Sunday, April 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Let the Polling Begin

And so we start 2013 with a poll about 2014 -- because that's become the way of the political world.

Let the Polling Begin

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett gestures while speaking at a news conference Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013 in State College, Pa. The NCAA overstepped its authority by imposing hefty sanctions on Penn State University in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal, Corbett said in announcing a federal lawsuit against the college athletics governing body. (AP Photo/Ralph Wilson)
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett gestures while speaking at a news conference Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013 in State College, Pa. The NCAA overstepped its authority by imposing hefty sanctions on Penn State University in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal, Corbett said in announcing a federal lawsuit against the college athletics governing body. (AP Photo/Ralph Wilson) AP

Just because it's only the first full week of 2013 doesn't mean we can't start looking at polls about 2014.

That is, after all, the way of today's political world.

And so Raleigh, North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling reports Gov. Corbett owns a pretty dismal 38% approval rating which, says PPP's Tom Jensen, makes him "one of the most vulnerable" Guvs in America.

This, despite a majority (52% of polled registered state voters) support Corbett's lawsuit against the NCAA.

Still, when run head-to-head against a stable full of Democrats (excluding Sen. Casey), the only one he trails is Ed Rendell -- who cannot run because of a state constitutional ban against serving three terms.

It no doubt cheers other Dems (including newly-elected, yet-to-be-installed state Atty. Gen. Kathleen Kane, who's tied with Corbett in the poll) that these head-to-head match-ups show a close contest.

You can read the full poll here.

But the poll's real message is that even with approval numbers that suggest certain defeat, Corbett still beats Mayor Nutter, Allyson Schwartz, Joe Sestak, John Hanger, Tom Wolf and Rob McCord if the election were held today.

And, yeah, each of these Dems are what can be called "well positioned" to challenge Corbett, but only former Rendell cabinet member Hanger is an announced candidate, and he and all others are bunched together in polling numbers because none has a sustained statewide ID and because THERE IS NO RACE YET!

So it appears polled voters are torn between (a) ANY Democrat can beat Corbett and (b) no Democrat (other than one who can't run and, maybe, one who wasn't polled) can beat Corbett.

Guess we'll have to wait for more, you know, polling.

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
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected