Two new statewide polls show a rocky reelection landscape for Gov. Tom Corbett next year.
The latest Quinnipiac University poll found 53 percent of voters statewide say Mr. Corbett does not deserve reelection in 2014, to 35 percent who say he does. His approval ratings were among the lowest the university has tested for the governor, with 39 percent disapproving of his job performance and 49 percent approving. That is worse than his late January numbers, for which those percentages were 36 and 42 percent.
Democrats such as former congressman Joe Sestak, current U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz of Montgomery County and Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski would all beat Mr. Corbett if the election were today, Quinnipiac found, while the Republican incumbent has slim leads within the poll's 2.9 percentage point margin of error over most other Democratic names.
"It's still early, but Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is going nowhere, and maybe even sliding a little as he prepares for what could be a tough reelection fight," Tim Malloy, Qunnipiac University Polling Institute assistant director, said in a statement.
The findings track those released by Democratic-leaning pollsters Public Policy Polling on Tuesday. Their study found the governor's approval ratings have slipped from their already bad state in January: as of March, 33 percent of voters approved of his job performance compared with 57 percent disapproving. He trailed every Democratic name they tested him against.
"At this point Tom Corbett looks like the most endangered governor in the country up for reelection next year," Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said in a statement.
According to PPP, voters do not like the governor's lottery privatization plan (17 percent in favor, 67 percent against) or his handling of the Penn State child abuse scandal (25 to 58 percent), and are warming to announced GOP primary rival Bruce Castor of Montgomery County, whose support among GOP voters has doubled since January. Mr. Corbett still leads him by 20 percentage points, however.
Among women PPP surveyed, 30 percent approved of Mr. Corbett compared with 60 percent disapproving.
In a look ahead to the 2016 presidential race, PPP found former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, a Democrat, in the lead over GOP names such as U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Marco Rubio and former Sen. Rick Santorum.
Tim McNulty: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1581. Follow the Early Returns blog at earlyreturns.sites.post-gazette.com or on Twitter at @EarlyReturns.