State Committee: Will McCord Get His Vote?

Rob McCord

Rob McCord

It’s Rob McCord’s party, an hour after the candidates forum at state committee. An elderly woman approaches the State Treasurer through the crowd. McCord abruptly shuts down a conversation with a campaign aide to greet her.

“Hi! How are you doing [Janet]? How’s your daughter? How’s the new house working out?”

This is McCord’s crowd. Since he first faced a contested primary for treasurer in 2008, he’s worked the committee members regularly. Gone to picnics in Potter County. Spoken at dinners in Crawford County. Walked in a parade in Luzerne. There are nearly 400 Democratic state committee members and he knows almost all of them by name.

And they know him.

That’s why, with members set to vote Saturday afternoon, McCord’s opponents have been working to prevent a roll call vote for the endorsement.

It’s unlikely any of the Democrats for Governor, even McCord, can achieve the steep two-thirds of the vote required to win the endorsement. But they know McCord would almost certainly demonstrate a solid lead – and enjoy the headlines that come with first place.

In the absence of an endorsement, the party defaults to an open primary. But McCord’s opponents are pushing for a vote to suspend the rules to proactively designate the race an open primary – thereby cutting of a roll call vote.

The vote to suspend the rules also requires 66% support. McCord’s opponents, most notably backers of Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz including Philadelphia party Chairman and Congressman Bob Brady and Montgomery County Chairman Marcel Groen, are pushing for the non-endorsement vote.

“It’s an easy sell for Marcel,” says one Montco state committee member who asked not to be named. “Two of the candidates live in [Montgomery] county. Another one next door. He can say ‘How can anyone ask us to choose between all these great candidates? We need to let the voters decide.’”

In the past two decades, there’s been no correlation between winning the Democratic endorsement and winning the nomination. But there are perks. An endorsed candidate gets access to the state party’s voter database as well as its bulk mail permit – things that can save a campaign tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

McCord’s surrogates are trying a different tack. They’re saying that McCord is close enough to hitting the threshold for an endorsement that it’s members’ duty to allow a vote to happen.

“I just got him 30 delegates!” said Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski. He dropped out of the gubernatorial contest on Monday and worked the room for McCord Friday night.

“There needs to be a vote,” Pawlowski continued, “he’s earned it.”

 

18 thoughts on “State Committee: Will McCord Get His Vote?

  1. people think just because what happen at state committee mccord will win in may truly dont know pa politics saturday changed nothing it was expected mccords been wooing them for years schwartz is still the front runner mccord for a sitting treasure for 7 years his name id is horrible all shwartz got to do is win philly big which she will and run third across the state game over why do u think she leads in every poll taken plus she is the only one running who actually voted on legislation.sorry boys its a womens turn this time.

  2. The Corbett team now have to deal with nightmare of an unendorsed Dem candidate and McCord leading with in rank and file.

    Between this unendorse of the party and last weeks endorsement of McCord by a major Philadelphia union signify a shift to a consensus the Corbett need to lean in on.

    Corbett vs McCord

    Unless something truly strange occurs, this is the showdown. Going to fun and quite a national showcase. Corbett has got to suit up.
    McCord will bring that personality, checkbook and now statewide unoin muscle to the show.

    Corbett has to bring national resources to the State right now just to keep it even. Otherwise he loses by Labor Day.

  3. My analysis (which I’ll probably repost when PolticsPA writes the full story).

    1) Rob is clearly the party’s PA establishment candidate. Schwartz is more of a Washington establishment candidate (or Philly establishment candidate). Rob is playing chess. Schwartz’s team is eating checkers.

    2) Wolf is a bit of an outsider candidate who has caught on. I’d say his money, viability and ads are big factors.

    3) Hanger and McGinty are anti-establishment and outsider candidates. State-committee is an insider’s game, and there isn’t a high correlation between state committee votes and election outcomes.

    While Rob did not secure the endorsement, it was clearly his day. At the end of the month is the PA Progressive Summit. I’d expect the results there to be a flip of today’s results and Hanger and McGinty to shine. Wolf’s peace-corps background will play well there, too.

    The election is still 3 months away. I don’t see today’s vote having any influence over the 1 million voters expected to show up on May 20th (or the stoners on May 21st asking, “when’s that election?”) :-)

  4. U.R.-
    Thanks.

    Twitter (from PolticsPA Sy Snyder):

    2nd ballot: McCord 154, Schwartz 77, Wolf 59, Hanger 16, McGinty 15 (214 needed for endorsement)

    Second ballot for Lt Gov (303 cast, 202 needed for endorsement): Koplinski 151, Stack 80, Critz 31, Neuman 25, Smith 16.

  5. i will say it again 7 years treasure and his name recognition is horrible. tom wolf is gonna hurt mccord real bad in may and schwartzs numbers coming out of philly will be to large for any of them to make up and she leads in every single poll taken so far.

  6. Does anyone have any information on the outcome of the state committee endorsement vote?

    I heard that Rob got 47% in one of the rounds, but that there would be more rounds of votes.

  7. And again, witness another one of David’s classic embarrassing ‘say it loud; say it often’ rants when he gets cornered.

    A whole lot of parroted opinions as facts. Nice try.

  8. Unsanctioned R:

    1) The question was did “SHE” refer patients. Now you are expanding to claiming she was responsible for anyone who may have referred patients, even without her knowledge, at the time or since.

    2&3: They’ve stated their answer. Records going back to 1972 may not exist, or would be a tremendous effort of man-power to go through. So, they may not be able to “confirm” their answer to the satisfaction of those who refuse to the accept the confirmation of Obama’s birth-certificate either.

    The far-Right has demonstrated that they don’t care about confirmation. They don’t want to accept the evidence of climate change. The don’t want to accept that there was no cover-up in Benghazi. (mistakes and missteps are not the same as cover-up). O’Reilly’s super bowl interview covering settled issues and pretending they weren’t settled (and ignoring the outcomes of investigations) is a perfect example.

    4) “You’re problem”…. (your problem)
    I do think the average voter would accept her denial. However, the pro-life crowd, PA GOP and Corbett’s campaign will flood the mailboxes and airwaves with smear and innuendo and claims that “No” was not sufficient and portray it as a cover-up, without the slightest shred of fact or evidence beyond that she and Gosnell lived on the same planet.

    Let’s not forget, Gov Corbett spent millions of taxpayer dollars running the voterID “show it” commercials despite a court injunction against the voterID law. These ads had no other purpose than to confuse voters and suppress the vote of people without or unsure they had the listed ID.

  9. 1. She was the clinic’s boss. To say she’s not responsible for who they refer to is laughable.

    2 & 3 are answered by http://www.schwartzforgovernor.org

    4. You’re problem is that you look down on the average voter who won’t take her current answer, “no comment” as sufficient. You’re out of touch if you don’t think a denial would settle it for the average voter.

  10. Unsanctioned R-
    1) Schwartz didn’t do any referrals at all. That wasn’t her job.
    2) The organization already put out an official statement saying they didn’t refer to Gosnell.
    3) There is no basis to even ask the question of Schwartz given her role and the official statement from the organization.
    4) You and your ilk would not accept a simple “No”, so don’t pretend it would end there.

  11. David, it’s not unfair to ask the Congresswoman a simple question like “Did you refer women to Gosnell?” All she has to say is “No.” But, the two of you pout and say that’s an unfair question, “no comment,” then take your ball and go home. Pennsylvanians want to know the answer! [and you know it, which is why you cannot let this lie] That’s why she’s “vulnerable”–the average Pennsylvania voter cares about such things even if you don’t.

  12. LMJ-
    I’m not “pushing” Rob here. I’m stating what I believe to be his strengths/advantages.

    McGinty is a great candidate who can raise money but needs a bit more money to get her message out.

    Schwartz is a terrible candidate who is very vulnerable to (unfair) GOP attacks that could wind up being decisive. Her NSA vote against privacy is well known and disliked.

  13. Ever notice most of the people pushing Rob McCord are MEN? What about Katie McGinty or Allyson Schwartz?

  14. I think that the State Committee should take a vote regardless of how many qualified candidates that they have, thats what the main function of a state committee person is.
    Tom Wolf has an edge so far as he is on tv first, McCord has an advantage in committee.

  15. There is no way that Pawlawski had 30 votes…no one in the Lehigh Valley would even support him.

  16. Those that think they can win the vote (ie McCord) are pushing for a vote. Those that think they can’t win the vote (everyone else) want an open primary.

    Getting over 2/3 is a big challenge, even for McCord. Some who support McCord might even prefer an open primary, on general principle, give the great field of candidates.

    But, I think the entire premise that McCord could get the endorsement rests upon the acknowledgment of Rob’s deep roots in the party and travel to events big and small.

    On paper, Rob has all of the pieces to put together a victory.
    1) Money
    2) Charisma
    3) Smooth, even when called to think on his feet
    4) understand party infrastructure and mechanics
    5) Has run statewide twice before
    6) Understands policy, state finances, etc.
    7) great personal story

    So, if you were building a candidate from a kit, Rob’s what you would put together.

    That said, Tom Wolf has a great personal story and message. His ads have been seen and been well received. He has the money to get his message out to the expected 1 million voters. So, he might be able to by-pass the “insider” knowledge that McCord has and take his case to the people.

    Hanger has a lot of grass-root activism behind him and is more likely to get endorsements from Keystone Progress and MoveOn. He’s definitely the most progressive. The challenge will be getting his message out.

    McGinty is well liked and shown she can raise money. I think she’ll have good appeal in the western parts of the state as she’s not as closely associated with “liberal” Philly region given her home county as “Chester” which is more conservative (due to majority GOP.

    I’m still predicting Schwartz to come in 3rd in the primary.

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