Tom Corbett continues to look like a strong favorite to be the next Governor of Pennsylvania, leading Dan Onorato 48-35 in our newest poll.
Corbett has a massive lead with independents (52-20), is winning over an unusually high number of Democrats (22%), and has his party pretty well unified around him (74-10). Add to that a Democratic base in the state that's less than excited about voting this year and it's the equation for a double digit lead.
Both candidates continue to be relatively unknown, suggesting there's a potential for things to get tighter if voters find Onorato more appealing than Corbett once they do tune in. 44% have not yet formed an opinion about Corbett and 41% are ambivalent toward Onorato. In an unusual finding for this election cycle when voters don't much like any of their candidates, both Corbett and Onorato have net positive favorability numbers. 33% have a favorable opinion of Corbett to 23% unfavorable and 30% see Onorato favorably to 28% negative.
Casting a very large shadow over this race is the unpopularity of outgoing Governor Ed Rendell. Only 27% of likely voters for this fall approve of the job he's doing while 63% are unhappy. Rendell's barely in positive territory even among Democrats at 45/42 and he's pretty universally disliked by Republicans (8/85) and independents (23/61.) Rendell's unpopularity can't be at all helpful for Onorato's chances. Swing voters aren't likely to choose another Democrat if they think the current one's doing a bad job, and Democrats' lack of enthusiasm about voting this year could certainly have something to do with their lukewarmness toward their party's present Governor.
Onorato's personal numbers are better than those of most Democratic candidates across the country this year but all the factors beyond his control in this race are making it difficult for him to stay competitive.
Full results here