Why Romney Will Lose PA: The Nation’s Least Popular Governor and One Convicted Pedophile

Corbett’s mishandling of the Jerry Sandusky investigation may doom the GOP.

It’s all about Ohio. Win the Buckeye State, win the White House. Very true, especially for Mitt Romney, since no Republican has won without it. But Ohio is only kingmaker by default. Its 18 electoral votes wouldn’t be needed if Romney could win Ohio’s larger neighbor—Pennsylvania, with its 20 electors.

This was eminently achievable, until two men severely diminished hope for delivering the Keystone State: Jerry Sandusky and Republican Governor Tom Corbett.

Make no mistake: Pennsylvania should have been a lock for the GOP. The fact that it has not voted Republican for president since 1988 is misleading. When there is a solid candidate, Pennsylvania is always in play. Ronald Reagan won Pennsylvania twice, and George H.W. Bush took it in ’88.

In 2010, GOP Governor Tom Corbett rode to victory with a massive 10-point margin. Conservative Pat Toomey was elected U.S. senator, and Republicans gained control of the State House in historic fashion, smashing the Democrats and taking a 10-seat majority. The State Senate remained solidly Republican—as it has for three decades.

So why is it likely that Romney will lose the Pennsylvania prize?

Enter Corbett and Sandusky.


The most worthless commodities in politics are endorsements. Party leaders endorsing their own is expected, swaying no one. And celebrities choosing sides only makes for good cocktail talk. Romney doesn’t benefit from Clint Eastwood, nor Obama from Bruce Springsteen.

But while endorsements don’t sell, popularity does.

If a leader possesses a bold vision—and the ability to articulate ideas in a common sense, bipartisan way—he will have followers from the entire political spectrum. New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie is the best example.

While no single Republican could swing Jersey to Romney, that feat should have been in the bag in much more Republican Pennsylvania. If Christie could rack up wins in The People’s Republic of New Jersey, gaining immense popularity, how could Corbett not deliver Pennsylvania?

Because after the first year of his administration, when virtually nothing was accomplished, Corbett’s own legislators nicknamed him “Christie-lite.” And after the second year, with an even more startling lack of achievements, the nicknames became unprintable.

We’re not talking about a failed extreme right-wing agenda, but common-sense ideas—dismantling the largest state-controlled liquor system, solving the state’s massive pension crisis, giving state union workers a contract in line with private sector employees—that Corbett promised but didn’t come close to delivering, despite holding all the cards.


Then there was his handling of sexual predator Jerry Sandusky.

Corbett’s attempt to steal the national limelight at Penn State news conferences by portraying himself as the savior who took down Sandusky rapidly backfired. Instead, his decisions in that case (he was the investigating attorney general) grew into a firestorm that continues to explode.

No one is buying Corbett’s claims that he didn’t play politics with the Sandusky investigation. A whopping 69 percent of Pennsylvanians don’t view Corbett favorably, making him the nation’s least popular governor. And a miniscule 17 percent think he handled the Sandusky investigation well.

If Corbett had been just a fraction of Chris Christie, and had run the Sandusky investigation properly, Mitt Romney wins Pennsylvania hands down.

Instead, because of Corbett’s toxicity, Romney was forced to focus on Ohio, which he will likely lose, and with it, the White House.

But that may be the least of Corbett’s troubles. Kathleen Kane is poised to become the first elected Democratic attorney general in Pennsylvania history. If elected, Kane promises an intense review of the Sandusky investigation, with no hesitation to charge anyone—including the Governor—should improprieties be uncovered.

And who thought politics wouldn’t be interesting after this election?

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  • mrvicchio

    What are you blathering about?

  • interestedobserver2

    I find coupling Romney’s name in the title with the phrase about “least popular governor and one convicted pedophile” to be completely disingenuous and misleading. Clearly you have gone the way of Goebbels’ propaganda machine. Nice work, kids; Der Einz will be proud of you….

    Oh, and I think PA voters a quite a bit smarter than you apparently do. I pretty much suspect that they can recognize that a guy named Romney is NOT a guy named Corbett or one named Sandusky either. I suspect they will vote their consciences and their paychecks just like everyone else does, not worrying too much about the Governor or some freakishly perverted sexual predator in the process. Nice try at conflating the two though. I suppose you’ll please your political extremists with that little charade, no matter how pathetically transparent it actually was.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/3B57H7QRH4UDQXWNDXD7G65RDQ Kenneth

    I believe when the dust settles Romney will win we have giving the President the chance for Hope and Change we are a more divided country today then we were 4 years ago our unemployment is no better for closers are still a problem, Mr president i believed in your message of Hope and Change well time is up i am out of hope and you have taking my change we need as a country a different course and Mr Romney is worth a shot if he fails like you he will lose his job…. this election is not about you Mr president it is about my children and grand children they deserve a chance not to have to pay back china or mounting debt that will change the American landscape forever God bless America and all she stands for.

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    Man, Mr Friend, you give new meaning to “political hack”