Another week, another day of bad news for Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Corbett. This time though we change up the pace a bit and instead of dissecting a poll concerning the highly unpopular Governor, we get a sneak peek at what’s going on behind the scenes and if you are a Corbett supporter (all twenty of you), this is not good news.
I guess I was mistaken in the past when I thought only Democrats, women, college students and independents wanted Corbett out. It turns out Republicans do as well! How about that, despising Corbett is one of the few things in this country that our two parties can be joined hand-in-hand in!
But all jokes and exaggerations aside, the presence of a highly popular incumbent on the ballot is something that can really hurt a party. North Carolina Democrats were in a similar position in 2011 when incumbent Gov. Bev Perdue faced similarly horrendous approvals and even though she retired as opposed to run again, she still dragged down the Democrats performances in the Tarheel State.
Pennsylvania Republicans can’t afford to lose the state legislature and maybe it won’t happen but the Democrats seem poised to happily close the margins down. Let’s take a look at what the National Journal’s Alex Roarty wrote today concerning the Republican effort to goad Corbett into retirement:
Beset by legislative failures and bleak poll numbers, the Republican looks like the country’s most vulnerable governor heading into the 2014 election. And Republicans are questioning whether they should let Corbett face a near-certain defeat when they could find a ready replacement with a much better chance of winning.
Already, speculation among GOP operatives has shifted to a quartet of candidates the party might turn to, including several Republicans in the state’s congressional delegation. Fearful of alienating a sitting governor, they’ve done little to publicly jockey for the potential opening. But all are said to be keeping a close eye on Corbett.
A dramatic move from Corbett to step aside isn’t imminent. On Tuesday, he replaced his chief of staff with a veteran political operative. Corbett allies say he remains laser-focused on winning reelection, even if he knows his path to victory is narrow. Meanwhile, Republicans aren’t looking to run against him in a primary, only eager to run if he opts not to run for a second term.
But unless Corbett can show improvement in the coming months, Republicans expect the calls for him to step aside to reach a fever pitch. According to one GOP operative in the state, speculation about replacing the governor is “rampant.”
Roarty goes on to mention Reps. Jim Gerlach, Patrick Meehan, Mike Kelly and State Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi as possible Republicans waiting on Corbett. Gerlach and Meehan, being from the Philadelphia area, actually would be formidable threats though Rep. Allyson Schwartz, the favorite to win the Democratic nomination, already has her campaign up and going.
Nonetheless, how enjoyable is this? Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida are three states that Democrats are salivating about to take back the Governor’s Mansions. The Tea Party wave of 2010 was a disaster of epic proportions for Democrats but some states are finding out that it wasn’t just Democrats who were effected. It was also them.
I don’t see Corbett possessing the humility to step aside as opposed to run again. If you are a Democrat you should cheer him on because he’s already nuked his legacy, why not set the Republican Party back another four years?