There are a couple of different reasons that you could point to to explain Tom Corbett loss in such an overwhelmingly Republican year. As I said over the summer, I think he lost because of his education cuts. It really struck me how those deep cuts were issues to so many people wherever I went in the state. But you could also point to his intense devotion to fracking and his responsibility for Penn State firing Joe Paterno.
Maybe it is because I am pretty cut off from sports culture, but I don't think Paterno's firing lost him as many votes as people who are deeply into that culture may think. It is, however, the most self-serving explanation for Corbett himself because it was a pretty unique set of circumstances and, if that is why he lost, it would not raise any questions about any of his political positions. So naturally, that seems to be what Corbett himself is thinking.