October 22, 2010 - Democrat Narrows Gap In Pennsylvania Gov Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Dim View Of Economy Favors Republican

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In the Pennsylvania governor's race, Democrat Dan Onorato, the Allegheny County Executive, has erased most of State Attorney General Tom Corbett's 15-point likely voter lead and now trails the Republican 49 - 44 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 54 - 39 percent Corbett lead in a September 21 likely voter survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In today's results, Corbett leads 86 - 7 percent among Republicans and 58 - 32 percent among independent voters, while Onorato is ahead 87 - 9 percent among Democrats. Only 6 percent of likely voters remain undecided. Sixteen percent of Onorato voters and 14 percent of Corbett backers say they might change their mind before Election Day.

"As we get closer to Election Day, Democrats are showing more interest in voting. This is often the case in off-year elections and that makes this a more competitive race," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato has the momentum, but Attorney General Tom Corbett still has the five- point lead with 11 days to go.

"Corbett's 55 - 38 percent lead among men puts him on top overall, but there is a big gender gap as Onorato leads 51 - 42 percent among women."

Corbett also leads 72 - 22 percent among the 21 percent of Pennsylvania voters who say they are "angry" with state government.

Pennsylvania likely voters' choice for governor is tied strongly to their view of the economy. Among those who think the economy is improving, Onorato holds an overwhelming 85 - 12 percent lead. But only 14 percent think the economy is getting better, while 35 percent see it getting worse. Corbett cleans up 71 - 20 percent among that group. Onorato holds a narrow 48 - 45 percent lead among the 49 percent who think the economy is staying the same.

"Because Democrats are in charge in Washington and pretty much in Harrisburg, it is their loyalists who see the economic glass as half-full, while Republicans see it the other way," said Brown.

"Gov. Ed Rendell gets a negative 39 - 54 percent approval rating which helps Republican Corbett in his effort to portray himself as the one who can change the status quo in Harrisburg even though he, as attorney general, has been on the scene at the Capitol while Democrat Onorato has been running Allegany County hundreds of miles away," said Brown.

In an election year in which all candidates seem to be seeing their reputations muddied, both men are viewed favorably by more voters than unfavorably. Corbett gets a 49 - 28 percent favorability rating, compared to Onorato's 43 - 33 percent favorability score.

By a 49 - 42 percent margin, Pennsylvania likely voters say Corbett more shares their values. On the economy, 49 percent say Corbett is best able to rebuild the Keystone State's ailing economy, while 40 percent say Onorato.

"The governor's race has tightened. But with 11 days to go, the question is whether this is the beginning of a last-minute comeback, or just Democrats coming home to make the race close," said Brown.

From October 13 - 17, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,046 Pennsylvania likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

1. If the election for governor were being held today, and the candidates were Dan Onorato the Democrat and Tom Corbett the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) If you had to choose today, would you vote for Onorato or Corbett? (This table includes Leaners)
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Onorato              44%     7%    87%    32%    38%    51%
Corbett              49     86      9     58     55     42
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      1      2      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 6      7      4      8      5      7
 
                     RATING ECONOMY Q17   ANGRY WITH GOVERNMENT
                     Better Worse  Same   StateQ20
 
Onorato              85%    20%    48%    22%
Corbett              12     71     45     72
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      2      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 4      7      7      6
 
TREND: If the election for governor were being held today, and the candidates were Dan Onorato the Democrat and Tom Corbett the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided q1) If you had to choose today, would you vote for Onorato or Corbett? (This table includes Leaners)
                     LIKELY VOTERS..
                     Oct 22  Sep 21
                     2010    2010
 
Onorato              44      39
Corbett              49      54
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -       -
DK/NA                 6       7
 
 
1a. Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                            CAND CHOICE Q1
                     Tot    DO     TC
 
Made up              84%    83%    85%
Might change         15     16     14
DK/NA                 1      1      1
 
 
2. Is your opinion of - Dan Onorato favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            43%     9%    79%    37%    38%    50%
Unfavorable          33     59      6     38     38     28
Hvn't hrd enough     21     28     14     22     21     21
REFUSED               2      3      1      2      2      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Dan Onorato favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS..
                     Oct 22  Sep 21
                     2010    2010
 
Favorable            43      40
Unfavorable          33      24
Hvn't hrd enough     21      33
REFUSED               2       3
 
 
3. Is your opinion of - Tom Corbett favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            49%    77%    15%    58%    55%    42%
Unfavorable          28      4     54     23     25     31
Hvn't hrd enough     21     16     29     18     19     24
REFUSED               2      3      2      1      2      3
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Tom Corbett favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS..
                     Oct 22  Sep 21
                     2010    2010
 
Favorable            49      51
Unfavorable          28      21
Hvn't hrd enough     21      27
REFUSED               2       2
 
 
10. Turning back to the race for Governor between Dan Onorato and Tom Corbett regardless of how you intend to vote, Who do you believe most shares your values, Dan Onorato or Tom Corbett?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Onorato              42%     9%    82%    28%    36%    49%
Corbett              49     86      7     58     56     40
NO DIFFERENCE(VOL)    2      1      2      3      2      3
DK/NA                 8      4      9     10      7      9
 
 
11. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job rebuilding Pennsylvania's economy, Dan Onorato or Tom Corbett?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Onorato              40%    10%    79%    26%    34%    48%
Corbett              49     84     10     58     55     41
NO DIFFERENCE(VOL)    3      1      2      5      3      2
DK/NA                 8      5      9     11      8      9
 
 
12. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling his job as Governor?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              39%    16%    69%    27%    36%    43%
Disapprove           54     79     24     66     58     49
DK/NA                 6      4      7      7      6      8
 
 
14. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Tom Corbett is handling his job as State Attorney General?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              55%    71%    32%    65%    58%    51%
Disapprove           20      9     38     13     18     23
DK/NA                25     20     30     22     23     26
 
 
20. I am going to mention four phrases and ask you which one best describes how you feel about the way the state government works. Do you feel enthusiastic, satisfied but not enthusiastic, dissatisfied but not angry, or angry?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Enthusiastic,         1%     -      2%     1%     1%     2%
Satisfied            24     14     39     16     21     27
Dissatisfied         53     55     47     57     55     51
Angry                21     30     10     24     22     19
DK/NA                 1      1      2      1      2      1