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Uphill fight for Corbett as post-Labor Day campaign season kicks - abc27 WHTM

Uphill fight for Corbett as post-Labor Day campaign season kicks off

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Time to put away the white pants, white belts and white shoes, so says a traditional saw about Labor Day.

It's also time, tradition tells us, to more aggressively focus on campaign season.

Nine weeks from Tuesday, Pennsylvania voters will go the polls. The state's top job is up for grabs and there are a number of intriguing races to follow in the Midstate.

Post-Labor Day is also a hot time for campaign ads on television and the race for governor figures to heat up as the temperatures drop.

Look for the Toms to take shots at each other with more frequency as incumbent Republican Corbett tries to catch Democratic challenger Wolf, who polls suggest has a huge, double-digit lead.

"It just looks like a very tough, uphill climb (for Corbett) in the last 60 days," said Jim Lee of Susquehanna Polling & Research.

Lee, who has many GOP clients, has spent the summer polling several state House races and typically includes a question about Corbett.. The responses show him why Corbett is considered the most vulnerable governor in America.

"When you start seeing 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 districts all telling you the same thing, is that he's (Corbett) anywhere from 15 to 30 points behind what he got in the same districts four years ago, it starts to tell a pretty compelling picture that he's in a very tough position," Lee said.

But pollsters and politicians have been living and breathing this stuff for months.

What do everyday Midstaters think of the election roughly 60 days out?

Matt Webb of Harrisburg knew immediately who was running for governor when asked, but admits he's still undecided on who he'll choose.

"I'm looking to see a little more of their history and where they stand on the issues," Webb said.

Paul Poltz of West Hanover Township also knew that the race is between Toms Wolf and Corbett.

He called himself undecided but then said this: "I think a change may be in order. That may be my hint."

Tammy Smeltz of Tower City couldn't name the gubernatorial candidates but rallied when asked if she knew who the current governor is.

"Oh, that's Corbett," Smeltz said with conviction.

That put her one answer ahead of Lorra Nash of Harrisburg, who dashed the notion that every Pennsylvanian is now focusing laser-like on the looming elections.

Do you know who's running for governor?

"No," Lorra said.

Do you know who the governor is?

"No," she replied again.

Do you care?

"No," Lorra said this time with a laugh.

You won't be voting?

"No," she said, with a heartier laugh.

But there are interesting races worth watching in the Midstate.

Brash state Senator Scott Wagner (R-York), the first ever to win a seat via write-in, faces Democratic challenger Linda Small.

Lebanon County Republican Russ Diamond, disowned by party bosses because of messy personal affairs including a few past PFAs, takes on Democrat Jake Long and Independent Robert McAteer.

Former Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson will be on the ballot again. She's the Democrat challenger to first-term incumbent Congressman Scott Perry (R-4th District).


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