By Thomas Fitzgerald
The Philadelphia Inquirer (MCT)
Oct. 21–A new survey shows Republican Gov. Corbett has made headway in the polls and is down only seven points in his race with Democratic challenger Tom Wolf.
Wolf leads, 49 percent to 42 percent, according to the survey, the tightest margin between the two candidates in any public poll so far.
The Keystone Report poll, conducted by Magellan Strategies, a Louisiana-based GOP research firm, suggests a much closer race than other recent surveys, including a Quinnipiac University Poll this month that pegged Wolf’s lead at 17 percentage points.
In a memo released with its poll, Magellan said Corbett’s improved standing with Republican voters over the course of three polls it has conducted helped him close the gap a bit.
In July, Magellan found that the governor had the support of 64 percent of GOP likely voters.
The latest survey found Corbett backed by 73 percent of his fellow Republicans. It also noted a slight uptick in negative views of Wolf.
But the pollster said the biggest difference between its finding and those of other recent polls such as Quinnipiac’s is that the weighting of its responses assumes a lower relative turnout of Democrats compared with Republicans.
Magellan said the assumption was valid based on historical patterns in non- presidential election years.
Corbett has trailed Wolf since the May Democratic primary and is in danger of becoming the first Pennsylvania governor since the 19th century to lose a bid for a second term.
The Magellan poll, an automated phone survey with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points, was conducted Oct. 13-14, and was based on 1,131 responses from voters who indicated they were likely to go to the polls Nov. 4.