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ABC: Anybody But Corbett

New poll shows strong support for Democrat Tom Wolf is reflection of dislike for the governor.

TODAY, as with so many of our days, Clout's attention turns to the cold hard cash of politics.

Case in point: A new Quinnipiac University Poll that tells an old and sad story for Gov. Corbett.

Democrat Tom Wolf leads Corbett by 24 points, 59 percent to 35 percent with fewer than eight weeks until the Nov. 4 general election.

That matches up with the results of other recent polls, including the Aug. 28 Daily News / Franklin & Marshall College Poll.

The Quinnipiac pollsters asked Wolf supporters if they were voting for him or against Corbett. Fifty-one percent said their vote was against Corbett while 39 percent said their support was for Wolf.

A quarter of the voters in the poll haven't heard enough about Wolf to even form an opinion.

That brings us to the cash.

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz and state Treasurer Rob McCord must now be shaking their heads at what might have been.

Both saw a clear path to the Democratic nomination before Wolf dropped a $10 million roadblock in front of them, spending from his own pocket to jump out to an early lead, boosted by a wave of television commercials.

Yesterday's poll makes it clear: Any Democratic primary winner had a very good chance of beating Corbett in the general election.

Quinnipiac pollster Tim Malloy yesterday called Corbett the biggest issue in the race.

"What's Tom Corbett's biggest problem?" Malloy asked and then answered, "Tom Corbett."

Former state Environmental Secretary Katie McGinty, the fourth Democrat in the primary, is probably taking the poll with better cheer. She now runs a political-action committee started to help Wolf defeat Corbett.

Fattah's finances

You might think U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah could be vulnerable in this year's general election, as he seeks an 11th two-year term in the 2nd District.

Fattah's political consultant, Greg Naylor, pleaded guilty last month to hiding the receipt and repayment of an illegal $1 million loan in the 2007 Democratic primary election for mayor.

It was clear from Naylor's plea memorandum that the loan went to Fattah's campaign.

The memo also left a strong impression that the feds have some serious thoughts pending about the congressman's actions.

The federal investigation into Fattah's finances, under way for seven years, is taking a toll.

Fattah's most recent federal campaign finance report, filed in mid-July, showed he had just $6,336 in the bank as of June 30.

Fattah has spent at least $45,000 from his campaign account so far this year on legal fees, according to his campaign finance reports.

Enter Armond James, a moderate Republican who teaches at an alternative school housed in South Philadelphia High School.

James is being assisted by Ryan Sanders, the Pennsylvania Republican Party's new African-American Inclusion Director, in his bid to unseat Fattah.

But he still hasn't raised or spent $5,000, the threshold to register his campaign with the Federal Election Commission or U.S. House's Clerk's Office.

Refund demanded

Speaking of congressional cash, one controversial donor is demanding a $1,000 refund from Republican Megan Rath, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, who has held the 1st District seat since 1998.

Rath says the Eagle Forum, founded in 1972 by conservative author and radio commentator Phyllis Schlafly, gave her $1,000 and had the group's political chairwoman, Sandy McDade help with candidate training.

Rath said McDade pressed her to change her answer when she said abortions should be legal.

She refused and was swiftly disinvited to the Eagle Forum's annual dinner last month at a Bucks County country club.

Nobody from the Eagle Forum responded to our repeated and detailed requests for comment.

Rath, a health-care professional, was endorsed this week by Republican Majority for Choice.

Schlafly, in a radio address two weeks ago, advised women that marriage helps prevent sexual assault and domestic violence.

"While the numbers may be inflated or exaggerated by feminists, there's no denying that some men can pose a danger to women," Schlafly said on the radio. "But the threat that some women face is very foreign to many married women. Most married women don't expect violence from men; instead, they expect, and receive, protection."