PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There is no strong base of support for Governor Tom Corbett among any income or age group or any region of the state — that’s one of the conclusions of the latest Quinnipiac Poll.
The numbers suggest bad news for the governor’s reelection prospects next year.
Only 31 percent of Pennsylvanians say Corbett deserves reelection — and, surprisingly, only 49 percent, less than a majority, of his own Republicans think he should be reelected.
KDKA political editor Jon Delano asked Corbett about these results at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Delano: “Are you doing something wrong?”
Corbett: “What I’m doing is what I told the people of Pennsylvania I would do.”
Corbett says he’s been making tough decisions to dig out of a deficit without raising taxes.
“Sometimes I think the people that elected me to make the tough choices expected that I would make them against things that they weren’t interested in and not against what they were interested in,” the governor said.
And he acknowledges tackling issues like education, transportation, pensions and the lottery are not easy.
“Am I popular because I want to do that? No. It’s what I was elected to do. It’s what we’re going to do,” he said.
Another big problem — by a two-to-one margin, the poll found voters disapprove of Corbett’s handling of the Penn State Jerry Sandusky case, but the governor defends his approach.
“You couldn’t rush that investigation,” he said. “I will go back. If we would have done one case alone, he would have — we would have had a very difficult time convicting.”
In addition to these issues, the governor also has a gender gap.
Women disapprove of his performance by a 14-point margin — and by a 30-point margin say he doesn’t deserve reelection.
This poll is not a prediction of an election more than a year-and-a-half away, and other governors have had bad poll numbers at this time and still won reelection.
But polls like this will encourage both Democratic and Republican challengers to look at this race.