This is becoming a drumbeat: Wednesday brings another bad poll for Gov. Corbett.
Only one in four Pennsylvania voters believes he has performed well enough in office to deserve reelection, according to a Franklin & Marshall College poll released Wednesday. Perhaps it's not surprising that the number is even lower among Democrats (12 percent) and even independent voters (20 percent), but the pollsters also find that 48 percent of his fellow Republicans believe Corbett deserves reelection.
Corbett performs much worse than his two immediate predecessors at a similar point in their first terms. The pollsters suggest that his low job approval ratings may stem from the governor's recent agenda. Debate in Harrisburg of late has centered on Corbett's efforts to privatize management of the state lottery and to sell the state liquor stores to private enterprise – but these issues rank far below concern for the economy and the desires for state government to help create jobs and to improve public schools, the poll finds.
Indeed, F&M finds that support has fallen for privatization of the liquor stores, usually a popular notion. A plurality of 47 percent of voters wants the stores sold to private companies, a drop from the college's survey in February, when support stood at 53 percent. A majority now favors either keeping the store system as is (31 percent) or modernizing it (26 percent) as opposed to selling it to private companies.
Since the February survey, groups opposed to privatization, notably the union representing state-store clerks, have advertised heavily on television against the proposal. Prominent Republicans in the state senate have also raised doubts about it.
Results of the survey are based on landline and cell phone interviews with 526 registered Pennsylvania voters, conducted between April 30 and May 5. The sample error for the survey is plus or minus 4.3 percentage points. For partisan, demographic and geographic sub-samples included in the poll, the potential margin of error is higher.
Here is the complete survey, with the questions in the order they were asked as well as breakdowns of responses along party, racial and gender lines, among other information.