GOV. CORBETT has been telling his fellow Republicans in the state Senate that the legislation to privatize liquor stores is essential to his re-election next year.
But a Daily News/Franklin & Marshall College Poll shows that may be a bad bet for Corbett.
The poll shows that support for privatization of state-run liquor stores is slipping. And voters rank that goal as a low priority compared to creating jobs and helping the state's economy.
"Voters aren't invested in it," said G. Terry Madonna, the poll director. "There's no pressure from average voters on lawmakers to do this."
The poll found 31 percent strongly oppose privatization, up from 24 percent in February, while the number of people who strongly support the effort dropped from 34 percent to 30 percent in the same period.
One thing remains unchanged in the poll: Corbett's job approval rating is so low that just one in four voters thinks he deserves a second four-year term in 2014.
Forty-seven percent of the voters polled support selling the state liquor stores to private companies, down from 53 percent in a February poll. Given a choice, 31 percent of those polled said the state liquor stores should remain unchanged, 26 percent said they should be modernized and 37 percent said they should be sold.
The state House on March 21 passed its own version of Corbett's plan to sell the state liquor stores, sending the legislation to the state Senate, where it faces an uncertain future.
Capitolwire.com reported two weeks after the House vote that Corbett was telling Republicans in the Senate that he needs liquor privatization for re-election.
The union representing state liquor-store clerks seized on that to tout the legislation as political.
Voters also ranked low in priority another issued pushed by Corbett: privatizing the state lottery.
"Corbett needs some victories in the Legislature to campaign on," said Madonna, noting that the struggling governor has so far embraced issues that matter far less to voters than employment, public schools and the economy.
The poll of 526 registered Pennsylvania voters, which was taken April 30 to May 5, also found:
* Voters are split on marijuana legalization. They oppose it 54-38 percent in general but widely support it, 82 percent, for medical use if prescribed by a doctor.
* A majority of voters, 54 percent, continue to support legalization of same-sex marriage. That majority grew to 65 percent when voters were asked if they support same-sex civil unions.
* Voters by a wide majority, 83 percent, strongly favor requiring background checks for all gun sales. By smaller majorities, 53 percent favor banning high-capacity ammunition magazines and 52 percent favor the sale of all assault weapons.
The poll can be seen here: ph.ly/poll.