He's the weakest first-term governor since Pennsylvania allowed governors to run for a second term. He's reviled by the left, who through months of primary-election campaigning have portrayed him as an out-of-touch, corporate toady and skin-flint who robbed Pennsylvania's children of an education.
Even within his own party, enthusiasm for Tom Corbett has been lukewarm. Tuesday night, Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley polled some 26,000 more votes than the governor himself. For some time now, members of the administration have been quietly parachuting into jobs elsewhere, suggesting even his own people have seen the writing on the wall.
But don't count Tom Corbett out, not yet, despite Tom Wolf's nomination by the Democrats as his opponent in November.
It's true that Tom Wolf is a tougher opponent than Tuesday's Democratic second place finisher - and Corbett dream opponent - Allyson Schwartz, but there are a number of factors that will be feeding Corbett optimism in the upcoming weeks.
The first factor is money.
Based on the most recent campaign finance filings, Corbett will begin the general election cycle with nearly six times the cash that Wolf has. Despite Wolf's reputation as a self-financed millionaire candidate, slightly less than half of the $10 million he put into his own campaign - $4.45 million - was from a bank loan. And it's gone. As of May 5, Wolf had spent $11.4 million and had just $1.6 remaining. Corbett, having spent $5.4 million, was still sitting on a war chest of $6.3 million.
Wolf's primary advantage is also his handicap going into November.
It's going to be a challenge for Wolf -- the self-financed millionaire candidate -- to convince Pennsylvania Democrats he can't win unless they give him some of their hard-earned money, especially people who supported Allyson Schwartz, whose campaign issued a barrage of fundraising pleas in the final weeks before the election bewailing the difficulty of running against a self-funded millionaire.
The second factor is money - with a wider horizon.
Corbett, even with his cash advantage, is likely to get serious support from the national Republican party. That has less to do with his accomplishments or policies and everything to do with the fact national Republicans do not want a Democrat in the Pennsylvania governor's mansion going into the 2016 presidential election.
The end of the Obama presidency is ripe for a Republican to rise, and Republicans would desperately love for Pennsylvania's electoral votes to swing red.
That's best illustrated by the fact this afternoon Corbett will be joined by Texas Governor Rick Perry, who will be stumping with him in Washington County.
The 2016 factor means the national Democrats will likely be pumping support into Wolf's campaign as well. Historically, however, such contests - at least as far as the ledger is concerned - are won by the Republicans.
That means the war on Wolf has just begun.
Schwartz and Rob McCord both attempted to dog ear the pages of Wolf's tidy personal narrative, but they didn't get far. They both started too late, and their arguments were sometimes abstruse and scattershot. But that doesn't mean the beating is over for Wolf, not by a long shot.
The Republicans have already picked up Schwartz's criticism of Wolf for not having more women in management positions in his company. The PA GOP has been tweeting a variety of ads highlighting Wolf's "women in spades" comment. One says: "Tom Wolf says he has 'women in spades' running his company. Apparently, their names are Ron, Dave, George, Bill, Craig and Mike." As Schwartz noted, Wolf's company has only two women on the management team and none on its board of directors.
Many will note the irony that Corbett has his own female problems, most notably his much quoted 2012 comment on a bill that would have required women not only to have an ultrasound but to view the result prior to getting an abortion. Corbett said: "You just have to close your eyes."
On the other hand, of the 25 people on Corbett's executive cabinet, seven - or 28 percent - are women.
The irony also highlights the fact there are no surprises with Corbett. His weak spots are well known, and well-worn. Wolf's: not so much. This is his first statewide vetting.
The criticism of Wolf on race because he supported Charlie Robertson is probably done.
The criticism of Wolf's ongoing support of convicted Bonusgate defendant Steve Stetler is probably done as well. Although Corbett could make it an issue since the Bonusgate prosecutions were part of his "cleaning up Harrisburg" narrative, it would be a dangerous move because Corbett has his own close friends with felony convictions.
Expect closer questioning of Wolf's past business dealings and finances, as well as of his campaign's transparency in general.
Expect to hear a lot more about how much Wolf pays -- or does not pay -- in taxes.
And of course, there will be intense focus on Wolf's tax proposals.
The two big issues going into November split both ways.
Education was the touchstone of the Democratic primary, during which the Democrats established a simplistic and mostly inaccurate narrative that "Corbett cut $1 billion from education." Corbett will have to get over, around or under that or lose.
His problem is: The inaccuracy is simple, emotive and easily remembered, whereas the reality is complicated. Wolf knows the reality is complicated; he acknowledged as much during his PennLive editorial board meeting, but for now the simplicity serves him, and it's Corbett's challenge to overcome.
Jobs and the economy will also be a major issue going into November, and on this score the numbers are beginning to swing strongly in Corbett's favor. Unemployment is down and new job creation is up, which -- if the trend continues -- bodes very well for Corbett.
Again, attributing economic fluctuations to a sitting governor is simplistic and often inaccurate, but explaining why gets complicated, and the explanation can come off like raining on the parade when a candidate attempts it on the campaign trail.
Then there's the issue of the candidates' personalities.
Don't expect fiery eloquence going into November; neither Corbett nor Wolf is inclined to theatrics. Quite the opposite.
Expect the Corbett campaign to rely more heavily on Susan Corbett, whose disarming political savvy lends genuine warmth and humanity to a candidate who can often appear wooden and gaffe-prone.
Expect the Wolf campaign to continue emphasizing Wolf's "outside the beltway" appeal. Even if his back story becomes more complicated, it is largely lacking in government service, which in the current political climate is a good thing.
Neither candidate is the kind of firebrand who's going to whip their base into a lather.
That means the general election may tend toward the soporific, and both sides may have problems with turnout.
In a state that has consistently been trending more and more blue, Corbett must shore up his base and beware the southeast. On the other hand, Wolf must prove he can motivate Philadelphia-area liberals, the only area of the state he didn't dominate in the primary and where only one in five turned out to vote.
Wolf has the advantage of smarts, "outsider" appeal and Corbett's consistently lousy poll numbers.
Corbett has the advantage of money, political experience and what seems to be a rebounding economy.
It's still a race.