Bad Day for Corbett, Quinnipiac Poll Shows
Tom Corbett isn’t having such a great day. After the announcement that U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane threw out his lawsuit against the NCAA, a Quinnipiac poll was released showing that Pennsylvania voters believe that the situation at Penn State will be crucial in next year’s election.
A total of 47 percent of Pennsylvania voters say that the Penn State situation will be important in deciding their vote for governor next year. Gov. Corbett is facing a tough reelection battle against a plethora of Democratic hopefuls led by Philadelphia Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz.
“Despite a better-than-predicted record in the first post-Paterno season, all voters, even Penn State Football fans, are still steamed with the NCAA for the harsh sanctions imposed on the legendary program,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
That’s not the only bad news for Corbett, though. According to the poll, 58 percent of voters believe that the former Attorney General did not do enough to investigate the Sandusky probe before becoming governor.
“It’s a penalty flag for the governor. Facing a blitz of solid Democratic defenders, he is going to have a hard time moving downfield,” said Malloy.
In all, 75 percent of respondents said that the sanctions hurt the football program. 46 percent said that the sanctions were too harsh, while 32 percent said they were appropriate. Those numbers have changed somewhat from a January 29 Quinnipiac poll that found that the sanctions were too severe by a 53 to 28 percent margin.
Also worth nothing: Joe Paterno’s favorability rating in Pennsylvania is actually on the rise. 47 percent of respondents have a favorable opinion of the former coach, while 27 percent had an unfavorable opinion, up from a 43-29 margin in January. Penn State alumni had a 72 percent favorability rate for Paterno.
Today isn’t a good day for the governor no matter how you shake it. Many believed that the NCAA lawsuit had political motives from the start, and these poll numbers only reinforce the reality that the governor is facing an uphill battle in 2014.