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Rothenberg Moves PA-Gov to Lean Democrat

Tom Corbett
Tom Corbett

National elections handicapper Stu Rothenberg now thinks Democrats have a better than 50/50 chance of beating Gov. Tom Corbett.

The Rothenberg Political Report this week moved its rating of the race from “Toss Up/Tilt Democrat” to “Leans Democrat.”

The DC based observer cited Corbett’s recent remarks comparing same sex marriage to sibling marriage, as well as the ongoing Penn State scandal.

Every national elections ranking now says Pa. is leaning in favor of Democrats (Rothenberg, Larry Sabato, Washington Post), or is among toss up states (Cook Political Report, Governing Magazine).

Here’s what Rothenberg wrote:

PENNSYLVANIA — Tom Corbett (R), elected 2010 (54%). March 11 filing deadline, May 20 primary.

Corbett might be digging a hole for himself that he can’t get out of. The governor’s polling numbers continue to lag. He made news recently for saying that same-sex marriage licenses are invalid in the state, just as a license between siblings would be. And the Penn State scandal continues to be a problem for Corbett below the surface.

Smelling a great opportunity, eight Democrats are in the race to face to Corbett. Suburban Philadelphia Rep. Allyson Schwartz is regarded as the frontrunner, but state Treasurer Rob McCord, wealthy businessman Tom Wolf, and Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski are running, along with former state Environmental Protection secretaries John Hanger and Kathleen McGinty, Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz, and minister Max Myers.

The only viable path to re-election for Corbett looks like if Schwartz wins the nomination and Republicans can paint her as too liberal for the rest of the state outside of Southeast PA. She would be the first female governor of the Keystone State — and Corbett might break a long-term trend of parties holding the governorship for eight years before losing it. Move from Toss-Up/Tilt Democrat to Lean Democrat.

10 Responses

  1. I agree with both Jim and Paindy1 on this one. It would be great if guys like Gerlach would step in a run against Corbett. But when Gerlach tried to make a run in an open primary in good faith the last time, the Republican big guns did everything they could to threaten his big donor supporters with being shut out of the future process by Corbett if he happened to win. Gerlach is still the better candidate over Corbett, just as much now as he was then, but the Republican Party Power brokers made their bed and like Paindy1 said they are fully prepared to lie in it. Remember the tide is turning on the D’s now with Obama Care crashing, and so their plan is to paint Schwartz as the raging liberal she is and hope to squeak through. The best the people of PA can hope for is to prevent a raging liberal Obama water carrier like Schwartz from getting elected. The price the entire state will pay for that….another four years of Corbett who is without a doubt the most lackluster, disengaged Governor PA has had in a very long time. Voters, political power brokers and donors get the government they deserve, and if they would have given Gerlach( or any other decent candidate) the fair shot to run in an open primary last election cycle against Corbett, we would not even be having this conversation. It is kind of like the knight in crypt in Raiders of the lost Ark “They chose poorly”. They certainly did, an now we must all deal with the consequences.

  2. If any Democrat can beat Corbett then we need to nominate the most progressive which is Allyson Schwartz.

  3. If he runs, Corbett will lose. This is Santorum redux. Dems may take the State Senate and the margin in the House will dwindle. Unfortunately there is nobody in the Corbett inner circle willing to tell him this truth and he is too out of touch to believe it anyway.

    Reps. Gerlach, Meehan, Dent, or St. Sen Lisa Baker (not Pileggi) please step up and take this guy on!

  4. Come on PAINDY1 it is only our children for jimminee sakes!

    Parents and teachers are all too aware of what’s happening. “Tom Corbett, the weakest governor in the United States, is trying to stake his claim on completely dismantling and starving one of the nation’s largest school districts into dysfunction and collapse,” says Gym.

    The nails aren’t all in the coffin yet, but they are being pounded deeper every year by a state that has turned its back on, if is not openly hostile to, the idea of free and equitable education for all.

    “It’s an absolute atrocious mockery of anything related to public leadership,” Gym says. “To not have a stable public school system is more devastating to Philadelphia than anything that has happened before.”
    -Helen Gym parent

  5. Somebody needs to tell this lame duck to quit trying to give away our assets to a British firm.

  6. any democrat will beat corbett allyson schwartz will be the nominee and crush corbett by double digits pa is ready for a woman governor.

  7. Don’t we need a law to disclose what Jeff Romoff and Scotty Baker husband of COS GROMIS-Baker earn? I guess UPMC is still somewhat of a Public institution? Well I guess you don’t need employees when you have Scotty’s wife pulling for you and you have Mary Beth Buchanan’s Hubby’s superlobbyists as your superlobbyists; they are so good the State had to borrow them.!!

  8. Why does Tom Corbett love Corporate Cyber Charter Welfare Queens like Vahan Gureghian so much? OFF THE FLOOR: ‘Pickleface Picture’ means Gov. Corbett will be GOP nominee again.
    By Peter L. DeCoursey
    Bureau Chief
    HARRISBURG (Oct. 28) – A photograph called the “Pickleface Picture,” intended to provide proof of a Gov. Tom Corbett-arranged Montgomery County political marriage has been hurtling around the Internet, but to my surprise, few have seen what the picture really means.
    Because the guy in the picture who is not smiling, Republican National Committeeman Bob Asher, the state’s foremost Republican fund-raiser, is the guy looking like he is thinking “Here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into, Tommy.”
    As you will see it is a picture of Corbett clapping, with Asher looking annoyed to raising his arm as if a victor with the biggest eastern GOP donor and charter school magnate Vaughn Gureghian. Gureghian looks happy. And Corbett, for a guy who arranged all this, looks more put-out than Asher. But that is just Corbett grimacing for the camera again, a common activity for this governor.
    To understand Asher’s facial expression and attitude, you have to know some history, and this Philadelphia Inquirer article is a good primer.
    In short, Asher and one-third or more of the other poobahs in the Montco GOP have been hatcheting each other for decades. Asher and Commissioner Bruce Castor being the leading combatants the last eight years or so, with GOP county chairman Bob Kerns as his Castor’s trusty sidekick.
    That split helped spur the demographic tidal wave that ensued. The split also helped turn a strong suburban GOP county into a rising tide of Democratic power, with voters filling the county commission first in 2007 with a hybrid GOP-Democrat anti-Castor ruling coalition and then with two Democrats in 2011.
    It also meant that while Corbett won the county in 2010, which was a rarity as Republicans lost the presidential vote in Montco in 2008 and 2012. The demographic changes for Montgomery, Bucks and Delaware County are big reasons why the Republicans haven’t won the presidential vote since 1988.
    So Corbett desperately wanted to heal this breach generally and get both Gureghian and Asher mending the party rather than building rival machines that fought each other as much as they did the Democrats, at least in Gureghian’s case. Asher, who is probably the most loyal Republican in the state, still worked hard for the GOP slate, but only after a lot of infighting each spring.
    And Corbett was clear about the effect of uniting the party at its fall dinner in Jeffersonville: he said the Asher-Gureghian-Kerns pact to work together was “one of the best presents you could have given a Republican who is running statewide.”
    But this was not a matter of Asher, Kerns and Gureghian being thoughtful. The governor demanded his allies – and both Gureghian and Asher count as top allies, with Asher being in the inner circle and Gureghian just in the next circle of Corbett intimates – gave this to him.
    And as one long-time Asher-ite said: “Bob was tongue-kissing Vahan because the governor asked him to. Everyone was talking about how Leslie [Gromis Baker] made the biggest sacrifice to save Tom. Well, not sure that is true anymore.”
    In addition to showing how loyal Asher is to GOP governors, it also showed something else.
    Virtually every plausible scenario that results in Corbett not running for governor starts with Asher, Gromis Baker, Pat Solano from Northeastern Pennsylvania, Jack Barbour from the west, and maybe a few others sitting down with the governor in the next few weeks to tell him his polls are historically dreadful, so he can’t win and shouldn’t run.
    First of all, none of those people are about to do that, or even close to doing that, especially not Asher. And since most agree he would have to quarterback any such effort, the “PickleFace Picture’s” significance emerges. Asher would not have buried the hatchet and posed for photos with Gureghian if he was about to switch governors. Simple as that. If he was going to switch candidates, he would have put off the peace pipe ceremony until after the switch.
    And he certainly wouldn’t have let a lame duck force him into this co-fund-raising king for the Montco GOP arrangement with Gureghian. Asher is in his 70s and nobody can force him to do anything anymore. But he helped Corbett decide to run, and likes being a kitchen cabinet member and has been loyal to Republicans a lot more annoying than Corbett – Gov. Dick Thornburgh and U.S. Sens. Rick Santorum and Arlen Specter, to name three.
    He took the PickleFace Picture because he was standing by his Gov, simple as that. And he plans to be standing by Corbett right up to the election night party in Pittsburgh in November 2014, and hopefully from 2015 to 2018.
    So, sure there are potential candidates out there still planning in case Corbett drops out. But the Gov consistently tells his friends and supporters he is running and won’t change his mind.
    And his closest allies and supporters believe him. And unless the governor changes his mind – which doesn’t often happen – none of the first-tier candidates will run, not Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, not U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Butler, or any of the rest.
    Could Corbett get some opposition? Sure. Heck, half his staff wants state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, to run in the primary or some other Tea Party type, to make Corbett seem more moderate.
    But he will be the nominee. And you don’t have to believe me. But you should believe the PickleFace Picture.

  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

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