Poll finds Pa. voters prefer potential Dem challengers over Corbett

    A new Pennsylvania poll weighs Gov. Tom Corbett’s chances against several possible Democratic challengers in 2014.

    If the gubernatorial election were tomorrow, a Quinnipiac University poll predicts Corbett would lose to former Democratic congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Joe Sestak.

    The same survey shows Corbett would beat by 1 percentage point the only announced Democratic candidate for governor, John Hanger.

    But the polling institute’s Tim Malloy points out the governor would lose by three points to another higher-profile potential candidate, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz.

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    “It’s not a devastating survey, but it’s not great, because it lines up so many people who are potential candidates — Democrats — who could beat him,” Malloy said.

    But Corbett has plenty of time to turn things around.

    “There’s such a long time before the election, before Election Day, but clearly it sends a signal that he’s got a problem,” Malloy said. “The Allyson Schwartz situation is probably too close to call. The only prohibitive favorite of all of them is Joe Sestak if, in fact, he were to run.”

    Malloy chalks Sestak’s advantage up to his name recognition.

    The poll doesn’t delve into how Corbett would fare against any potential Republican challengers in a primary.

    Election hypotheticals aside, the governor’s approval rating is still low; just 39 percent of surveyed voters say they like the job he’s doing.

    But Corbett’s not alone, there. The state Legislature’s approval score is nearly at the all-time low it hit back in 2010.

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