A statewide poll shows Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli and Attorney General Tom Corbett in a dead heat in the race for Attorney General. The poll of 600 likely voters was requested by The Element Agency, the media consultant for John Morganelli, and was conducted January 21-23, 2008. It has a margin of error of 4% +/-.
Voters were asked the following questions:
* Do you feel that Tom Corbett has handled his job as Pennsylvania Attorney General well enough to deserve re-election or is it time to give a new person a chance?
* In the race for Attorney General, if all you knew was that the Republican candidate is Tom Corbett, the current state Attorney General, and the Democratic candidate is John Morganelli, the current District attorney for Northampton County, who would you vote?
The poll shows that Morganelli is virtually unknown outside eastern Pennsylvania with only 4% favorable name identification statewide. Corbett, the incumbent, is better known with 15% favorable name identification statewide. Neither candidate has any significant negatives.
The following conclusions were arrived at from the poll:
* The race for Attorney General is fluid at this time.
* Despite the fact that Corbett as the incumbent has a significant advantage in name identification over Morganelli at this time, as Morganelli becomes more known to voters, his share of the vote will increase and continue to make him competitive.
Grant Draper of The Element Agency said that the poll is bad news for the incumbent attorney general. "Whenever an incumbent has less than 40% re-elect numbers, there is a problem", said Draper. Draper also noted that although Corbett has 4 times the favorable name identification of Morganelli, Morganelli is neck and neck with him. "I don’t see how John Morganelli could be better positioned at this time than he is now to be the first Democratic Attorney General in Pennsylvania," said Grant Draper.
Draper also noted that the poll confirms what he believed based on the history of these races in Pennsylvania. “This will be a close race and consistent with past Pennsylvania races for Attorney General,” said Draper. Draper noted that in years 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2004, although no Democrat was ever successful, each of the races was decided by about 1-2%.
“Even in 1984 when President Reagan was winning a landslide in Pennsylvania, then incumbent Republican Attorney General Leroy Zimmerman defeated Allen Ertel by a scant 25,000 votes garnering 2,283,940 votes to Ertel’s 2,258,884,” noted Draper.
“At this point, I think we are well positioned to compete," said Draper.
Contact: Grant Draper
The Element Agency
20 West 22nd Street 12th Floor
New York, New York 10010
Update: Beardless Capitol Ideas has just hinted this poll is slanted in favor of Morganelli because The Element Agency has liberal clients like Nuclear Threat Initiative and Rainforest Alliance. Morganelli's a pinko? So is he just joshing when he harps about that death penalty thing and those illegal aliens? Morganelli has been on the O'Reilly show more often than Ann Coulter. Come to think of it, he's better looking, too. God, he nearly invaded New Jersey last week. He also eats red meat . . . raw.
Good point about that name recognition thing, though.