Friday, December 19, 2014

POSTED: Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 8:47 AM
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (Photo from Getty Images)

Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett’s support for a controversial 2012 bill requiring women to have an ultrasound before an abortion continues to dog him: “You just have to close your eyes.”

On Tuesday, a “tracker” from the Democratic PAC Fresh Start caught the Republican governor on tape denying he’d ever backed the legislation, designed to discourage abortions with images of the developing fetus.

“I never did,” he said, when asked if he still supports the idea. “I didn’t sign the bill.”

POSTED: Monday, October 20, 2014, 9:49 AM
Gov. Tom Corbett (right) and democratic challenger Tom Wolf. (Staff, Getty photos)

A new survey shows Gov. Tom Corbett (R) trailing Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, 49 percent to 42 percent, the tightest margin between the two candidates in any public poll so far.

The poll, released Friday by the news website Keystone Report, was conducted by Magellan Strategies, a GOP-leaning research firm based in Baton Rouge, La. It suggests a much closer race than other recent surveys, and is in line with what Pennsylvania Republicans say they have been seeing in private polls.

A poll conducted between Sept. 30 and Oct. 5 by Quinnipiac University, for instance, found that Wolf was leading by 17 percentage points.

POSTED: Thursday, October 16, 2014, 10:03 PM
Screen grab from the Corbett campaign website.

You’re a Republican governor and you don’t have a black woman handy to pose standing next to you for a picture on your campaign website?

Not a problem. Just Photoshop!

According to the website Buzzfeed, the black woman shown smiling up at Gov. Tom Corbett in the footer on his campaign site was borrowed from a stock photo array and grafted into the group shot. Corbett’s campaign said that the entire tableau is a mix of pictures of real people and stock photos, blended together through the magic of Photoshop.

POSTED: Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 12:12 PM

First Lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday urged a crowd in Northwest Philadelphia to “step up today” and begin making phone calls and knocking on doors to elect Democrat Tom Wolf governor.

“If we truly want to finish what we started…if we want change in Pennsylvania, we need to take responsibility,” Mrs. Obama said at a rally with several hundred people at the Dorothy Emanuel Recreation Center in East Mount Airy.

Her visit, less than three weeks before the Nov. 4 election, was designed to help build some excitement in an area where Wolf needs good numbers from in order to win. Campaign workers with clipboards signed up attendees for volunteer shifts.

POSTED: Friday, October 10, 2014, 8:02 AM
(Video still from

Democrat Tom Wolf is swamping Gov. Tom Corbett (R) nearly 3 to 1 on television sets across Pennsylvania this week, according to tracking reports of the campaigns’ purchase of advertising time.

 If that continues, it may become difficult for Corbett to take advantage of what polls show is a solidifying GOP base and begin to eat into Wolf’s double-digit lead. (The latest available campaign-finance reports showed that the challenger ended September with a $1.7 million cash advantage over the governor.)

 “It’s an article of faith in Pennsylvania politics that if the Democrat can spend evenly with a Republican in a Senate or governor’s race, they’re likely to win given the registration advantage,” said lawyer Shanin Specter, a key strategist in the campaigns of his late father, Sen. Arlen Specter, the Republican-turned-Democrat.

POSTED: Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 6:15 AM
Gov. Corbett (left), the Republican incumbent, and Democratic nominee Tom Wolf debate on Wednesday. Republican voters' interest is higher, but with Wolf's lead in the polls, the issue becomes: How do these candidates generate turnout? (TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer)

Democratic challenger Tom Wolf leads Gov. Tom Corbett (R) by 17 percentage points among likely voters in Pennsylvania – 55 percent to 38 percent – as the campaign enters its final month, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released Tuesday.

The survey shows a slight improvement for Corbett compared to the last Quinnipiac Poll of the race Sept. 11, when Wolf led 59 percent to 35 percent among likely voters.

“With a slight shift in the numbers as a handful of Republicans come back, there is a pinprick of light at the end of the long, dark reelection tunnel, but time is not on Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s side,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the poll. “It’s a matter of simple math.”

POSTED: Monday, October 6, 2014, 2:21 PM

Democrat Tom Wolf unveiled a pair of new television ads Monday that blast Gov. Corbett for recent blows to the state’s fiscal condition and its economy, while also charging that Pennsylvania’s rate of new-job creation has dropped during his administration.

 One of them, “Three Days,” opens with a picture of the governor and the assertion that “things keep getting worse under Corbett. On Sept. 16, it says, “budget deficits” force the state to borrow $1.5 billion “just to keep the lights on.” Three days later, the state’s unemployment rate ticks up for the second month in a row. And on Sept., 25, Pennsylvania’s credit rating was downgraded for the fifth time in two years. In between, the add slams Corbett with a labor-oriented think tank’s report that the state has slipped from 9th in the nation in job creation to 47th in the past four years.

The tagline: “Why would we give Tom Corbett another four years?”

POSTED: Saturday, October 4, 2014, 5:56 PM

A battalion of union volunteers fanned out in North Philadelphia Saturday to knock on doors and fight a potential threat to Democrat Tom Wolf’s campaign for governor: apathy.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and PA Working Families organized the canvass, which put about 400 people on the streets to identify voters who support Wolf and to encourage them to come out to the polls Nov. 4.

Wolf has led Gov. Tom Corbett (R) by an average of 15 percentage points throughout the campaign, but Democratic strategists and their allies in the labor movement know that the party’s base voters have proved more apt to turn out in presidential years than in a midterm election. The idea is to reach out and communicate with so-called “drop-off” voters.

About this blog

Inquirer staff writer Thomas Fitzgerald blogs about national politics.

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