If Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski faced Gov. Tom Corbett in a Pennsylvania gubernatorial matchup today he would win.
Pawlowski, who has hinted at an interest in the 2014 governor's race, performs at the top of the list of potential Democratic challengers, besting Allyson Schwartz against Corbett. The only Democrat with a stronger showing than the mayor against the incumbent GOP governor is Joe Sestak.
(UPDATED: Read print version here for quotes from Pawlowski and Sestak spokesman.)
Head-to-head, Pawlowski wins 44 percent to Corbett's 38 percent, according to a poll released Wednesday from Quinnipiac University. It's somewhat surprising given that 87 percent of those surveyed don't know enough about Pawlowski to have an opinion of him.
Sestak, the former Delaware County congressman, Navy admiral and Arlen Specter-career handicapper hasn't made any early moves to run, but if he throws his name in the ring, as many insiders assume he will, he would win 47 percent to 38 percent today.
Sestak, who narrowly lost the 2010 Senate race to Pat Toomey, has aimed to stay relevant by appearing on national cable shows as a pundit. He has the highest name identification of the potential Democratic primary field, but despite running statewide just over two years ago, 58 percent of Pennsylvania voters say they don't know enough about him to form an opinion. Around one-quarter of voters have a favorable view of him and 14 percent don't.
Montgomery County congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, who has come just shy of making her run official, would also beat Corbett, though more narrowly, 42 - 39 percent.
“It’s still early, but Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is going nowhere, and maybe even sliding a little as he prepares for what could be a tough reelection fight,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Pennsylvania voters, especially women, don’t like Gov. Corbett and are ready to consider several possible Democratic challengers, especially former Congressman Joseph Sestak, Mayor Ed Pawlowski and U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz."
Corbett has a meager 39 percent job approval rating and a majority of voters do not believe he deserves reelection. Corbett also performs neck and neck with the lesser known Democratic hopefuls:
- Corbett gets 42 percent to environmentalist John Hanger’s 41 percent;
- Corbett at 40 percent to businessman Tom Knox’ 39 percent;
- Corbett gets 42 percent to State Treasurer Rob McCord’s 38 percent;
- State Sen. Mike Stack at 40 percent to Corbett’s 39 percent;
- Corbett and businessman Tom Wolf tied 39 – 39 percent
Full poll results from Quinnipiac's survey of 1,116 statewide voters is here.
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