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PA-13: Marjorie Margolies Named One of the Biggest “Candidate Flameouts”

Marjorie-Margolies-MezvinskyEarlier this week, Roll Call released a list of the nine biggest candidate flameouts of the primary season. Among them was Marjorie Margolies, one of the Democratic primary candidates for Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District.

According to Philadelphia Magazine, Margolies was banking on her name recognition and relationship to the Clinton family as a way to win. Margolies is the grandmother to Chelsea Clinton’s daughter, and had Bill headline a fundraiser for her in April.

It appeared that tactic could work. Margolies commanded a 28-point advantage in the first polls released in August 2013, attracting 48 percent of respondents. The second closest competitor, Brendan Boyle, trailed at just 15 percent.

Then her competitors began to attack her previous time in Congress, and Margolies’ lead in the polls slipped away. Less than a week away from the election, her commanding lead in the polls was gone.

When Election Day arrived, Margolies lost in an embarrassing upset to Brendan Boyle, the man who trailed her by 28 points just one year earlier. Boyle attracted 40.61% of the vote, compared to 27.41% received by Margolies.

As evident in Margolies’ case, name recognition alone may not win you a seat in Congress.

5 Responses

  1. Her refusal to attend public candidate forums and debates hurt her a great deal during the primary. When you see three of four candidates on a stage, and the fourth just says she won’t debate until after the primary, she runs the risk of alienating voters. I don’t think she did a lot of door to door retail politics either. Even in the internet age a candidate has to do more than have high priced fundraisers with luminaries.

  2. schwartz wasn’t a ‘primary flameout’. wolf was way ahead by late february n never lost his early lead.

  3. that philly mag piece may have changed a lot of voters’ minds in the last few weeks before the primary.

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