Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz leads the Democratic field for Governor according to a poll commissioned by EMILY’s list. She narrowly leads former Rep. Joe Sestak in a crowded primary.
EMILY’s list is an organization that supports pro-choice women seeking elected office.
Schwartz takes 18% to Sestak’s 15%, with Treasurer Rob McCord in third at 5% followed by former DEP Sec. Katie McGinty (5%), State Sen. Tim Solobay (3%), Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski (3%), Former Revenue Sec. Tom Wolf (2%), State Sen. Mike Stack (1%) and former DEP Sec. John Hanger (1%).
“Allyson Schwartz is the top choice of Democratic primary voters to take on Tom Corbett and become Pennsylvania’s next Governor – regardless of how many candidates are on the ballot and regardless of whom those candidates are,” the pollsters wrote. The full memo is below.
In a hypothetical three-way race, Schwartz leads McCord 31% to 12% followed by Wolf at 7%.
Schwartz is all but running for Governor. Politico reported Thursday that she hired as her communications director Reesa Kossoff, who did press for the Obama campaign last year in the number one battleground state of Ohio.
However, earlier Thursday, her congressional campaign emailed supporters with a fund appeal title, “An Early Start.” The language included several references to Corbett and Republicans and Harrisburg, but directed would-be donors to her congressional fundraising page.
She writes, “With a critical fundraising deadline approaching, I need your support again to ensure a strong start to our next campaign together.”
State law would allow Schwartz to transfer all money from her federal to a state account when she forms one.
Update: a strategist for McCord dismissed the poll.
“The only reason to conduct a poll more than a year before an election is to boost the morale of a nervous candidate. I can only assume it means that things are not going as planned for the Schwartz campaign,” he said. “Meanwhile, Treasurer McCord remains focused on getting things done for Pennsylvania, like trying to get Governor Corbett to reverse his bad decision on Medicaid expansion.”
The poll was conducted by Jefrey Pollock and Joe Hickerson of DC-based Global Strategy Group. The pollsters surveyed 601 likely primary voters via live calls from March 9 to 12. The margin of error is plus or minus 4%.
As with any internal poll, the results should be taken with a grain of salt. In this case, the numbers are part of an EMILY’s list effort to recruit Schwartz into the race – and to deter other prospective candidates. Plus, EMILY’s List and Schwartz both use the same pollster.
The polling memo did not include cross tabulations. Here is the memo: