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Sat Aug 30, 2014, 07:44 AM

"Give'em hell, Tom" - From Terry Madonna's "Politically Uncorrected Column" [View all]

Political science professor, G. Terry Madonna, has been the well-respected guru of political polling in Pennsylvania since the early 90's. Politicians in both parties take his work deadly seriously. But in today's Trib-Review, there's a report that GOP Gov. Corbett's campaign team is desperately accusing Madonna of fudging the statistics in the latest Franklin-Marshall poll, which shows Corbett trailing challenger Wolf by 25 points.

“It's typical of what happens,” Madonna said. “Pollsters get attacked if the campaign's not doing well.”

Madonna has a track record of accuracy in showing which candidate is in the lead – including the polls running up to Corbett's 2010 gubernatorial win.

Madonna has gone through this before. In 2012, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum called him a “Democratic hack” when Franklin & Marshall polls showed Santorum trailing Mitt Romney in the GOP presidential primary.

“They're not interested in objective; they're trying to win an election,” said Madonna.

Read more: http://triblive.com/state/pennsylvania/6700387-74/madonna-barley-campaign#ixzz3BsEEWI5u
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Checking up on Madonna, I came across an absolute jewel of a website for detailed analysis of Pennsylvania politics, i.e., Madonna's Politically Uncorrected Column. Here are excerpts from one of the most recent columns, titled "Give 'em Hell, Tom" which analyzes Corbett's pathetic attempt to run against Harrisburg when he's been governor for 4 years, and both chambers of the legislature are controlled by Republicans.

Consequently, Tom Corbett, after four years in office, has little to show for it – unless you count mounting frustration, growing animosities, a divided legislative leadership, and failure to enact most of his major agenda. So Corbett, making a virtue out of a necessity, is becoming the first gubernatorial candidate in history to run against Harrisburg for a second term.

So far, so good. Actually, running against Harrisburg has not just been a favorite strategy in state politics; it has also been a successful strategy. In modern times, going back to Gov. Milton Shapp in the 1970s, at least four governors, including Corbett, have earned a first term sticking it to the “Harrisburg culture.”

Moreover, one could argue that “Harrisburg,” with its cliques, obstructionist tactics, recurring corrupt behavior and anti-reform ethos really is the problem. Democratic President Harry Truman, also trailing badly in the polls, made something like this work for him in his classic 1948 comeback, running against a “do nothing” Republican Congress. However, unlike Corbett's situation, Truman's party didn't control Congress, which made Truman's strategy credible. Still, why can’t Tom Corbett do the same?

Give 'em hell, Tom. Or not.


The entire article is a good read, as are other columns on the blog. IMHO, Madonna truly understands the history and culture of Harrisburg and politics in the state and within each party, and writes about them in a very accurate, yet also entertaining way. I'll be eagerly following this blog between now and November.

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Reply "Give'em hell, Tom" - From Terry Madonna's "Politically Uncorrected Column" [View all]
Divernan Aug 2014 OP
Divernan Aug 2014 #1