New poll shows Corbett losing to every likely Dem candidate

ASSOCIATED PRESS Gov. Corbett is facing a number of hot-button issues of his own making - at a time when his approval numbers are low.


[updated] Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett, listed as one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the nation in next year's midterm elections, trails every Democrat he is matched against in a Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday.

Rep. Allyson Schwartz, former Rep. Joe Sestak or state Treasurer Rob McCord would lead Corbett by 11 points at this moment, 45 percent to 34 percent, PPP finds. Against  businessman and former revenue secretary Tom Wolf, Corbett would be 9 points behind (42-33) and against former state Environmental Protection head John Hanger, he'd trail by 7 points (41-34).

It's a remarkable turnaround for the governor from a January survey by PPP, which found Corbett leading Hanger by 4 percentage points, Sestak and McCord by six, Schwartz by seven and Wolf by 12.

Further, the pollsters said, the Democratic candidates are not very well known compared to the goveror. The most famous is Sestak, with 52 percent of respondents saying they had heard of him enough to have an opinion, to 38 percent for Schwartz, 31 percent for McCord and 22 percent who had heard about Wolf.

The poll finds Corbett's approval rating at 33 percent, with 58 percent disapproving.That approval number is down from PPP's January survey, which found a 38 percent approval rate.

These results may represent a "ceiling" of support for Corbett at this point, the pollsters said, noting that most of the undecided voters in the survey leaned Democratic.

"At this point, Tom Corbett looks like the most endangered governor in the nation up for reelection next year," said Dean Debham, president of PPP.

Results are based on interviews with 504 Pennsyvlania registered voters from Mar. 8 to Mar. 10, and are subject to an error margin of 4.4 percentage points.

PPP is a Democratic firm based in Raleigh, N.C. that uses automated telephone response technology.