Tom Corbett: “Dead Man Walking”

The latest poll is just more bad news for the governor.

The news isn’t getting any better for the governor:

Corbett is down 24 percentage points to Wolf, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll of 1,161 likely voters. With less than two months until the Nov. 4 election, Corbett has virtually no chance of closing the gap that shows 59 percent of voters support Wolf, compared with 35 percent of voters who support Corbett, said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll.

“He is dead man walking,” Malloy said.

Hey, that’s not very nice! On the other hand, the depth of the governor’s plight seems to have political commentators piling on in their description of how very, very, very badly he is performing.

The Washington Post:

Congratulations, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R). You’ve won the title of most vulnerable governor in America. And it’s not even close.

Nobody is feeling the heat quite like Corbett, who is on a course to make history for the wrong reasons: No Pennsylvania governor in the modern era has lost a bid for reelection. Yet.

Slate mocks the governor, whose campaign responded to the poll by citing another one … in which he was down just 11 points:

Yes: To argue that a poll showing Corbett losing by 23 points was inaccurate, the campaign asked people to look at the poll in which he was down by only 11. (Context: Only two polls in 2012 showed Barack Obama beating Mitt Romney by more than 11 points in Pennsylvania. After Romney threw resources into the state, he lost by 5.)

Why should residents of 49 other states, the District of Columbia, Guam, or the larger world care about this? I can’t tell you, but I wanted to share this example of how talking to campaign spokesmen is often like talking to con artists, with the dazzle replaced by mad-lib approved statements.

The Morning Call offers this assessment from an unidentified Republican strategist:

“It’s a truly amazing thing to see an incumbent governor in this position with no historical precedent in Pennsylvania,” the strategist said. “Do I think he’s really down 24? Probably not, but close to 20, yeah. Any incumbent who is down, period, that is usually a death sentence.”