Good morning. From the weekend:
Mike Turzai ally Randy Vulakovich beat Melissa Hart for the GOP's nod for Jane Orie's state Senate seat Saturday. That will probably trigger a proxy fight among North Hills Republicans to fill Vulakovich's House seat and ultimately pit the Shaler man against Democrat Jim Ferlo in 2014.
Mitt Romney's bus tour hit the east/middle of Pa Saturday, though he skipped a scheduled Wawa stop where Ed Rendell and other Democratic protestors waited. The "dodge" made the front pages of the Inquirer and Morning Call.
Obama's popularity has dipped to West Virginia-type lows outside Pittsburgh, Philly and other urban areas, a PoliticsPa study shows. Keegan Gibson and Daniel Gleason looked to the April 24 primary ballot:
Over 30 percent of voters left the presidential ballot blank rather than select Obama’s name in 27 counties. That’s compared to just 6 counties apiece for the two other unopposed statewide Democratic primary candidates, incumbent PA Treasurer Rob McCord and Auditor General hopeful (and first time statewide candidate) Eugene DePasquale.
In southwestern PA minus Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, Obama’s undervote was about 10 percent higher than that of Ed Rendell, who ran unopposed for re-election as Governor in 2006.
I wrote Friday of the political challenges facing Gov. Tom Corbett in getting the tax credits approved for Shell's Beaver County ethane-cracker. Marc Levy at the Associated Press has some more context:
Political capital would help, but Corbett doesn't have much to spend.
The Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University released a poll June 12 that showed Corbett's approval rating sank to 36 percent _ the lowest of his 18-month tenure and practically the kiss of death for anyone seeking re-election. That nearly echoed the 39 percent he scored in a Quinnipiac poll during budget talks a year ago, except that the proportion of disapproving votes widened from 38 percent then to 47 percent now.
Meanwhile, lawmakers roundly point to what they view as Corbett's mystifying detachment: They expect him, as they have with previous governors, to mount a town-to-town and, in the statehouse, office-to-office campaign to drum up support for his agenda.
But he doesn't.