In the first round of post-primary polling pitting Tom Wolf head-to-head against Governor Tom Corbett, Wolf has both a 20 point lead and is above 50 percent. If Wolf can maintain his momentum, he would be poised to beat Corbett at a margin close to that of Ed Rendell’s over Lynn Swann in 2006 (20.8%) or Tom Ridge’s over Ivan Itkin in 1998 (26.4%).
And it’s possible that Wolf’s win could be by even more epic proportions.
That’s because the biggest wildcard of the election—Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s review of Corbett slow-walking the Sandusky case—has yet to be played.
On Friday, a Corbett spokesman confirmed that the Governor had been interviewed earlier in the week in relation to the case, which means that Kane’s review is likely approaching its closing stages.
We’re not talking about a matter of weeks, though; it’s more likely to be a matter of months.
But timing is everything.
Speaking objectively, the results of the report are unlikely to be damning. Sandusky was successfully prosecuted on 45 of 48 counts and the verdict has been upheld on appeal. However, even if Kane’s report is just mildly critical of Corbett and produces only a few nuggets, Democrats can use it to their advantage and bury the already-underwater Governor.
If the report comes out in, say, September, Corbett will have time to refute a mildly-critical report and make Kane’s timing appear to be that of a politician, not a prosecutor.
But if the report comes out in, say, late October, and is mildly-critical, Democrats will have the advantage of a week of anti-Corbett headlines leading up to the election and the Corbett campaign won’t have very much of a chance to respond.
In short, the longer it takes Kathleen Kane to release this report, the better, unless it’s later than October, because then it’s politically irrelevant.