Apparently unscathed by a bruising Democratic primary battle, businessman Tom Wolf, the Democratic challenger for Pennsylvania governor, tops Gov. Tom Corbett by a commanding 53 - 33 percent and outscores the Republican incumbent on every measure in the survey, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.
A Rasmussen Poll released Sunday has Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tom Wolf with a 51 percent to 31 percent lead over incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett with 14 percent undecided at this point.
This compares to a 52 - 33 percent Wolf lead in a February 26 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University, conducted before the primary bloodletting began in earnest.
Pennsylvania voters disapprove 55 - 35 percent of the job Gov. Corbett is doing - his lowest net score ever - and say 58 - 33 percent that he does not deserve to be reelected. The governor gets a negative 29 - 50 percent favorability rating, compared to Wolf's 46 - 14 percent favorability, with 38 percent who don't know enough about him to form an opinion.
Only 40 percent of voters say the Keystone State's economy is "excellent" or "good" while 60 percent say "not so good" or "poor." Only 23 percent of voters say they and their families are "better off" than they were four years ago, while 27 percent say they are "worse off," with 49 percent who say they are "about the same."
"The election is five months away, but Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett looks like easy prey for Democratic challenger Tom Wolf," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
"When only 23 percent of the electorate says their families are better off now than they were four years ago, the crisis of confidence reverberates through the State House."
In an open-ended question allowing for any answer, 30 percent of Pennsylvania voters who disapprove of Gov. Corbett cite education as the main reason, while 8 percent point to fracking and the environment.
Among voters who approve of the governor, 19 percent cite the state budget, finances and taxes, while 12 percent cite the economy and jobs.
Wolf tops Corbett on character traits as voters say 50 - 16 percent that he is honest and trustworthy, 55 - 18 percent that he cares about their needs and problems and 58 - 13 percent that he has strong leadership qualities.
Corbett gets a spit 42 - 43 percent grade on whether he is honest and trustworthy, a negative 35 - 55 percent mark on whether he cares about voter needs and problems and a positive 49 - 40 percent grade for leadership.
Pennsylvania voters say Wolf would do a better job than Corbett on several issues:
— 59 - 26 percent on education;
— 55 - 29 percent on economy and jobs;
— 53 - 29 percent on the energy and environment;
— 50 - 29 percent on health care;
— 49 - 34 percent on taxes;
— 46 - 35 percent on government spending;
— 35 - 31 percent on the issue of abortion.
Only 10 percent of voters say they are less likely to vote for a candidate who uses his/her own money to fund a campaign, while 20 percent say they are more likely to support that candidate and 68 percent say it makes no difference.
Asked another way, voters prefer 45 - 28 percent a wealthy candidate who funds a campaign mainly with their own money to a candidate who relies mostly on private donations.
But voters say 52 - 43 percent there should be limits on how much of their own money candidates should be allowed to spend on their own campaigns. Opinions among Republicans, Democrats and independent voters are close on this issue.
"There's no good news anywhere for Gov. Corbett," Malloy said.The complete poll results are available online.