A new poll confirms that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) faces huge hurdles in winning a second term. But Democrats are far from united on who they should nominate to face him. Rep. Allyson Schwartz‘s supporters hoped that an intimidating warchest and two leaked polls would establish an air of inevitability around her campaign. Months later, the outcome of the Democratic primary is far from certain.
— Several rival Democrats loom as potential roadblocks to Schwartz’s nomination. Businessman Tom Wolf has pledged to spend $10 million on his campaign. Treasurer Rob McCord, with two statewide wins under his belt, is expected to jump in next month. And former Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Katie McGinty has assembled a top-shelf campaign team, attracted influential labor supporters and generated buzz in Democratic circles. Ex-state Auditor General Jack Wagner may run, and could appeal to moderates and voters in western PA.
— Schwartz also has faced several rounds of speculation about a late entry from Attorney General Kathleen Kane, the hottest commodity in the state Democratic Party. While Kane has said she won’t run, lingering speculation about another heavyweight entering the race normally doesn’t occur when a field already contains an overwhelming favorite.
— Schwartz’s campaign released an internal last week showing her with a larger primary lead than public polls have shown. But rivals say Schwartz’s huge advantage in the Philly market is due to a head start in name recognition, and they question her appeal in the western half of the state.
Schwartz wants potential donors, her fellow candidates and reporters to think that her primary victory is all but assured. Her opponents don’t buy it. Corbett, for now, is happy to sit back and watch the Democrats fight it out.
— Kevin Brennan
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