State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Focus in Democratic gubernatorial primary turns to ground game

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | May 13, 2014 9:38 PM
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Tom Wolf's three opponents in the Democratic gubernatorial primary have six days to catch up or pack up: 33 percent of surveyed Democratic voters favor the York County businessman, according to a new Franklin & Marshall College poll.

The same survey, conducted from May 6 to 12, finds 14 percent of respondents would vote for U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, nine percent support state Treasurer Rob McCord, and five percent go for Katie McGinty, a former state environmental protection secretary.

39 percent of respondents said they still hadn't picked a candidate.

So, where does this last snapshot leave us?

Wolf's sizable lead remains, despite efforts by McCord and Schwartz to call attention to what they call poor judgment calls, and questionable business and campaign finance practices.

"There doesn't seem to have been a big, big falloff from the negative commercials that were aimed at Wolf, nor, in the debates that have been held, the attacks on some aspects of his past activities," said Poll Director Terry Madonna, but it "would be without precedent."

Wolf rocketed to the top of the pack and held largely due to a scorched-earth approach to television ads. But with less than a week before the May 20 primary, the insider's game becomes how well candidates can marshal their get-out-the-vote resources: ground game. For months, McCord has been scooping up endorsements from labor unions, very likely to help on that front. Schwartz is widely presumed to have a lot of political muscle in Philadelphia.

"The real question is," Madonna began, "can it erase a substantial lead that we've not seen eclipsed in this short a time in modern Pennsylvania history?"

The F&M poll of 530 registered Democrats has a margin of error of plus or minus four-point-three percentage points.

Published in State House Sound Bites

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