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Quinnipiac Poll: Gender Gap Sinks Corbett Numbers

Tom Corbett upsetBy a 30 point margin, Pennsylvania’s women voters say Tom Corbett does not deserve a second term in the Governor’s mansion. The massive gender gap is mirrored in his job approval numbers, too.

That’s according to the latest poll from the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Overall 51% of respondents said he does not deserve to be re-elected compared to 31% who said he does. Men went against him by 10 points, 48% to 38%, while women oppose a second Corbett term by 30 points 54% to 24% (total gender gap: 20 points).

Other crosstabs don’t offer much comfort. Independents sided against the Gov. 51% to 31% and Democrats 68% to 17%. Not even a majority of Republicans said yes. They’d re-elect him 49% to 29%. He loses that question among every demographic and regional category.

Voters disapprove of the job he’s doing as Governor 42% to 36%, an 8 point slide from Quinnipiac’s November 15 poll. While men approve 41% to 37%, women disapprove 45% to 31% (total gender gap: 18 points).

“It’s halftime in Gov. Tom Corbett’s first term and if he were running a football team instead of a state, he’d fire his offensive coordinator,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“Gov. Corbett has hit the 50 percent approval rating only once so far, mainly because of his bad grades from women.”

Aside a few bright spots related to his disaster recovery efforts in 2011, Corbett has consistently suffered a big deficit with women voters. Efforts to soften his image have apparently not been successful.

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,221 registered Pa. voters from Jan. 22 to 27 using live interviewers calling landlines. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.8%. Polls that use registration numbers rather than algorithms based on likely voters tend to favor Democrats by a few points and disadvantage Republicans.

Penn State

Perhaps the most interesting single topic of the 2014 gubernatorial race will be the Penn State scandal. It has the potential to be an X-factor that works outside normal political lines.

If it does become a salient issue in the campaign, Corbett has catching up to do. Voters disapprove his handling of the situation – first as Pa. Attorney General then as Governor – by a 50% to 26% margin (with no significant gender gap). It’s worse in households where someone attends or has graduated from Penn State. Those voters disapprove 59% to 23%.

The Governor’s lawsuit is marginally popular, 41% to 37%, driven largely by the fact that 53% of voters said the NCAA’s sanctions on Penn State were too severe. 28% said the penalties were appropriate in light of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.


Both Pa. U.S. Senators are in tepidly positive territory, according to the poll. Voters approve Sen. Bob Casey 44% to 36% and Sen. Pat Toomey 43% to 25%.

The state legislature gets negative marks: voters disapprove of its job performance by 13 points, 46% to 33%.

20 Responses

  1. Former Constable of Lower Merion is running for Governor on the Democratic Ticket against Corbett

  2. I want to know how is paying obama and the president to get obama care health insurance past through law and who paid them off as far as im concern thgey have been paid off

  3. Thanks for the history lesson, Drod. I always heard rumblings about the pension issue in the early 2000’s. But I never knew how it exactly went down.

    On the other hand, you proved my point by saying Tom Corbett is “Tea Party” or a “Neo-Conservative”. See, like you said, “Ridge threw the teachers’ union a bone”. Corbett is doing the exact opposite. Corbett is not even trying to work things out the the teacher’s union. Any rational person knows there had to be cuts to education since 2007. But Corbett did not attempt to minimize. He “didn’t waste the economic crisis” and took a knife deep to the education budget.

  4. We have Barney Fife in the governor’s mansion. This guy could screw up a wet dream.

  5. I was part of this poll when they called on Sunday night. The questions were not biased or set up in any way to skew answers like ones that political parties or my local US Representative does.

  6. To Kathleen 3 — who chastised the Poll—DO YOUR HOMEWORK— 1 week before the 2012 Presidential Election —-Quinnipiac Poll
    Obama Up 5 in Ohio–2 in Flordia–2 in Virginia and 4 in Pa –pretty darn accurate—sorry to burst you Repub Bubble

  7. This is all to give Castor a chance to play the “Convicted Felon” card again against Asher. Which he loves to do over and over again because he knows how much it pisses Asher off…and that just tickles him.

  8. For as vulnerable as Corbett appears, we see no serious Democrats challenging him. We really are seeing a disconnect on this front.

  9. I do not know which issue I should take time to address. The issue of the “slow rolling child abuse investigation” that involved multiple agencies investigating one of our nations most “politically connected” colleges that placed its future and reputation into the hands of one of the most loved football programs directed by a coach who has a cult like following, as can be attested to given the response from many PS graduates and the supporting public, OR a reference to Corbett not being a Tom Ridge? I’ll go with Tom Ridge, now, because it is easier. Before making a comparison to Ridge, who I have shared conversation, you should realize that the number one reason our commonwealth is in a dilemma with the financial condition of the public employee pension is due to Ridge in 2001. I do not recall at this time all the particulars without searching thru my many years of notes so I refer to an article that summarizes ever so briefly a major change made by Ridge in the PA State Employees Retirement System. (Summary taken from website Nine Things That Matter Now; In his attempt to take care of the teachers union then Gov. Tom Ridge threw the teachers a bone on his way out of office when he changed the multiplier from 2.0 to 2.5 for state employees done at a time when the pension systems appeared to be flush with money. However, we have had two economic tsunami’s hit in the past ten years which has had a negative effect on the pension funds sustainability. This sequence of events has put tremendous pressure on school districts throughout the state. Property taxes throughout Pennsylvania have risen so that the shortfall can be made up for past political maneuvering and lack of consideration made for potential severe drops in the financial markets. Further, Ridge reduced the vesting period to 5 years which has since been changed to 10 years.
    I must ask bobguzzardi if the following is a typo or a hyperbole; “Quinnipiac is ass reliable as any can be in a rapidly shifting environment.”

  10. It looks like I should have said something differently. Tom Corbett is no friend on unions, education, liquor employees, nor lottery employees. He is a friend to gas companies, charter schools and companies who promise to build “cracker” plants in Western PA.

    Maybe it is best to call Corbett a neo-conservative. I don’t know. What do you call someone who is completely hard right. And for those who say he is not. Did you see Tom Ridge do any of this?? No

    The Republicans are grossly overestimating their chances in 2014. Corbett is easy to hate and even Republicans have told me they are not voting for him. These are the same Republicans who hate Obama, hate Democrats but with this rare exception THEY HATE CORBETT MORE!!

  11. Quinnipiac is, probably, one of the most reliable pollsters. Quinnipiac is ass reliable as any can be in a rapidly shifting environment. Republicans ignore its results at their peril.

    Only a Democrat would think Tom Corbett is “Tea Party”. Pressed by Sam Rohrer, he moved to a “no new tax” position which he is has violated with Marcellus Impact Tax (misnamed impact fee) as well as $4.6 Billion in new debt, much of going to Democrats and Big, Big Business.

    Democrats, obviously, cannot be trusted with money and there is one solution to all problems: More Taxes on Tax Makers to fund Monopoly Unions which drive up cost of government without improving or expanding services to the public.

  12. dr. bob makes a good point about Penn State affiliated voters. Some think Tom Corbett “killed Joe Pa.” and others think he slow rolled a child abuse investigation to collect campaign contributions. A competent and honest AG or DA would have arrested the child molester in November of 2008 when a credible Clinton County mother and her credible son reported the abuse.

  13. As a GOP-CommitteePerson and PSU-Grad, the most telling ‘graph notes that his approval is “worse in households where someone attends or has graduated from Penn State. Those voters disapprove 59% to 23%.”

    I have written on this blogging-site extensively about this issue and view those data as confirmatory of what i have argued [directly/indirectly] to R-Party leadership.

    Corbett MUST open-up on his portion of the “Tom and Jerry” show, else those who are worried that he slow-rolled the investigation while the AG [for years] will not be amenable to learning of any of the achievements he would otherwise wish to tout.

  14. lind – deaf – or truly ignorant, so I do leave myself vulnerable to attacks on this subject and response. “Many dems are gearing up!!” I have not read about or listened to “many” who have committed to the gov race. Certainly the dems are not going to hang everything on Hanger! Can you imagine John Hanger attempting to attack Shale Fracking. What were his past affiliations? And what dem will attempt or consider “right to work legislation”. And who is going to forget the turmoil a few years back when deals were made to support O’Brien for speaker of the house that later challenged party loyalty causing one possible dem candidate to lose favor and return to his county. And on and on and on. Some better know past history before attempting to write an absolute for the future. Neither party has a real good record going into the race but I suspect any recognizable race will be on the republicans side after a few more years of Obama. What did the Sandy Relief Bill cost all tax payers when compared to the recent tax hike? We will now need another tax hike simply to break even with the cost of the SRB. And for the record, I supported both vocally and by the registered voters in my family, the election of Kathleen Kane for AG. I told her she would win, and was deeply disappointed the organization to which I am affiliated did not endorse her but instead chose to opt out of any endorsement. I told our leadership not supporting Kane was a big mistake. I am a Rep that swings both ways. If I were to favor any dem Leach kind of sticks to me. Leach did seek my endorsement years back for his position and I believe our organization committed an error in judgment that was based on an issue that today is receiving public support. But, that is a big IF!

  15. On what planet is Tom Corbett a “tea party governor?” The reason his approval ratings are lukewarm among Republicans is that he has governed as a moderate and not got done the big ticket conservative items like liquor privatization, school choice and lowering the corporate net income tax (though blame on those items belongs with the legislature more than the Gov.).

  16. Corbett is simply indecisive. He trapped himself with the no tax stuff and looks like a fool when he tries to raise revenue and call it something aside from a tax. Gets slapped, then retreats. Flip/Flop on the NCAA sanctions. Bungled the roll out on lottery privatization, the close your eyes comment, no leadership on right to work…the list goes on. He looks totally reactive to the challenge from Bruce Castor. Now with Kane on his heals, the Ds are licking their chops.

  17. It looks like PA has rejected a Tea Party Governor. The biggest question for Tea Party Tom’s halftime strategy is if he soften’s in hard line stance on education and privatization or doubles down on a bad strategy knowing he won’t be re-elected. History will judge him as the biggest failure in the Gov’s mansion in the modern era of PA.

    Many Democrats are gearing up for a run for Governor. These candidates know Corbett is vulnerable. The bigger race in 2014 will be the Democratic primary not the general.

  18. Does anyone who is not a Progressive give an ounce of credibility to a Quinnipiac poll? I don’t think so.

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    Total Voters: 231

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