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POLITICS: PennAve

New poll is just more bad news for Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett

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Steve Doty,Barack Obama,Polls,2014 Elections,PennAve,Tom Corbett,Pennsylvania

Just 23 percent of Pennsylvania residents say that Republican Gov. Tom Corbett is doing a good job and only a quarter of them believe the state is headed in the right direction, seriously worrisome news for the embattled governor's re-election prospects, according to a Franklin & Marshall College poll released Thursday.

Support is down even among Corbett's fellow Republicans. Just 38 percent believe he is doing a good or excellent job, the poll found, but only about one in four believe he's done well enough to deserve re-election.

Unemployment and the economy continue to worry Pennsylvania voters, with 31percent listing it as their top concern.

Education and school funding were also a concern. Corbett's 2011 education cuts hurt him deeply around the state and there's speculation now that the governor may use his State of the State address next week to outline a new school-funding plan.

President Obama, who visited Pennsylvania on Wednesday following his State of the Union speech, has seen his approval ratings drop in the state to 30 percent -- down from 39 percent in the same poll in October.

An overwhelming 81 percent of Pennsylvania residents support allowing marijuana to be used legally for medical purposes and 36 percent support legalizing pot altogether.

In keeping with much of the rest of the country, support for same-sex marriage is also on the rise in Pennsylvania. A majority, 56 percent, now support gay marriage while 39 percent oppose it.

Obama's State of the Union pledge of support for natural gas drilling and energy independence is resonating with Pennsylvania voters, with 64 percent saying they favor additional gas drilling. Another 40 percent say the economics of natural gas extraction outweigh any potential environmental damages.

Eight Democrats have lined up to take on Corbett during this year's gubernatorial election.

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