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.
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%.