Corbett, Christie fire up faithful as Pa. race tightens

    Bouyed by polls showing the race tightening, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett barnstormed though the Philadelphia suburbs Sunday, finishing with a rally in Bucks County featuring New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

    Polls show Corbett’s attacks ads on his Democratic opponent, Tom Wolf, have taken a toll. The governor went right back to his central theme before a crowd of 300 supporters in Warminster.

    “How many of you want your income taxes raised?” he asked the crowd.

    “Nooooooo!!!” came the reply.

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor found that Corbett’s ads mis-state Wolf’s tax proposals, but Corbett and the star of the evening, Christie, hammered Wolf as a “tax-and-spend” liberal.

    Christie said President Obama’s visit to Philadelphia yesterday was a gift to Republicans.

    “Just when I thought he couldn’t help us anymore,” Christie said, as the crowd laughed with delight. “Just when I thought Tom Wolf had lied enough to convince people he wasn’t an Obama Democrat, damn if Barack Obama didn’t come to the rescue again!”

    Christie urged the crowd to ignore the polls and do everything they can to get Republican voters out tomorrow.

    “All the experts and pundits don’t know. They don’t know what’s in your heart, and what you’re willing to do,” Christie told the crowd. “Now think about it, we’re literally 48 hours away. And for 48 hours, man, we can do anything for 48 hours. I mean, you could hang from your thumbs for 48 hours if you needed to.”

    Race turning? Too late?

    The candidates’ final push comes as a new poll from Muhlenberg College for the Allentown Morning Call shows Corbett within nine points of Wolf,  48 to 39 percent among likely voters. When asked who they lean toward, undecided voters broke sharply toward Wolf in the survey, giving the Democrat an 12-point edge when leaners are included.

    The results still give Wolf a relatively comfortable lead. But consider that the survey of 409 likely voters was done from Monday through Wednesday of last week. If you assume the turn in Corbett’s direction has continued, you can conjure a scenario where balloting takes place Tuesday in a very close race with victory going to whomever wins the turnout battle.

    The poll suggests that the Corbett campaign’s relentless attacks asserting Wolf will raise taxes have had an effect. Wolf’s negatives are up considerably from the September Muhlenberg poll, and there’s also a marked increase in the importance voters assign to taxes as an issue in the race.

    When voters were asked in the September poll to name the most important issue in the governor’s race, they cited education over taxes by a margin of 33 to 18 percent. In the current survey, they chose taxes over education by a 32 to 22 percent margin.


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