Tom Corbett Is About to Make History

Win or lose, he will defy historical norms.

What? Me worry?

One way or another, Gov. Tom Corbett is about to make history.

Win, and he’ll have secured an improbable come-from-behind victory of a magnitude almost never seen in American politics. He spent much of the campaign around 20 points behind challenger Tom Wolf in the polls; those numbers have tightened lately — could Corbett pull off a political miracle?

Lose, and he’ll be the first Pennsylvania governor to fail to win re-election since the state started permitting two terms in 1968.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports:

Analysts cannot recall any gubernatorial candidate in recent history winning a race when trailing in polls by double digits or slightly less in the campaign’s final days.

Yet a Corbett comeback is not out of the question, especially if voter turnout is abysmal in the Democratic strongholds of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and Republicans “come home” for Corbett in huge numbers, said Michael Cassidy, an instructor at Temple University’s Harrisburg campus who worked for 36 years for the House Democratic Caucus.

But such a feat is unlikely: Corbett’s favorability ratings were low throughout his first term, even among members of his party. He appeared aloof and was unable to persuade a GOP-majority Legislature to support his agenda. Teachers and parents decried the loss of public education money in his first budget, and environmentalists accused him of being too friendly with shale gas drillers because he did not support an extraction tax.

On Sunday, with 48 hours to go before the election concludes, Corbett campaigned in Bucks County with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.