Poll spells more trouble for Corbett

There's double trouble for Gov. Corbett in the polling department: Republican voters are evenly divided over whether Corbett should stay or go.

In a poll released today by Franklin & Marshall College, 44 percent of Republicans queried want Corbett to step aside, while 42 percent say they would support Corbett.  Another 14 percent did not know if Corbett should run.

At the same time Corbett's approval ratings - which hit record lows in separate polls in the past six weeks - have dipped again.

Only one in five (19%) voters believes Governor Corbett is doing an “excellent” or “good” job as governor.

"Corbett has a huge uphill fight," said said F&M poll director Terry Madonna. "There isn't any doubt he is one of most endangered incumbents in what will be one of most watched governor's races."

The poll results come on the heels of the Washington, D.C-based Rothenberg Report's shifting the state's designation from "toss up Democrat" to "leaning Democrat," as other national prognosticators have done.

A Mercyhurst College poll released earlier this month found a 40 percent of Pennsylvanians would vote for an unnamed Democrat, while 29 percent said they'd vote for Corbett.

A record eight Democrats have lined up to challenge Corbett next year.

The poll includes a chart showing the shifting tide of public opinion about two of Corbett's predecessors, Former governors Tom Ridge and Ed Rendell.

Both saw their poll numbers dip in their first terms, but their popularity swung upward again to the 50 percent mark in time for their re-election campaigns. Neither had Corbett's low ratings at this point in the election cycle, Madonna said.

There is an avenue for him to improve his standing," said Madonna, pointing to some of the polls findings on issues such as Medicaid expansion which has the overwhelming support of voters.

"Look at Medicaid expansion there's help for him there he should be out there talking it up."

Corbett announced in August he would accept federal Medicaid dollars to expand healthcare for hundreds of thousands of uninsured Pennsylvanians. But he wants to run the program through private insurers, an idea which needs approval from the federal government.

Among poll respondents 64 percent supported Medicaid expansion and 72 percent backed the governor's plan.

"There are ways to improve standing," said Madonna. "Many polls including ours is the question is can he do it or not."

The poll also gauged Pennsylvanians' temperatures on the Affordable Care Act.

It found 50 percent of respondents who think the law should stand, while 40 percent want it repealed and 10 percent said they did not know.

The poll, conducted between Oct. 22 and Oct. 27, surveyed 628 registered voters in Pennsylvania, including 313 Democrats, 232 Republicans, and 83 registered as Independent or other, with a margin of error of 3.9 percent.