Monday, September 22, 2014
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Corbett can't shake Sandusky

A new poll says PA voters, by a wide margin, still think Gov. Corbett didn't do enough in the Sandusky case.

Corbett can't shake Sandusky

In this Nov. 10, 2011 file photo, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett makes remarks during a news conference after a Penn State Board of Trustees meeting in State College, Pa. Corbett said Tuesday, Jan. 1,<br />2013 he plans to sue the NCAA in federal court over sanctions imposed against Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal. (Matt Rourke/AP File)
In this Nov. 10, 2011 file photo, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett makes remarks during a news conference after a Penn State Board of Trustees meeting in State College, Pa. Corbett said Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013 he plans to sue the NCAA in federal court over sanctions imposed against Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal. (Matt Rourke/AP File)

A new Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday says state voters, by a wide margin, still believe Gov. Corbett  didn't do enough in the investigation of the Jerry Sandusky child-sex scandal when Corbett was state attorney general.

The poll also suggests the issue will dog the guv into next year as he faces reelection.

By a margin of better than two-to-one (58-23), the survey of more than 1,000 registered voters says Corbett fell short as AG. The findings are essentially the same among Republicans, Democrats, Independents, men, women, across education and income levels and whether voters are Penn State fans or not.

In addition, nearly half the electorate (47 percent) say the Penn State issue will be "very important" or "somewhat important" to them when casting their vote for governor next year.

"Pennsylvanians think Gov. Corbett fumbled the Sandusky probe," said poll assistant director Tim Malloy.

About the only good news for Corbett -- and it relies largely on a favorable resolution to the governor's efforts to overturn NCAA sanctions against PSU, an issue pending before the courts -- is that nearly half those polled (46 percent) believe the sanctions "too severe," a number only slightly down from January when 53 percent said the same.

The poll also found other "very important" issues driving the 2014 election are: jobs (77 percent), government spending (74 percent), schools (72 percent) and taxes (68 percent).

These are issues that can cut both ways for Corbett. Right now, he's tagged for low rankings in job growth but has kept government spending down. Right now, he's cast as hurting schools but has not raised taxes.

Lots can happen between now and next November. Heck, lots can happen in the next few weeks as Corbett and the Legislature wrestle with liquor privatization, transportation funding, pension reform and a new state budget.

But this poll demonstrates that the Sandusky thing continues to have staying power -- in ways that can't help Corbett stay in power.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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