U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz leads a list of largely unknown Democrats who would defeat incumbent Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in next year's gubernatorial election, says a poll of likely Pennsylvania voters.
The Quinnipiac University poll released early this morning shows Rep. Schwartz with a 45-35 percent lead over Mr. Corbett in a potential matchup for Pennsylvania governor.
Another possible pairing shows Democratic state Treasurer Rob McCord topping Mr. Corbett, 43-35 percent. Rep. Schwartz leads the Democratic primary field with 18 percent, while no other contender tops 5 percent. But 63 percent remain undecided with such a long time before the election.
Rep. Schwartz is the U.S. representative for Pennsylvania's 13th congressional district that includes parts of Montgomery County and northeast Philadelphia. The poll shows she leads Mr. Corbett, 51-28 percent among women. Men are divided, with 42 percent for Mr. Corbett and 39 percent for Rep. Schwartz. She leads among Democrats, 86-5 percent, and among independent voters, 36-29 percent. Republicans favor Mr. Corbett, 75-7 percent. Rep. Schwartz leads in most areas of the state, while Corbett leads in central Pennsylvania, the poll shows.
"Election Day is 17 months away, but [Rep.] Schwartz is in a strong position to become Pennsylvania's first female governor," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Pennsylvania voters polled say by 52-32 percent that Mr. Corbett does not deserve to be reelected as governor -- women also said no by 55-27 percent, and men agreed, 49-38 percent.
In a look ahead to the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, voters favor former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of neighboring New York over Pennsylvania native and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, 53-36 percent.
From Thursday through Tuesday, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,032 registered voters in Pennsylvania with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. Interviewers called land lines and cell phones. The survey includes 460 Democrats with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.6 percentage points.