With a hemorrhage of support among independent voters, Gov. Tom Corbett’s job approval rating has plummeted, according to a new survey by Public Policy Polling.
Just five months after his landslide victory over Dan Onorato, only 34 percent of the Pennsylvanians surveyed said they approved of the Republican’s job performance, while a substantial plurality, 44 percent, disapproved and 22 percent said they were not certain.
Mr. Corbett defeated the Democratic county executive by a nine-point margin last November, but this survey, taken in the first week of April, showed Mr. Onorato turning the tables on his Allegheny County neighbor, winning a hypothetical rematch, 49 percent to 44 percent with 8 percent undecided. As a release accompanying the results points out, the strong showing of Corbett and other Republican candidates across the country last year was aided by a strong pro-GOP enthusiasm gap and a resulting disproportionately Republican turnout.
Mr. Corbett’s victory also reflected strong support among independents. PPP notes that exit polls put his showing among independent voters at 59 percent to 41 percent. In the new survey, by contrast, the independents broke for Onorato, 45 percent to 41 percent.
Mr. Corbett has plenty of company in his reverse in popularity. The PPP experts note that its recent surveys in Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan all show negative numbers for newly elected Republican governors.
Public Policy Polling is an independent firm with a largely Democratic client base. The automated survey included 593 telephone interviews conducted between April 7 and April 10. The survey’s margin of error is plus or minus 4 percent.