A Daily News/Franklin & Marshall College Poll last week showed Corbett running very close among all registered voters to Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, the Democratic nominee. But when you factor in the people in the poll who said that they are likely to vote in the Nov. 2 general election, Corbett sails out to an 11-point lead, 38-27 percent, with 31 percent undecided.
The poll did hold some good news for Onorato, who sports double-digit leads on Corbett among voters in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburban counties. Corbett was much stronger in the central part of the state.
The survey also found that a significant number of voters, including 41 percent here in southeastern Pennsylvania, have still not decided which man they will support for governor.
"Forty percent of the electorate is down here in the five southeastern counties - we know that," said Corbett, adding that he plans to step up campaigning in this region as the race picks up after Labor Day. "And the poll is just a snapshot of whatever it was whenever they took the poll. I'm not counting on any polls. We are working as if we were 10 points behind rather than 11 points up."
Onorato has focused considerable time and resources for his campaign in Philadelphia, hosting five weekend neighborhood barbecues, including an event at the Olney Recreation Center Saturday that drew 600 people.
Corbett noted that he lost Philadelphia when he ran for re-election as attorney general in 2008, but by a smaller margin than he lost in 2004 during his first run.
"So, people down here know me," he said. "That's what Dan is trying to overcome."
Corbett made a clear regional pitch yesterday while addressing the 26th Annual Bill Meehan Clam Bake, a Republican Party fundraiser at the Cannstatter Volksfest-Verein, in Torresdale. He called for a round of applause for Bucks County Commissioner Jim Cawley, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor.
"It's going to be a real partnership," Corbett said, if he and Cawley are elected. "He's going to represent southeastern Pennsylvania greatly along with all of Pennsylvania."
Corbett called on the Republicans to volunteer for his campaign and spread the word, repeating his three-pitch platform.
"We've got to cut spending," Corbett said. "We've got to cut taxes. And we've got to create jobs. That's what this campaign is all about."