Day By Day

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Pennsylvania Politics -- Swann Rises

He's not the official Republican candidate [still has to get past Bill Scranton] but Lynn Swann beats incumbent Democrat Governor, Ed Rendell, in the latest poll.

Rasmussen Reports:

January 19, 2006--Our latest poll of the race for Pennsylvania governor shows Republican Lynn Swann, the former receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, narrowly leading Democratic Governor Ed Rendell 45% to 43%.

Fifty-four percent (54%) of voters view Swann favorably; 47% view Rendell favorably.

Swann formally declared his candidacy just two weeks ago, on January 4. But he has enjoyed early success in securing endorsements from two of six regional caucuses in his quest for the party nomination. The Republican state Committee will endorse a candidate on February 11.

Rendell does much better against former Lt. Governor Bill Scranton III, leading 46% to 36%.

Read it here.

Clearly Swann has greater voter appeal than does Scranton, which is the main point to be gleaned from this poll. Republicans are just a few weeks from choosing their gubenatorial candidate, and the remaining caucuses are mostly in territiory where Scranton is expected to do well. This poll undercuts him and strongly boosts Swann's chances of opposing Rendell in the fall.

So far, Swann has avoided taking specific positions on much of anything. The current poll reflects, more than anything else, Rendell's unpopularity as governor. So long as the Republicans can field an attractive personality [which Swann is] and avoid making major mistakes, they can beat Rendell with very little.

Not long ago Democrats were talking up Rendell as a possible presidential candidate in 08 or 12. His haplessness as governor has seriously limited party enthusiasm for him. A loss to Swanny would be fatal to his national ambitions.

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