Updated: Thursday, December 17, 2009, 11:09 AM
Tom Corbett is the clear frontrunner in the race to be Pennsylvania’s next governor, a new poll shows.
Corbett, the state’s two-term attorney general, had a 38-12 percent lead over U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released this morning.
In the five-way race for the Democratic nomination, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato leads the field with 14 percent of the vote while none of the others – Auditor General Jack Wagner, Philadelphia businessman Tom Knox, Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel and Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty -- crack double-digits.
Corbett easily beats the three top-polling Democrats – Onorato, Wagner, and Hoeffel – in head-to-head matchups, the poll found. And none of the Democrats are well-known statewide.
“All of the candidates are so unknown to most Democrats that it is anyone’s guess what will happen,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “One thing is for sure; with five months until the May 18, 2010 primary, none of the candidates is even close to separating themselves from the pack.”
The poll also fond that Gov. Rendell, who is barred from seeking a third term, continues to suffer from a dismal approval rating. Only 43 percent said they approve of the way he is handling the job. Still, that’s much better than the legislature. Only one if four gave a favorable job-approval rating to the General Assembly.
In a non-campaign question, six out of 10 of those polled said they supported the idea of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes in Pennsylvania.
The poll surveyed 1,381 Pennsylvania voters between Dec. 8 and Monday and has a margin of error of 2.6 percent.
Click here for Philly.com's politics page.