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March 12, 2013


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sal mazzocchi

How often it is said that our elected officials only do what is necessary to get re-elected, rather than do what is good for the people. Governor Corbett jumped in with both feet and has made great strides fixing the 8-year Rendell administration mess, only to be miffed by those who refuse to see the progress and snub the successes. Ohh, the great lengths folks will go to cut off their noses to spite their face!


If you look at the famous Nate Silver on approval ratings for incumbent Senators and Governors you find that the threshold for a 50% chance of winning re-election is a positive approval rating of 44% as the campaign season begins. Challengers can carp at the incumbent all that they want, but in the election itself the incumbent usually shows why he was elected.

Usually. The average gain is about 6% because the incumbent usually has a campaign apparatus, has fund raising already in operation, and allies capable of running GOTV drives in place -- and because the incumbent has usually proved some competence.

Tom Corbett is in the area in which an incumbent has shown incompetence, corruption, or irrelevance. Silver had nobody as unpopular as Corbett is now, probably because most incumbents that unpopular either choose not to run, get impeached or recalled, resign as a scandal breaks, or lose a primary challenge. Breaking scandals late in a campaign season? Those (President Richard Nixon the extreme counter-example, and then only after he was re-elected) happen among politicians who are already unpopular -- and their secretiveness has already made them unattractive.

Nobody as unpopular as Corbett appeared in the study.


Do you tack left or right when your facing pressure from both sides? He has a long time to figure it out so I won't declare Allyson Schwartz the winner yet.

This is kind of unrelated but how can someone be a bad Governor of Rhode Island.


This poll actually is worse for Corbett than described. The poll respondents under-represent Democrats and over-represent Republicans and Republican-leaning demographics. There is a large gender gap, with women voters heavily against Corbett and his policies. Also, most of the potential Dem candidates are so little known that they have extremely low approval ratings...yet they're all clobbering Corbett by much the same margins. It's quite clear that only a small minority of voters are willing to see Corbett re-elected.

No, Sal, that's not because Corbett isn't getting credit he deserves. He hasn't solved any problems, unless you think the government pursuing policies that the public agrees with is a problem.

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