Reality Check: Tom Corbett’s Going to Be Looking a Lot Better in 2014

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Public Policy Polling says Tom Corbett could be big trouble in 2014, as he currently trails a generic Democrat 47-37.

And hopefully that continues to be the case, but just to adjust everyone’s expectations downward a bit, it’s important to remember that this poll is a snapshot of the current moment. That’s what might happen if the 2014 election were held today.

But the 2014 election will not be held today. It will be held two years from now when odds are that a more substantial national economic recovery will be underway.  The 12 million jobs the Romney was claiming would materialize under his policies are actually the baseline – as in, what we can expect to happen if nobody does anything. For the same reason that we can expect Barack Obama to be looking like a genius in 2016, we can probably expect Tom Corbett to have the winds of economic growth at his back during the 2014 campaign.

A similar situation played out in the 90s when the class of GOP Governors who swept into office during the 1994 Gingrich wave ended up benefitting politically from the Clinton boom despite having nothing to do with it.

It’s real crappy, but that’s probably what we’re going to be dealing with. Corbett’s got more baggage than some GOP Governors, like the botched Sandusky investigation and the billion dollars in education cuts, and this is all made worse by the fact that he’s horrible at political communications, so it’s not like it’ll be impossible to beat him. But it just makes it all the more important that Democrats nominate a real workhorse of a candidate who knows how to run an aggressive statewide campaign.

This entry was posted in Elections.

4 Responses to Reality Check: Tom Corbett’s Going to Be Looking a Lot Better in 2014

  1. phillydem says:

    2 words why Corbett won’t win: Penn Staters. We are not forgetting Corbett’s role in the Sandusky scandal. As a Democrat, I myself will be voting against him on principle, but there are many conservative, Republican Penn Staters who voted for him in 2010, but will be voting against him in 2014. Remember it was no accident Kathleen Kane got MORE votes than Obama or Casey this past Tuesday.

  2. Rich says:

    I disagree. Many of Corbett’s problems have little to do with current economic problems. Unless you think he’ll increase education levels to what districts need, that won’t go away. An improving economy doesn’t get rid of Sandusky. He still has most of his problems. He’ll be a very weak incumbent, but difficult to beat only because of incumbency.

    • Jon says:

      Tough to know what he’ll do when revenues are growing at a faster clip. Probably he’ll say it all needs to go to pensions and he still can’t afford to replace the education cuts. In that case he’s still in big trouble. But a lot of Republican Governors like to front load the austerity early in the first term and then lighten up with the cuts later. What sucks about voters (humans?) is that the recent past weighs most heavily on their decisions. Sandusky is the wild card. Especially with the Kane investigation dropping at some point, and both AG and Auditor chipping away at him the next two years.

      • phillydem says:

        There are at least 250k Penn State alumni in the state. That’s a big bloc of voters to alienate. They are not forgetting Corbett’s role in the whole Sandusky mess and will vote accordingly.