Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

DESPITE NCAA CHALLENGE, CORBETT REMAINS UNPOPULAR WITH VOTERS [Corrected 01/11/13]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

DESPITE NCAA CHALLENGE, CORBETT REMAINS UNPOPULAR WITH VOTERS [Corrected 01/11/13]

Article excerpt

Gov. Tom Corbett remains unpopular with Pennsylvania voters despite their majority approval of his controversial legal challenge to the National Collegiate Athletic Association's sanctions against Penn State University.

A new survey released by Public Policy Polling found that 52 percent of the state's electorate disapproved of the Republican governor's overall job performance with just 38 percent saying they approved of his record in office. At the same time, 52 percent of the voters said they approved of his decision to sue the NCAA over its treatment of the school while 34 percent said they did not approve. In contrast to the general agreement with his decision to sue the NCAA, half the voters said they did not approve of the governor's overall handling of the divisive Penn State issues while only 27 percent said they approved.

In one of several 2014 trial heats within the survey, Kathleen Kane, the attorney general-elect and a Democrat who has been sharply critical of Mr. Corbett's handling of the case, tied the incumbent, who is halfway through his first term. Each got 42 percent with 16 percent undecided.

The Republican governor managed pluralities in the low 40s in trial heats against most of his other potential Democratic challengers. Only former Gov. Ed Rendell, who left office amid sagging poll numbers after his constitutional limit of two terms, ran ahead of the incumbent: 46 percent to 40 percent in the hypothetical race.

Against John Hanger, a former commissioner on the Public Utility Commission and a former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection who has announced his interest in the Democratic nomination to challenge Mr. Corbett, the results were Mr. Corbett, 41 percent; Mr. Hanger, 37 percent, and 21 percent undecided.

If there is any consolation for the Republican in the PPP results it is that, at this very early stage, the Democrats do not appear to have a bench of well-known figures poised to challenge him. …

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