Endangered Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) appears to be closing the gap with Democratic opponent Tom Wolf, according to a new Magellan Strategies poll conducted for the news website The Keystone Report and released Tuesday.
Corbett has pulled to within 12 percentage points among likely voters, the Magellan survey found. Wolf, a York County businessman, had the support of 50 percent, to 38 percent for the governor. The rest were undecided.
In an earlier series of independent polls taken from late May through June, Corbett was trailing Wolf by an average of 21.7 percentage points.
The new poll comes after a steady barrage of attack ads from the Corbett camp.
Magellan’s findings were in line with a New York Times/CBS poll last week, which found Wolf holding a 9-point lead. The latter survey was conducted on the Internet over 21 days, however, a methodology that many pollsters say is problematic, in part because it excludes people who are not online.
Magellan, a Republican-oriented firm based in Colorado and Louisiana, used automated telephone responses from 1,214 Pennsylvanians who indicated that they were registered voters and likely to cast ballots in November.
The respondents were contacted on July 29 and July 30. Results are subject to a potential margin of error of just under 3 percentage points.
According to the polling firm, 43 percent of respondents indicated they are registered Republicans, while 46 percent said they were Democrats and 10 percent identified as independent.
Democrats have a much larger registration advantage overall in Pennsylvania. About 50 percent of the state’s 8.2 million voters are Democrats, compared to 37 percent registered with the GOP. But the electorate in a midterm election such as this year’s generally skews more Republican than in presidential years.
In the 2010 governor’s race between Corbett and Democrat Dan Onorato, the exit poll conducted for the TV networks found 40 percent of those voting were registered Democrats, to 37 percent Republican (and 23 percent unaffiliated/independent).
The spread between the GOP and the Democrats in the Magellan poll’s model is also 3 percentage points.