Corbett among GOP governors seen as vulnerable as ’14 election nears

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett could be in for a serious re-election battle.  New predictions based on polling and on-the-ground political evaluations show it’s a competitive seat with Corbett just hanging on to an edge.

The predictions begin to sound a bit like an old TV show catch phrase: “Warning! Warning! Danger, Will Robinson!”

Larry Sabato, the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, says a lot could change before the election.

“Gov. Corbett is certainly in trouble.  He isn’t in as much trouble as a couple of other Republican governors across the country who are also coming up in 2014.  But he’s well up there,” Sabato said. “I’d say he’s possibly the third of fourth most endangered governor in the country for 2014.”

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Danger level Democratic-held seats Republican-held seats
 Red alert Arkansas Florida, Maine, Virginia (2013)
 Orange alert Connecticut, hawaii, Massasachusetts Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina
 Yellow alert Illinois, Maryland Arizona, Iowa, New Mexico, Wisconsin 
 Source: University of Virginia Center for Politics


Sabato said it’s obvious Corbett has had a rocky start, in part due to the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State and the state’s difficult economy. 

“And probably personal style,” Sabato adds. “Sometimes someone who can succeed as attorney general, looking at the issues and the style needed to run that office, doesn’t necessarily translate well into the governorship.”

He said Corbett is not alone. Republicans governors in Michigan, Ohio and possibly South Carolina also face competitive contests next year. 

Meanwhile, he says, Democrats are in danger in Connecticut, Hawaii and Massachusetts.  Sabato explained that more Republican governors are in danger than Democrats, partially because there are more of them.  There are GOP governors in 30 states. 

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