Wolf has new ad, Corbett gets friendly poll numbers

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett needed enough of a rally this summer to make his re-election bid at least plausible for potential contributors, and it seems he may be achieving it.

    Ten days after a CBS/New York Times Internet poll showed him within nine points of Democratic rival Tom Wolf, a new robo-calling survey from a traditionally Republican pollster finds him 12 points behind Wolf among likely voters.

    I’m not sure how accurate the survey is, and it’s fair to point out it’s funded by an organization with a dog in the fight, the conservative Keystone Report. But the results seem at least plausible. I don’t think even Wolf’s supporters thought he would win by the 20-point margin showed in earlier independent polls.

    The sample of 1,214 voters in the Magellan Strategies poll is more Democratic than Republican by a margin of 46 to 44 percent, less than the Democrats lead in voter registration, but maybe closer to the expected turnout on election day.

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    It’s also interesting that the survey found 53.5 percent of those asked believed Corbett had cut education funding, while only 15 percent thought he’d increased it.

    Terry Madonna, director of the Franklin & Marshall poll said he’s not sure if the Magellan or CBS/New York Times surveys have it right, but he does believe the race is tightening, because Corbett’s done a pretty effective job of attacking Wolf over the past month.

    Air wars continue

    Corbett  and the state Republican party are regularly attacking Wolf for being vague on policy proposals, saying he doesn’t have a clear plan to address the state’s public pension problem, and won’t spell out the details of his proposal for making the state income tax more progressive.

    Wolf’s allies have been whacking Corbett on a host of issues, while Wolf himself remains positive. His latest ad (above) features Wolf standing on a shop floor, smiling into the camera and talking about rebuilding the state’s manufacturing economy. It’s the kind of ad from media consultant Saul Shorr that served him well in the Democratic primary.

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