
    62.8 / 100
    New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell
    New York, NY
    See Cancer scorecard
    Ranked in New York metro area and New York
    62.7 / 100
    University of Colorado Hospital
    Aurora, CO
    See Cancer scorecard
    Ranked in Denver metro area and Colorado
    62.1 / 100
    University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers
    Ann Arbor, MI
    See Cancer scorecard
    Ranked in Detroit metro area and Michigan
    61.3 / 100

    UPMC-University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
    Pittsburgh, PA
    See Cancer scorecard
    Ranked in Pittsburgh metro area and Pennsylvania

  7. If Hanger were smart, he’d run for Lt. Gov. He’d blow all of the other candidates out of the water and it would ensure that a progressive candidate was in upper office

  8. Dear Jeff Romoff, Scotty Baker, and the UPMC health System board: Your $50 million jet was a far better purchase than the Governorship of TOM CORBETT. Please get this Candidate into the UPMC morgue-NOW. My autopsy is he is DOA which is often the case with our Dark Prince’s clients.

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    Total Voters: 112

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