Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett Trailing Democratic Challengers

Pennsylvania Governor Bob Corbett is in serious trouble in the polls:

Bad news for Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett — the Republican trails three potential Democratic 2014 challengers by at least 9 percentage points, according to a new poll on Monday.

Former Rep. Joe Sestak leads Corbett 48 percent to 34 percent, while Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) tops Corbett 47 percent to 34 percent, the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute poll found. State Treasurer Rob McCord also beats Corbett 44 percent to 35 percent.

Sestak and Schwartz are locked at 15 percent a piece in a potential Democratic gubernatorial primary matchup. No other potential candidate polled above 3 percentage points. But 59 percent of Democrats weren’t sure or didn’t answer.

Schwartz has said that she plans to run for governor in 2014. Sestak has said he wants to serve again but hasn’t specified a specific office.

Now, obviously, it’s still early and Corbett could bounce back, but he’s been suffering in the polls for awhile now and, although Corbett won in 2010 by some 360,000 votes, Pennsylvania is state that tends to favor Democrats. This is why he is, along with Florida’s Rick Scott, Michigan’s Rick Snyder, and Maine’s Paul LePage, among the four Republican Governors up for re-election in 2014 that are considered the most vulnerable. Other Republicans such as Nikki Haley in South Carolina, John Kaisch in Ohio, and Scott Walker in Wisconsin (who will face his third election in four years next year) are considered to be in a much better position.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. stonetools says:

    I dunno… can a liberal female Jewish person win in a state like Pennslyvania, with a big conservative midsection? Pennslyvanians, weigh in.

    I like Sestak toi go all the way this time.
    I’m hoping for a wave of Democrats winning governorships.

  2. Hal 10000 says:

    This is not surprising. I know lifelong Republicans who have told me they will not vote for Corbett. There are a variety of reasons — his tax exemptions for fracking interests, cuts to higher ed, etc. But probably the big issues it eh unanswered questions about his role in the Sandusky scandal. His lawsuit is just an attempt to shore up support from PSUers but I don’t see it working. We’re not fooled.

  3. Moosebreath says:

    “Pennsylvania is state that tends to favor Democrats”

    Not at the level of Governor. No governor has failed to be re-elected since 1970, and the parties have alternated 2 term governors (with the 2 Republicans in that group Thornburgh and Ridge, both going on to Cabinet positions).


    “can a liberal female Jewish person win in a state like Pennslyvania, with a big conservative midsection? Pennslyvanians, weigh in.”

    Good question. The last Democrat was Rendell, who is liberal and Jewish and who has the further stigma of being from Philadelphia (Schwartz is from Montgomery County in the Philly suburbs). Pennsylvania had last elected a Democrat from Philadelphia to either Governor or Senator in 1962 (Joe Clark’s 2nd term as Senator). On the other hand, he was perceived as having done quite a bit to reform Philadelphia’s politics to make it less dependent on state aid.

    Pennsylvania has historically been hostile to women in public office (I think it’s in the bottom 5 in the country in female office holders), plus Schwartz has an obvious attack line against her on abortion (she ran a women’s center which provided abortions in the 80’s). With all this against her, I think either Sestak or McCord will win the primary.