Quinnipiac Poll: Most Oppose Corbett Re-Election; Sestak Strongest Dem

Sestak Corbett
Sestak, left, and Corbett

Another day, another bad poll for Tom Corbett. Quinnipiac finds that most Pa. registered voters oppose a second term for him. Former Congressman Joe Sestak is the strongest Democratic candidate, though several run ahead of the Governor.

By a margin of 53% to 35%, registered voters surveyed said they don’t think Corbett deserves to be re-elected. Respondents disapprove the Governor’s job performance by a margin of 49% to 39%. Voters view him unfavorably 44% to 39%.

Subsets of the population with a net favorable view of Corbett include Republicans, those making more than $100,000 per year, and voters ages 18-34. Of party, gender, age and income, the only group to say Corbett deserves re-election was Republicans, 59% to 33%.

Though these numbers are low, they are not as dire as a Public Policy Polling survey released yesterday. Nor indeed is the news as bad for Corbett as it was in Quinnipiac’s own poll from late January. That showed his deserve re-elect number slightly worse: 51% against, 31% for.

“It’s still early, but Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is going nowhere, and maybe even sliding a little as he prepares for what could be a tough reelection fight,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“Pennsylvania voters, especially women, don’t like Gov. Corbett and are ready to consider several possible Democratic challengers, especially former Congressman Joseph Sestak, Mayor Ed Pawlowski and U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz,” Malloy added. “The fact that these relative unknowns top or tie Corbett signals a tough road to reelection.”

Head to Head Matchups

The pollster matched Corbett up against a number of prospective Democratic candidates and finds him trailing some but leading others. Former Congressman Joe Sestak, who ran for Senate in 2010 but hasn’t given any overt signs he’s seriously considering a Guv run, does best. He and Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski have solid leads; all other results are within the margin of error.

Sestak leads Corbett 47% to 38%.
Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski beats Corbett 44% to 38%.
Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz leads Corbett 42% to 39%.
State Sen. Mike Stack leads 40% to 39%.
Businessman and former Revenue Sec. Tom Wolf and Corbett tie at 39%.
Corbett leads former DEP Sec. John Hanger 42% to 41%.
Corbett leads businessman Tom Knox 40% to 39%.
Corbett beats State Treasurer Rob McCord’s 42% to 38%.

Hanger has announced, Pawlowski has hinted, and all other Democrats has indicated they plan to run but have not yet made it official.

Democratic Primary

Corbett’s head to head troubles are particularly interesting given the fact that barely any voters have heard of any of the Democratic candidates. Should a primary erupt, Sestak starts with the best name ID of the bunch.

Joe Sestak (42% total ID): 27% favorable, 14% unfavorable
Allyson Schwartz (33% total ID): 22% favorable, 11% unfavorable
Rob McCord (17% total ID): 12% favorable, 5% unfavorable
Tom Knox (17% total ID): 9% favorable, 7% unfavorable
Tom Wolf (15% total ID): 10% favorable, 5% unfavorable
Mike Stack (14% total ID): 9% favorable, 4% unfavorable
Ed Pawlowski (13% total ID): 9% favorable, 5% unfavorable
John Hanger (11% total ID): 6% favorable, 5% unfavorable

And here are the numbers among Democrats only for the top tier candidates. Once again Sestak does best and Schwartz is second. McCord, however, shows little benefit from his statewide campaigns including his successful 2012 re-election.

Sestak (47% total ID): 40% favorable, 6% unfavorable
Schwartz (39% total ID): 37% favorable, 2% unfavorable
McCord (23% total ID): 18% favorable, 5% unfavorable.

Gender Gap

Once again, women sink Corbett’s numbers. Women said he does not deserve to be re-elected by a 2 to 1 margin, 57% to 28%. Men said no 48% to 42% – a 23 point gender gap.

Women disapprove the job Corbett is doing as Governor 53% to 33%, compared to men who approve 47% to 44% – agan a 23 point gender gap.

In the head to head matchups, women largely skewed toward the Dem candidates. Sestak did the best among women, winning them by 21 points, followed by McCord and Pawlowskia t 15 points each. Hanger did worst, winning women by just 8 points.

Sestak, Schwartz and Pawlowski did the best among men, losing them by 5, 6 and 6 points respectively. Knox and McCord did the worst, each losing men by 15 points.


Voters approve Sen. Bob Casey’s job performance 48% to 34%. They approve Sen. Pat Toomey 43% to 32%.

The disapprove the way the state legislature is doing its job 58% to 28%.

Voters are split as to whether Pa. should expand Medicaid for low income individuals. 46% say it’s a good idea, 43% say it’s a bad idea.


Quinnipiac surveyed 1,116 registered voters from March 6 to 11 using live interviewers on land lines and cell phones. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.9%.

A benefit of using live interviews is evident in the name ID numbers for the Democratic candidates. For example, it seems a lot more likely that 11% have an opinion on John Hanger as shown in the Q-Pac poll (if that) than the 33% that PPP’s IVR poll showed yesterday.

Polls of registered voters, as opposed to likely voters, tend to advantage Democrats slightly in Pa.

15 Responses

  1. PAINDY1… I really enjoyed this!
    I watched it several times, and the more I watched it the more I LOVED IT!


  2. The loser of this years Guv race mcCord, Sestak, or Schwartz will beat Toomey for his Senate seat in 2016.

  3. The conclusion of the investigation was that Paterno was one of the people leading the cover-up. He kept following up to make sure it stayed out of the hands of the police.

    So, it was NOT the case that he handed it off to Curley/Schultz, but rather that Paterno actively engaged in the cover-up.

  4. In my view, Kathleen Kane shellacked Dave Freed, and got more votes than any candidate in 2012, including Barack Obama, because it was clear that Corbett had played politics with criminal prosecutions.

    I look forward to the Hershey/Zimmerman Presentment. From what I hear, Hershey does for the Republicans what Turnpike did for the Democrats.

    “Equal Justice Under the Law” is an old fashioned idea but it has its appeal to some of us.

  5. @ DD:

    Your snarky attack on JoePa’s legacy fails to recognize the possibility that he did what he said he regretted he had done, namely, to have depended upon Curley/Schultz to have addressed/resolved the report he had transmitted.

  6. Dear fellow Pennsylvanianan Basile, Obviously you aren’t a Knight at the Round Table of Corbett’s Camelot. I am sure when PATERNO the movie is released it will be another rocket shot for the Corbett poll numbers. The message from PAGOP Chair Rob Gleason is victory doesn’t matter-just be the broker of record. Basile if only we could sit at the Roundtable, we’d learn so much! http://youtu.be/q6blsCGdDI4

  7. I feel Kane’s landslide would be a look in the mirror moment for our dictator, but he is too smug.

    Our dictator’s budget cuts and lack of oversight and deregulation of Cyber and many charter schools have assassinated the education of children in poverty districts.

    Have you found a Transit Worker, State Store Worker, Public School Educator, College or University Professor, Environmentalist, or Penn State Alum that is going to vote for this ice hole? I sure hope Pennsylvanian$ can $ee hi$ pattern$?
    I know Thomas doesn’t care about polls, although neither did Romney.

    Read some of the comments on this link and feel some of the disgust.


  8. This poll supports my comments about the previous poll, that Sestak’s “lead” among Dems is completely based upon his greater name recognition due to his 2010 statewide race.

    In general, the poll just shows that Corbett is highly vulnerable to almost any Democrat.
    Even the mayor of Allentown, with low name recognition, still shows good numbers over Corbett.

    Missing is the head-to-head match-up for the Dem primary. But, until candidates actually announce and spend money to get their names out there, it’s all pretty meaningless.

    Sestak has only $8,000 in his campaign account. Schwartz has about $3,000,000 cash on hand. She will have no problem increasing her name ID. Besides, Sestak isn’t running for Gov.

  9. Tom Corbett is not producing and the Republican Primary voters are noticing.

    Quinnipiac did not poll this but even the obtuse and stubborn, closed minded losers in the Republican Establishment have to be noticing Corbett loses to EVERY Democrat.

  10. This poll compares favorably to that of PPP, but it remains problematic.


    The former dealt with two issues in a revealing fashion that reflects truths…and the problems with trusting such polling: Sandusky and State Stores.

    The former corroborates repeatedly-expressed-concern on these internet pages [“Voters disapprove of Corbett’s handling of the ‘Penn State situation over the last few years’ by a wide margin: 58% to 25%.”]; he must “get out front” regarding this bipartisan, visceral potentially-fatal flaw.

    The latter is logically-erroneous [“They oppose ‘Corbett’s plan for privatizing the Pennsylvania lottery’ by a margin of 67% to 17%.”] because Corbett hasn’t yet released his plan [which many suggest will reflect backpedaling portrayed as “modernization”]; he would be honoring a campaign-promise were he were to use these monies to resolve the Pension Bomb rather than to increase education funding [unless, perhaps, it were to be used to enhance School Choice].

    Guzzardi just disseminated input from Castor that suggests Corbett may be encountering chronic-conflict with his GOP-dominated legislature; thus, if no other potential challenger emerges, Castor [regardless of whether he is portrayed as to Corbett’s “right” or “left] appears to be emerging as the key-alternative.

  • Will Doug Mastriano Run For U.S. Senate?

    • No. Not Enough Support From Mainstream GOP. (91%)
    • Yes. Let Doug Be Doug. (9%)

    Total Voters: 892

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