Gov. Corbett is getting poor reviews from a growing number of Pennsylvanians, driven by some of his more controversial positions on higher education cuts and a proposed mandate for ultrasounds before a woman can have an abortion, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released this morning.

The survey found that Pennsylvania voters give Gov. Tom Corbett a 41–to-41 percent job approval rating, down from a 47–to-34 percent approval rating in December of last year.

It is, according to the poll, Corbett's worst approval rating since a 39–to-38 percent score in a June of last year, when he and Republicans who control the legislature were fighting over steep cuts in the state budget.

"After a honeymoon as one of the country's more popular new Republican governors, Tom Corbett takes a big hit in his job approval," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"A call for cuts in state funding to its universities may have hit a nerve with parents fearful tuitions could rise."

A spokesman for Corbett could not immediately be reached for comment

Pennsylvania voters disapproved, 49-to-36 percent, of the way Corbett is handling the state budget and disapprove, 53-to-27 percent, of the way he is handling funding for the state's public universities, the poll found.

Voters also overwhelmingly opposed (65-to-28 percent) cutting funding for public universities.

Those polled also were against, 48-to-42 percent, legislation requiring a woman seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound before the procedure. Under the proposal, the ultrasound screen would be visible to the woman, but she would be allowed to avert her eyes.

The measure has been extremely controversial in Harrisburg, since it could require women to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound.

Corbett has said he would support the measure only if it required an "external" ultrasound.

The poll found that men oppose the measure 51-to-39 percent, while women are divided 45-to-45 percent. Voters opposed transvaginal ultrasounds 64-to-23 percent, with men opposed 67–to-18 percent and women opposed 61-to-28 percent, according to the survey.

The poll was conducted between March 7 and March 12, surveyed 1,256 registered voters, and has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.

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