U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz is the frontrunner among Democrats and leads Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett (R) by 10 percentage points, according to a Quinnipiac University poll of registered voters released Friday.
Schwartz had 45 percent to 35 percent for the governor. State Treasurer Rob McCord, a likely contender for the Democratic nomination, also leads Corbett, 43 percent to 35 percent, an 8-point spread.
The 2014 election is 15 months away and the Democratic challengers are largely unknown in much of the state, so those poll results likely reflect the broad and persistent dissatisfaction with Corbett that Quinnipiac and other independent pollsters have measured.
Fifty-two percent say Corbett does not deserve reelection, to 35 percent who believe he does.
“Schwartz is in a strong position to become Pennsylvania’s first female governor,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Polling Institute. He noted Corbett’s consistently low marks with women voters.
UPDATE: Corbett addressed his low poll numbers earlier in the week during an appearance at the Ephrata Chamber of Commerce in Lancaster County, saying he has tackled tough issues and will continue to do so.
"There are a lot of tough decisinos that need to be made, and it wouild be easier to deal with them, but I made a promise to voters that I would," Corbett said Wednesday. "I'm not looking at things in a two or four year election cycle. I'm looking down the road 10 and 12 years."
In the Democratic field, Schwartz draws 18 percent, while none of the other challengers scored above 5 percentage points. Even so, 72 percent of respondents statewide said they did not know enough about Schwartz to form an opinion of her. Schwartz’s 13th District is in Montgomery County and Northeast Philadelphia.
Eighty-five percent said they did not know enough about McCord to form an opinion.
Corbett, however, is viewed favorably by 30 percent, to 42 percent who hold a negative opinion of the governor.
The poll of 1,032 registered Pennsylvania voters was conducted from May 30 through June 4 in live telephone interviews, including cell phones. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points. The survey includes 460 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 4.6 percentage points for the primary questions.