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The latest Quinnipac poll is helping me get my long awaited diary about how much Governor Tom Corbett (R. PA) is disliked and how he can be a one term governor finalized.  Sorry but when you have an unpopular guy like Corbett, the list of reasons to hate him just keeps growing and growing.  On to the poll:

  Jan. 29 Quinnipiac University poll on Gov. Tom Corbett by  

Quinnipac polled 1,221 registered voters, both through land lines and cell phones, between January 22nd to the 27th.  The poll found Corbett's approval at 36% while his disapproval rating is at 42%.  Corbett's numbers have dropped significantly since Quinnipac's last poll back in November that had Corbett with a 40/38 approval.

Corbett's biggest hit has been with women voters:

Women disapprove of Corbett’s performance 45 percent to 31 percent, while men narrowly give him a thumbs-up, 41 percent to 37 percent – a large gender gap.

Corbett, who came into office in 2011 facing a $4.2 billion budget deficit, slashed spending for education and social-safety net programs in his first two budgets, while keeping his pledge not to raise taxes. He also generated controversy and earned scorn from many female voters when he supported a bill requiring that women get ultrasounds before having an abortion. Asked about this at a news conference, Corbett said that women who objected could “close their eyes.” - Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/29/13

Now here are the numbers according to party identification breakdown:
No shocker, Democrats disapprove 57-24 percent and it's 39-36 percent to the bad among independents.

Only 49 percent of Republicans say Corbett deserves to be reelected. - The Patriot News, 1/29/13

Wow, it's bad enough that Corbett is down with Independents and heavily with registered Democrats, which outnumbers registered Republicans in Pennsylvania.  But only getting 49% isn't impressive either.  Interestingly, those numbers with Republicans aren't enough to motivate Republicans from picking someone else to be the nominee for 2014:
No doubt causing declared GOP primary opponent Bruce Castor to do a little dance of joy, Republicans give Corbett a tepid 52-25 percent approval rating. - The Patriot News, 1/29/13
So Castor has his work cut out for him if he wants to convince PA Republicans that's he the better choice for his party's nominee.  Quinnipac can sum up Corbett's Achilles Heel in two words: Jerry Sandusky:
Pennsylvania voters disapprove 50 – 26 percent of the way Corbett has handled the Sandusky sex-abuse scandal at Penn State over the last few years. Yet 43 percent approve of the lawsuit Corbett has launched against the NCAA sanctions against the university’s football program, the poll found. - Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/29/13
The way Corbett handled the Penn State sex scandal is the biggest contributor to why his approvals are in the toilet:
A bare majority of voters, 51 percent, say Corbett does not deserve re-election, compared to 31 percent say he does. That includes 54-24 percent among women and 49-38 percent among men. - Patriot News, 1/29/13
Emphasis mine.

Corbett's handling of the Sandusky case while serving as Attorney General became a hot topic issue in the 2012 Attorney General race which helped Kathleen Kane become both the first Democrat and female to win that position:

Corbett has also faced criticism from Democratic state Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who has vowed to investigate Corbett's handling of the Sandusky case when he was attorney general. Corbett has weathered opponents' claims that he took too long to charge Sandusky after allegations against him surfaced in 2008.

The Sandusky case rocked Penn State to its foundations, leading to the ouster of legendary football coach Joe Paterno and the resignation of longtime university President Graham Spanier. Spanier, retired Vice President Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley face charges they conspired to hide Sandusky's crimes.

Sandusky, 69, was convicted in June of 45 counts related to the sexual abuse of children and is serving a 30 to 60 year sentence in a maximum security prison in Greene County. - Lehigh Valley News, 1/29/13

Kane successfully campaigned on looking investigating the Penn State sex scandal in her campaign and looking into how Corbett's office handled the investigation:
In 2012, Kane became the first woman in state history to be elected attorney general, as well as the first Democrat. A graduate of the University of Scranton and Temple University Law School, Kane was a prosecutor in Lackawanna County, Pa., chairing the county's first insurance fraud task force and working on cases involving white-collar criminals, senior citizens and child abuse. Her experience in child abuse prosecutions lent credibility to her campaign for attorney general, which she began as an underdog against former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy in the Democratic primary. As a candidate, Kane criticized former AG and GOP Gov. Tom Corbett for his handling of the three-year investigation into Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky. Corbett has been criticized for the slow pace of the investigation into Sandusky, who would later be convicted of repeated child sexual assaults. In the general election, Kane ended up with 56 percent of the vote, outpolling Obama, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and every other statewide elected official. Her focus on Sandusky and Corbett could prove to be pivotal in the 2014 gubernatorial election. - Governing Magazine, 1/25/13
State Democrats are eyeing this race closely and have a real shot at making Tom Corbett the first one term governor since 1968.  This is a big move for Pennsylvania Democrats as they set out to make history in 2014.  There are a number of possible Democratic candidates that are interested in this race.  So far, head of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, John Hanger and pastor Max Myers have declared their candidacy.  You can get a look at the other potential candidates for this race here:

A lot of people here, including myself, would like to see former Congressman, decorated Admiral and 2010 U.S. Senate candidate, Joe Sestak make a run for this office and I don't doubt that he would make a great candidate.  But the PA Democratic Party have their sights set on Treasurer Rob McCord as their dream nominee and this article makes a great argument for McCord:

What makes this establishment enthusiasm for McCord so interesting is the fact that he in no way resembles gubernatorial candidates of the past. Pennsylvanians tend to be traditionalists when it comes to their elected leaders. Governors Corbett and Rendell are both redolent of the 20th century, with old-fashioned political résumés and brands (Rendell the charismatic operator, Corbett the sober uncle). So were Dan Onorato (a longtime lawyer and pol) and Lynn Swann (the ex-athlete trope).

McCord, though, is a thoroughly modern politician. He’s run a think tank and a series of investment funds. He’s considered a critical early leader in the development of the region’s tech industry. He has an African-American wife. And he entered politics late in life, mea­ning he has ascended without the benefit—or b­aggage—of a machine to call his own.

All of which makes him one of the most intriguing figures to appear on Pennsylvania’s political stage in some time. Can a candidate as novel and contemporary as McCord win in a state this conventional? He seems sure to test that question. But when? - Philly Magazine, December 2012

I will have profile diaries on both McCord and Sestak after I release my diary about how bad Corbett has been for Pennsylvania.  2014 is a while away and I can't blame Pennsylvania Democrats taking their time with this decision.  The Keystone State has a long tradition of re-electing governor who has sour approval ratings in the middle of their first terms.  But the Sandusky case is a game changer and whoever the nominee is can certainly learn from Kane's successful campaign strategy.  Stay tuned.

Originally posted to pdc on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 01:35 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, DKos Pennsylvania, and Pittsburgh Area Kossacks.

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