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Schwartz Wins Progressive Summit Straw Poll

Draft Schwartz flyer
This flyer graced every table at lunch

Harrisburg — Allyson Schwartz was the top choice to face Gov. Tom Corbett for the activists at this weekend’s Pa. Progressive Summit. The Congresswoman took a plurality – 36.6% – of the votes in a straw poll of attendees.

From labor groups to women’s rights and every left-leaning cause in between, the members of Pennsylvania’s liberal grassroots congregated in the Harrisburg Hilton for a series of speakers and panels on how to more effectively push their agenda.

The number one item on that agenda: ousting Corbett in 2014.

Schwartz, whose candidacy is all but certain at this point, was the top pick of 36.6% of the 172 voters – who themselves comprised less than a third of the 600 conference participants (she got 63 votes)

“This poll is not scientific,” said Michael Morrill, the executive director of Keystone Progress, the organization putting on the conference. “It’s just a snapshot of how the most active progressives in the state feel right now.”

The ballot included no names, just a blank space for participants to write their choice.

In second place was Pa. Treasurer Rob McCord with 16.9% (29 votes), who also has not declared his candidacy but is widely expected to get into the race.

In third was former Rep. Joe Sestak with 11.6% (20 votes), who has hinted that he a gubernatorial campaign is within the realm of possibility.

State Sen. Daylin Leach who has only joked about running for Governor but is popular among activists earned 10 votes, 5.8%. All other names received only single digits. Kathleen Kane, John Hanger, Bob Casey, Michael Morrill, Judy Schwank, Max Meyers, Tom Knox and Tom Wolf were the other names that drew at least 2 votes.

If lapel stickers and flyers were any indication, Schwartz’s win wasn’t a big surprise. Marc Stier, a longtime progressive activist, placed “Draft Schwartz” flyers on every table at lunch and boosted this website.

18 Responses

  1. Allyson takes big money from the drug lobby, over $120,000k from Big Pharma! She’s fighting to undo keep parts of the ACA like the IPAB because she opposes a single payer system. Progressives must unite against the Corporatist Schwartz.

  2. Dan Onorato was the worst candidate, not even winning his own county, and he is ANTI-choice. Allyson Schwartz is not really Progressive, but appealing as a woman but lacks statewide name recognition. Kathleen Kane is Pro-Choice and ran a great campaign in the primary, beating the SEPA psudo-progressive Patrick Murphy. Rob McCord has statewide name recognition. Bob Casey is NOT running and no progressive would support him for Governor because of his position on choice, stem cell and guns (although he is at least supporting a commonsense decision on background checks). Dahlkemper is also NOT running. I don’t see Sestak as a Governor and his military expertise would be wasted in that capacity. I think McCord wins out as the logical choice.

  3. Julia….Of those you listed, all but Ed Rendell won their state-wide offices during Presidential elections. The electorate in non-Presidential elections is MUCH different than those we saw in 2008 and 2012. Ed Rendell was the only exception because he found ways to appeal to rural Pennsylvanians during these midterm elections. I should amend what I said to say that pro-life Democrats and/or Democrats that actually campaign outside of Philly and Pittsburgh are those with a much stronger chance of winning a Gubernatorial election. Yes, progressive Dems have won statewide, but that is mostly the case during Presidential election years. Other than that, we get people like Bob Casey, who can appeal to social conservatives, political moderates, and rural voters concerned about economic issues.

  4. Pro-choice Democrats who’ve won statewide:
    Barack Obama, John Kerry, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Kathleen Kane, Rob McCord, Eugene DePasquale, Ed Rendell.

    That argument doesn’t hold up.

  5. Yes, Dahlkemper identifies as “pro life” but like it or not, pro-life Democrats are the ones that win statewide. And, yes, she does lack a statewide funding base, but I would submit that is the case because the state party doesn’t always make the best decisions. Dahlkemper would be a very formidable candidate statewide if the party got behind her because she is able to appeal to a large demographic of voters. She would secure the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh vote over Corbett, and would be able to peel off votes in another 10 counties (north of philly, and the rural counties around Allegheny county) unlike Schwartz. The same could be said for Bob Casey.

  6. The best way to hinder the Progressive/Socialist/Marxist march which will destroy this country is to nominate Schwartz. In so doing she will have to resign from Congress and while campaigning for governor expose her ultra-Progressive tax and spend redistribution of wealth agenda to all Pennsylvanians. End result: one less Progressive Congresswoman and one defeated in a landslide Progressive candidate running for governor.

  7. Dahlkemper is a 1 term former congressperson from Erie. She doesn’t have the funding base to run for Governor. Oh and she’s anti-choice. Believe it or not, most female voters actually care about that.

  8. Yes, Rendell was mayor of Philly, but he actually campaigned and won in many rural counties outside of Pittsburgh of Philly. I’m not saying that someone from SEPA cannot win. I’m saying that a candidate who does not campaign in and/or appeal to voters in areas other than Philly and Pittsburgh cannot win. Don’t take my word for it. Look at the results yourself:

    Onorato and Sestak lost Erie County, as well as others like Luzerne, Lackawana, Lawrence, Beaver, Fayette, Greene, and more. If you start losing these counties as a Democrat, you are toast. Rendell won them all by 5 – 15 point margins, while Onorato and Sestak LOST them by the same margin.

    2010 Onorato:

    2010 Sestak:



  9. Yes, we need more successful statewide candidates like Ron Klink and Dan Onorato. Maybe Ivan Itkin’s available!

    (I thought that Ed Rendell’s mammoth wins in 2002 and 2006 smashed the notion that SE PA Dems can’t win statewide.)

  10. I think Bob Casey would be our strongest candidate for Governor, and that someone like Kathy Dahlkemper would be a stronger candidate that McCord or Schwartz would be. Schwartz will be maligned because she’s seen as a big city liberal unable to attract bipartisan support or support from rural parts of the state. Every time the Democrats lose it is because we’ve selected a candidate that does not poll well in the rural counties north of Philadelphia, and north of Pittsburgh. Both Casey and Dahlkemper have credibility with rural Pennsylvanians that Schwartz lacks. Onorato and Sestak both lost their statewide elections because they neglected campaigning outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. If Schwartz doesn’t campaign outside of her home base, then she had better get every single voter out in her hometown. Otherwise, she’s going to have a very hard time beating Corbett because he’s going to paint her as a “big liberal” “Obama supporter” from the state’s most liberal county.

  11. Hate to see that McCord supporters are trying to use the “women can’t win” argument. Its shameful in 2013 to anyone to say gender is a reason not to run. Kathleen Kane won statewide several months ago, outperforming Obama in many counties. Allyson is out best shot and will make a fine governor.

  12. I remember the bayhoo when another woman did really well in a straw poll. It was Michele Bachman in Iowa who then went on to get squashed when the actual vote came up.

    This is silly news and means nothing. I wish the Congresswoman would stay in Congress on the Ways and Means Committee where she could do much for the state of PA. To beat Corbett, I’ll take the guy who has already won two statewide races and knows the ins and outs of the state’s fiscal situation. McCord has my support.

  13. I don’t know who the person who thinks Allyson Schwartz opposes Obamacare is, but let me set the record straight. I led the organization that built grassroots support for Obamacare in PA, Health Care For America Now. Allyson Schwartz was the first member of Congress to support it and also spoke out forcefully for all our proposals including the public option. She held a key position on the House Ways and Means Committee that shaped the bill. She lobbied moderate Democratic members of Congress to support. She added a number of provision to the bill that addressed different health care problems, including those that focused on expanding the number of primary care doctors. There were a lot of champions of the ACA in the PA Congressional delegation but none more so than Allyson Schwartz.

    Yes, she voted to change the ACA with regard to IPAB. I disagree with that vote. But one thing progressive need to learn is that we it is crazy to make every vote a litmus test because (a) we can disagree about some things without losing progressive credentials and (b) we will never vote for any candidates except those who have no record to defend. At any rate, IPAB is still there but, if you look at how much more slowly health care costs have been growing in the last few years, we don’t need even need it and may not ever need it. That’s in part thanks to the ACA.

  14. Schwartz and Sestak will split the liberal vote up in the primary which will leave McCord open to get everyone else’s vote. As of right now, I see the Dem primary going like this 1. McCord 2. Schwartz and 3. Sestak.

    But I have been wrong before!

  15. As a women who would like to see more women in office I would be hard pressed to vote for her. Corbett is cutting the budget and going after Welfare and the teachers union, two things bringing down this state. I don’t think she would have the guts, or want to do it.
    My only opposition to Corbett was his recent appropriation of $700,000 to PCAR, a group that helps women in name only. He should have looked into what they are doing before giving them money.

  16. Liberals beware! Allyson is a corporatist schill who opposes single-payer healthcare. She’s accepted $120,000 from Big Pharma in exchange for introducing key legislation to repeal key pieces of the Affordable Care Act. Schwartz’s bill would shut down the IPAB, which we need to stop doctors and drug companies from overcharging Medicare. She supports repealing the medical device tax so the manufacturers like johnson & johnson don’t have to pay their fair share. She also supports Republicans’ tort reform! Progressives unite against Allyson before were duped into backing this defender of global corporations!

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