-Florida's Rick Scott, Ohio's John Kasich, and Wisconsin's Scott Walker get most of the attention but Pennsylvania's Tom Corbett also belongs on the list of new Republican Governors that voters are having significant buyer's remorse about. Only 35% of voters in the state approve of the job he's doing to 46% who disapprove. Democrats are more unified (65%) in disapproving of him than Republicans are (58%) in liking him and independents split against him by a 35/40 margin as well. If voters could do it over again they say they'd vote for Dan Onorato over Corbett by a 47/44 margin. Barack Obama has a lot of problems in Pennsylvania but a popular Republican in the Governor's office is not one of them.
-The dominant sentiment toward Pat Toomey after 6 months in the Senate is ambivalence. 30% of voters give him good marks, 29% disapprove, and the largest mass of them at 41% has no opinion either way. This is perfectly good news for Toomey- you're a lot more likely to permanently damage yourself in the first few months in office than you are to set the world on fire so maintaining a low profile and not ticking everyone off is just fine. Better to be in his position than Corbett's.
-Democrats lead on the generic Congressional ballot in the state 46-40, an outcome that would almost certainly lead to the party picking up a number of seats if the election was held today. Democrats have two big things going for them compared to last year. They lead by 6 points with independents. In August of 2010 they had a 23 point gap with that voting bloc. And where last summer only 72% of Democrats were committed to supporting their party's House candidates, now 80% are. Six months of seeing what can happen with a Republican controlled House seems to have reunified the party.
I think Democrats' chances of retaking the House are being significantly undervalued by most experts right now. This finding, as well as one we made in Florida last week that Democrats led the generic ballot there by a 45-40 margin, reinforce our national polling which currently finds voters leaning Democratic 48-42 for the House next year. Voters are not happy with the new GOP majority and if there was an election today Democrats would at the least pick up a lot of seats, even if not enough to take back control.
-68% of Pennsylvania voters support some form of legal recognition for gay couples but most of them fall short of saying they would favor outright gay marriage in the state. Out of the 68%, 32% say they think gay couples should have full marriages right while another 36% say their preference would be civil unions. Asked just to say whether they think gay marriage should be legal or not though only 38% go that far with 51% of voters opposed.
We see the typical massive generational divide on this issue play itself out in Pennsylvania. A strong majority of voters under 45 support gay marriage but senior citizens are even firmer in their being against it, 69/20.
-The Steelers are Pennsylvania's favorite professional sports team. 30% of voters in the state pick them, followed by 22% for the Phillies, 12% each for the Penguins and Eagles, 6% for the Pirates, 4% for the Flyers, and 2% for the 76ers. For those keeping track that's 48% of voters in the state choosing one of Pittsburgh's 3 teams to only 40% picking a Philadelphia team even though that city has 4. Advantage Steel City on that front.
Full results here