Remember all the skepticism that greeted last week’s poll showing Gov. Tom Corbett finally whittling away at the persistent 20-point campaign lead of challenger Tom Wolf? Maybe it was misplaced.
Keystone Report offers the results of its own poll — done by Magellan Strategies — on the race. And Corbett still appears to be gaining.
Among voters who have definitely decided on a candidate, Magellan Strategies’ survey finds Corbett within 7 points (Corbett 28.6%, Wolf 35.9%, lean toward a candidate 24%, undecided 12%).
Among likely voters, Magellan Strategies’ survey found Corbett within 12 points of Wolf (Corbett 38.1%, Wolf 50.3%, undecided 11.6%).
Still, Corbett has weaknesses. Wolf, the Democrat, is more popular with voters in his party — he has the support of 80 percent of Democrats, while Corbett so far has “only” 64 percent of Republicans.
Despite that narrowing, though, at least one political prognosticator is firming up a forecast for Wolf’s victory. PoliticsPA reports:
The Rothenberg Political Report changed its rating of the PA governor’s race from “Lean Democrat” to “Democrat Favored” on Friday, suggesting that the site has even more reason to believe than it did last month that Democrat Tom Wolf will unseat incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett in November.
The Rothenberg Political Report had been rating PA as “Lean Democrat” since well before the primary, but showed enough additional confidence in the Wolf campaign (or lessened confidence in the Corbett campaign) to make the change. Of the 36 governorships up for grabs in 2014, Pennsylvania is the only one currently favored to switch parties.
The narrowing race, though, might explain this:
Political campaigns typically get going in earnest after Labor Day, but you wouldn’t know it if you watch television in the Philadelphia media market. Ads attacking Pennsylvania Republican Gov. Tom Corbett and his Democratic challenger Tom Wolf are all over the airwaves this summer — including one starring a Tom Wolf look-alike.
The campaign season has begun, and it has begun early.
Another reason punches are flying early is because Corbett emerged from the primary election far behind in the polls. He’s using the months before the election to try to make some headway with voters.
The TV ads are as nasty as they are early.
More to come.