The Corbett hacks always want to say that other Governors have made big comebacks, so why not Tom Corbett? And maybe they’re right. Maybe the voters will surprise us next year.
But just note that the voters were already starting to give Rendell and Ridge better marks by now. And their inflection points came right around the time when Tom Corbett was also hitting an inflection point – toward an even lower approval rating:
Can you tell a story where this approval rating gets up to the 50-60% range where Rendell and Ridge were around Election Day? Any plausible story where a 20% reelection number turns into 50% + 1 in a year?
The best part of the new Franklin & Marshall poll for PA Democrats is the implications for their prospects of taking back the state Senate. All the seats Dems are most likely to take are in the Southeast. Look at how Corbett fares in the Southeast. I couldn’t grab the whole thing with the screenshot tool, so the first column is Excellent/Good, second column is Only Fair/Poor, and third column is Do Not Know:
Now, if I were Terry Madonna I wouldn’t have combined Only Fair and Poor into one category, but that’s what we’re working with here. And the fact is that the Southeast as a whole actually rates Corbett lower by 1 point than Philadelphia does. So we could potentially be looking at a really bad negative coattails situation.
Keegan Gibson points this out in his write-up:
The state legislature is less popular than Corbett. 11% rate its job performance as excellent or good.
Only 37% said they would like to see their member of the state legislature be re-elected; 33% said they wouldn’t, and 30% said they didn’t know.
State legislative races are very low information races that are overwhelmingly decided by people’s views on the guy at the top of the ticket. If people understand that the Republicans are fully in control of state government, and that state legislators are just as much to blame as Tom Corbett for the education cuts and the bad economy, then Democrats may have a good chance of picking up the seats they need to take the majority in the Senate. If you are a progressive looking for a high value use for your political dollars in 2014, the southeast Senate races are easily going to be your best bet.