- Associated Press - Saturday, November 1, 2014

ST. CLAIR, Pa. (AP) - As Republican Gov. Tom Corbett battles unfavorable polling numbers and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf wrestles with the fear that overconfidence could keep his supporters from the polls, they shared a common message Saturday on the last weekend of the campaign: Vote!

“We need you to work … very hard for the next three and a half days,” Corbett told about 50 supporters at a rally in an Italian restaurant in the tiny borough of St. Clair in Schuylkill County’s coal country.

“Talk to those who haven’t made up their mind. Talk to those who are leaning one way or the other and convince them that we are better off today, because we are, than we were four years ago,” Corbett said.

In Philadelphia, the state’s Democratic hub, Wolf was greeted by cheers and calls of “hey, Governor Wolf” as he braved a driving rain and stepped out of his campaign bus in front of a supermarket. He urged a group of more than 30 supporters to resist complacency and cast ballots Tuesday.

“We have a choice here,” Wolf said. “We can keep doing what we’ve been doing. If that’s what you want to do, don’t come out to vote. But if you think we deserve a better future - I do - then we need to come out and vote.”

“Those polls, they’re great. I love them, but they mean nothing,” he said. “If it rains like this on Tuesday, all bets are off and those polls are going to be meaningless.”

The gubernatorial campaigns were in high gear as the candidates crisscrossed the state making final appeals to voters. Both are expecting boosts from national political leaders Sunday - President Barack Obama is slated to appear with Wolf at a Philadelphia rally, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie plans to tout Corbett’s candidacy.

Independent polls have consistently shown Wolf, a businessman and former state revenue secretary who sank $10 million of his money into an early TV blitz that helped boost his profile, holding a double-digit lead over Corbett.

Besides Philadelphia, Wolf also made a Saturday appearances in neighboring Delaware County.

At the supermarket, he bumped elbows with the bakery workers because they couldn’t shake hands while they were working - impressing some of the employees.

“We didn’t expect him to come back here,” said Lynn Floyd, 52. “Who comes and talks to the common folk?”

Some shoppers weren’t expecting to meet the candidate but were pleasantly surprised.

“He’s an honest man,” said Victoria Brown, 41, of Philadelphia. “I’m glad I came out.”

Corbett and his wife Susan began Saturday’s tour from Harrisburg to northeastern Pennsylvania with stops at the monthly breakfast at the evangelical New Love in Christ Church in Harrisburg, a gun show at the Lebanon Valley Expo Center & Fairgrounds and busy Vito’s restaurant in St. Clair, whose ovens burn three tons of anthracite coal per month.

“I truly believe that we’re going to win,” the governor said.

Corbett shook hands, signed autographs and posed for snapshots at every stop. Many of the gun-show attendees told him he has their votes. When one wished him good luck, the governor replied, “I take luck, but I take votes more.”

“I think he has a chance. I’m tired of hearing that other guy,” said Paul Shore, 83, of Carlisle, who attended the church breakfast. “He did everything he promised. … I don’t see why other people don’t see it.”

“We need to move in a conservative direction,” said Mary Barrows, another breakfast attendee.

Reflecting on all of it, Corbett said that - win or lose - he looks forward to the end of the campaign.

“All I know is that this is the last Saturday of campaigning in my career,” he said.

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