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Governor Corbett Far Behind in Bid for Re-Election in 2014

Thursday, March 6, 2014

New Pennsylvania Poll: Governor Corbett Far Behind in Bid for Re-Election in 2014

  • Corbett scores Poor Job Approval Ratings and Favorability
  • Democratic nominees Wolf, Schwartz, McCord & McGinty are strong
  • Majority in PA Support Legalized Marijuana for Medical Purposes

PITTSBURGH – Headed into a tough re-election campaign, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has low approval ratings, with few state residents saying they plan to vote for him in the fall election, according to a survey of 501 Pennsylvania adults by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute Powered by Trib Total Media.

The poll surveyed likely Pennsylvania voters and found that:

  • Just 29.4% hold a favorable impression of Corbett. 
  • The job approval rating for Corbett, among likely voters, is 32.5%.
  • Among likely Democratic voters, favored candidates for the Democratic nomination include: Thomas W. Wolf (51.4%), Allyson Schwartz (17.3%), Bob McCord (13.3%) and Kathleen McGinty (9.2%).
  • Just 20.7% of Pennsylvania likely voters suggest they plan to vote for Corbett while 40.3% suggested they would vote for the Democratic candidate. Another 12.3% would vote for another candidate and 27% are undecided.
  • Despite their own voting plans, in the race for governor, just 18.6% expect Corbett to be re-elected in November of 2014.

“Likely voters have a poor impression of Gov. Corbett overall, across many demographic categories. The governor has even lost a segment of Republican voters too -- while 49% of Republican likely voters have a good impression of the governor, 36% of Republicans have an unfavorable impression,” said RMU political scientist Philip Harold.

One unique feature of the Robert Morris poll was an open-ended question asking respondents why they have the impression they do of Corbett. When Republican likely voters were asked why they have an unfavorable impression of Corbett, they tended to respond that his record of accomplishments disappointed them, that they expected more from him, and that Pennsylvania is not better off now as a result of his leadership.  

“Even those voters who favor the governor gave responses that were not enthusiastic, but rather saying that he is doing the best he can do under the circumstances, that he is trying to hold the line on spending, and that he is better than the alternative,” said Harold. 

With regard to the legalization of marijuana, the poll found that a majority of Pennsylvanians (56.1%) support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

ABOUT THE POLL:  The Poll was conducted by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute Powered by Trib Total Media.  Polling by the Institute is conducted on a regular basis and may also include spontaneous polling on occurring events.

METHODOLOGY:  The Poll sampled opinions of 501 Pennsylvania residents statewide.  The survey was conducted February 15 – 21, 2014. All surveys were conducted using an online survey instrument. The poll has a +/- 4.5 percent margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level on a composite basis. 

ABOUT ROBERT MORRIS UNIVERSITY:  Robert Morris University, founded in 1921, is a private, four-year institution with an enrollment of approximately 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university offers 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs. Learn more at


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