Analysts say Corbett faces uphill climb for re-election in Pa.

 Gov. Tom Corbett hasn't been able to push his priorities through even though the legislature is controlled by fellow Republicans. (AP Photo, file)

Gov. Tom Corbett hasn't been able to push his priorities through even though the legislature is controlled by fellow Republicans. (AP Photo, file)

Next year’s race for governor is fast approaching. Polls show, and election watchers say, incumbent Tom Corbett faces steep odds in his bid for re-election.

Larry Sabato, the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said he’s not alone in calling  Corbett “the most vulnerable incumbent governor in the nation — certainly the most vulnerable Republican.”

Sabato said Corbett’s in trouble because major legislation, such as privatizing the state’s wine and liquor stores, keeps coming up short.

“His major priorities have not made it through a Republican Legislature, and that’s a surprise,” he said. “Normally a new governor, coming in with a Legislature of his own party, gets at least a priority or two through the Assembly. And he wasn’t able to do it.”

Many Pennsylvanians also are critical of Corbett’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal at Penn State, Sabato said. Of course, he added, there is still a lot of time between now and the election on Nov. 4, 2014.

Franklin & Marshall College poll Director Terry Madonna agreed that Corbett’s numbers are not good.

“Gov. Corbett’s job performance, on average, is about 30 percent positive — a full 10-12 percentage points behind Govs. Ridge and Rendell when they sought re-election,” Madonna said.

Corbett’s first re-election ad touts how Pennsylvania has created more than 100,000 private-sector jobs since he took office.

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