Governor Tom Corbett is facing one fewer potential opponent next year with word that Republican Bruce Castor has decided not to run against him in the primary. But he’s still facing challenging approval ratings.
The latest Franklin and Marshall College Poll shows Governor Corbett’s job performance remains around 25% and more than half of those polled do not believe he deserves reelection.
Poll Director Terry Madonna says voters list the economy, jobs and schools among their priorities with privatizing liquor and lottery sales last on the list. He says this creates a problem for the Governor, who has been talking about privatizing the management of the lottery and privatizing alcohol, he says it does not resonate with voters as very relevant to them.
Madonna says the economy has also been a factor. He says it’s often hard when you recommend cuts to popular state programs and the economy doesn’t seem to be moving forward very quickly. He says there’s an important correlation between governors who win reelection and the health of the economy.
Madonna says Governor Corbett’s numbers lag behind the ratings of two previous governors, Tom Ridge and Ed Rendell, at this time in their terms.
Madonna adds that the poll also shows some softening in support for liquor privatization. Although a plurality supports selling state stores, a third option is on the table- modernization. The poll shows 26% of voters support modernizing liquor sales.
Meanwhile, another Pennsylvania Republican saw his numbers go up in the poll. U. S. Senator Pat Toomey gained 9 points in his favorability ratings since February and now stands at 35%. More than 40% of those polled don’t have an opinion or are undecided.
Madonna says the gun background check debate in Congress did not hurt Toomey with the voters. The Senator was one of the architects of a compromise effort that failed to win final approval.
Madonna says 57% of the voters in Pennsylvania favor creating more laws to regulate gun ownership. 89% favor universal background checks.