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Updated: After DGA Poll, Schwartz “80% In” for Gov

Schwartz sticker
Schwartz supporters passed these stickers out Friday. Notable absent: “for Congress”

Update: Asked about the 80% rumor at Monday’s gun safety event with VP Joe Biden, Schwartz said, “That’s pretty accurate.”


Hershey — “Free drink tickets, courtesy of Jim Burn and Allyson Schwartz.”

So said a Schwartz campaign staffer to every Democrat who entered a Friday night reception at the party’s winter state committee.

It was just one sign that the Montgomery County Congresswoman, who has floated her name as a possible candidate for Governor in 2014, is taking the race a lot more seriously.

The Schwartz for Guv movement went from insider chatter to a full court press Friday.

While Schwartz was absent from the meeting, her staff – and supporters – were prevalent. Her co-sponsorship of the desserts and drinks event with Pa. Dems Chair Jim Burn was a last minute addition to the schedule.

“She’s 80% of the way in,” said Marcel Groen, the chair of the Democratic party in Schwartz’s home county. He’s one of the most influential party leaders in Pa.

“This is not a joke. She’s a serious person with three million bucks,” said another top Democrat. Schwartz is a prolific fundraiser and has $3.11 million on hand in her congressional campaign. Pa. state campaign finance laws would allow her to transfer 100% of the money into a gubernatorial bid.

Schwartz floated the idea of a bid back in December, but after being named the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Finance Chair the move seemed less likely. Additionally, she’s on the rise in Democratic House politics and has been steadily moving up the ranks. She’s also been in the conversation as a possible opponent to Sen. Pat Toomey in 2016.

DGA Poll

Half a dozen Democratic operatives confirmed that the Democratic Governors’ Association recently polled the 2014 Pa. gubernatorial race. Their findings: Schwartz is in a strong position vis-a-vis other potential candidates.

After positive and negative profiles of Schwartz and Corbett were read to respondents, according to one Democratic operative who is backing Schwartz – who said they were looking at a copy of the poll – Schwartz lead by 8 points.

With a positive profile of Schwartz and a negative one of Corbett, she lead 58 points to 31. That is “substantially” better than the next best Democrat, the operative said.

The negative profile is significant. Schwartz, who has Harrisburg experience from her years in the Pa. Senate, used to run a women’s health clinic in Philadelphia that performed abortions. But even that negative didn’t have a significant impact on her numbers, the source said.

PoliticsPA is seeking confirmation from the DGA.

That may be especially true given Corbett’s tough sledding on women’s issues and his polling gender gap.

Schwartz’s staffers at the event declined to comment. But spokeswoman Rachel Magnuson said over the phone that Schwartz was looking hard at a run.

“Across the state, individuals have been asking the Congresswoman to run against Governor Corbett. It’s something she is weighing very seriously,” she said.

The rest of the field

Her moves are being watched – closely.

Pa. Treasurer Rob McCord has been seen as a likely candidate for months. One top Democratic operative said he’s “too far in” to back out of the race. He gave two speeches Friday night, both well received.

McCord said he hasn’t made anything official – although party operatives report that he has been making calls and touring the state just as a Guv hopeful would.

He didn’t make any announcement Friday, but he told PoliticsPA, “I do think as we take a look at what’s going on with Pennsylvania economy, what’s going on with jobs. It’s really important we have a nominee with job creation experience in the private sector,” he said. McCord spent much of his career as an investor.

“I trust that if I ran I’d have abundant resources. I’m not worried about fundraising.”

He’s heard the Schwartz chatter too – and he’s not deterred.

“There’s nobody talking about getting in that I’ve heard of that would affect my choice,” he said.

“Rob McCord needs to say he’s in,” concluded one operative, if he wants to prevent Schwartz from gaining steam.

Chairman Groen also represents McCords home county. He said he didn’t think the race would make it all the way to primary day.

“If Allyson gets in, raises a bunch of money, gets a bunch of support, then Rob McCord will need to take a look around and decide how far he wants to go. If Rob McCord gets in and gets the money and support, then Allyson will need to decide.”

State Sen. Daylin Leach has made little secret of the fact that he’d like to replace Schwartz in Congress should she decide to run for Governor – though he stopped short of saying so Friday. (He’d be a strong candidate in the Dem-favoring district).

“I support Allyson for anything,” he said, moments after huddling with a Schwartz staffer. But he said that he had no inside knowledge of her decision.

Southeast Pa. committee members are torn. Schwartz and McCord have strong relationships in the region, which is the electoral base of the party.

So too does former Congressman Joe Sestak, an x-factor who has himself been making calls and has told at least some Democrats that he is likely to get in the race.

Meanwhile, two other gubernatorial hopefuls had state committee receptions planned for later Friday night.

John Hanger, the former Department of Environmental Protection Secretary under Gov. Ed Rendell, and Max Myers, a Cumberland County pastor with no political background.

And they may not be the only ones. Former Revenue Secretary and York businessman Tom Wolf said he’s likely to run.

A source close to Rendell said the Guv would kick into gear for Wolf or another candidate or two.

“If Tom Wolf or another candidate he likes gets in, he will turn on the Philadelphia spigot. He won’t turn on the Philadelphia spigot for Rob or Allyson,” said the source.

Former Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper (D-Erie) and state Sen. Mike Stack (D-Phila) were also working the room on Friday.

Dahlkemper said she’s “still exploring” the possibility of a run.

PoliticsPA changed the headline of this article from “exclusive” to “breaking” because Capitolwire reported that Schwartz was 80% likely to run a bit earlier – although the story did not make mention of the DGA poll.

50 Responses

  1. Thomas, for a moment I thought I was reading Rush Limbaugh, one of many bastions of love and peace from your side of the aisle. You are forgetting that Republicans like drones, too. But, it’s an important debate. One that grownups should be having, and the folks that are filling the seats in Washington are acting like toddlers. A mature debate won’t happen.

  2. I am proud to defend Sarah, both for what she says [even when I disagree] and for how she says it [with pithy, memorable, insights].

    “Kill the Messenger” works with a compliant lame-stream-media that yields a no-information journalist “educating” a low-information voter, but it doesn’t rescue BHO from having to explain [for example] why he absented himself from NSA-deliberations during the evening of 9-11…while four Americans perished in Benghazi.

    DD’s deafness is deafening when he attacks Sarah falsely [“They’re trying to take away our freedoms.” is her usual go-to line, though she never seems to list particular freedoms.”], for she has provided encyclopedic references [ranging from ObamaCare to Gun Control].

  3. The delirious, hate-filled rants from the Democrats on this site is a major reason why I left the sick, disease-infested party years ago. They stand for nothing. They have no morals, no ethics, and no sense of shame. What kind of people proclaim themselves to be all about peace, then sit silently as their messiah murders Americans that did not even receive a trial? Who does something like that? What kind of sick, vile people are ok with that? Obama has ordered the execution of Americans without trial, yet not a peep from the left. Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting.

  4. Robert Sklaroff,

    Even though I’m not an R, you had my ear, right up to the point where you defended Palin’s intellect. Enough to make me breathe a sigh of relief you don’t practice in my neighborhood. The era of Palin is over. You’d do yourself and your party a world of good to realize and admit (if only to yourself) that she is an intellectual lightweight – a Barbie doll for the old white R guys to call intelligent (while seemingly unable to actually hear what she says). You embarrass yourself when you defend her.

  5. Observer-

    I don’t think they’re dumb because I disagree with them, rather, I know they are dumb because they contain no intellectual or truthful content.

    No, it really was about denying availability, rather than paying for it. It’s CHEAPER for insurance to cover birth control compared to the health care costs of the additional unplanned pregnancies that would arise. These people didn’t want women having access to birth control because they falsely equate contraception with abortion.

    As for the “death panels” …
    “For 2009, ‘death panel’ was named as PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year”, one of FactCheck’s “whoppers”.

    It’s always been false. The insurance companies, however, used to spend 14% of their money on denying claims, even using acne and pregnancy as “pre-existing conditions” to deny coverage for unrelated life threatening illnesses.

  6. David, what world do you live in? Your comments seems to get more shrill and snarky as the year wears on ….

    Just because you don’t agree with her positions, does not mean they are dumb. Your example shows just how little you really think for yourself and parrot what you hear on TV and the democrat echo chamber. To say that any company is making any reproductive decision for anyone is over the edge. Availability was never an issue – only who would pay for it.

    And I am sure you will love the government “death panels” – accountable to no one – over the insurance company process – accountable to shareholders, the market, and regulators.

  7. Dave Diano You dispute my points about Sarah Palin’s communication skills and intellignece but do not seem to dispute my point that her policy positions are as far out of the Pennsylvania mainstream as Allyson Schwartz’s policy positions.

    Do I understand your omission on this point to be agreement with my point?

  8. Robert-
    Palin is a babbling brook, without the water. She just repeats nonsensical talking points, often devoid of context when she gets stuck.

    “They’re trying to take away our freedoms.” is her usual go-to line, though she never seems to list particular freedoms. However, she sure seems to oppose freedom to have birth-control, over protecting the “freedom” of employers to make reproductive decisions for their female employees.

    Considering how both Palin and her daughter got knocked-up outside of marriage, her comments have a lot of irony.

    As for “death panels”, that’s what the insurance companies were doing denying health care.

  9. I am following-up in a fashion which, I hope, will continue to be viewed as composed in a disinterested fashion; I’m not a D, but proffer perspectives that may be of-interest…particularly the need to introduce Josh’s name into this mix.

    I feel Sarah has been unduly maligned; she is sharp, intelligent, on-point, pithy, speaks truth-to-power, is ethical [has ANYONE had years of gubernatorial e-mail scrutinized and survived unscathed?], and coins phrases that are prescient [“Death Panels” are now admitted by Krugman].

    I would ask “Square Chick” to elaborate on the difference-with-a-distinction between “a mainstream Montgomery County Dem…[and] a mainstream PA Dem,” fully recognizing that foreign-policy is not a state-level concern [although the conflict between Jerry Brown and Rick Perry might suggest otherwise!].

    One must remember that the key-conflict that would have to be traversed is the D-primary, with that candidate then to confront the R-candidate; thus, whether or not Allyson would do well in-general is irrelevant if she [quoting Marcel] can win the nod [via $ and endorsements].

    I think she runs, because she may feel Corbett is more vulnerable now than Toomey would be in ’16 [and she’s in her 60s]; a lot can transpire during those additional years.

  10. Bob-
    I hate to burst your MILF (or VPILF) fantasy bubble, but Palin’s intelligence and communication skills are inversely proportional to her looks. The only thing she is “smart” about is getting people dumber than herself to give her money.

  11. Interesting that two high profile Democrats are multi millionaires.

    Rick Santorum was born in Virginia and has returned to live in Virginia. Good for Pennsylvania; not so good for Virginia.

    Tom Ridge lives in Virginia.

    Joe Sestak lives in Virginia.

    What does Virginia have that Pennsylvania doesn’t other than politicians who got rich from government?

  12. Square Chick is right about dr. bob’s perspective. Foreign policy is not an issue in either County Commissioner or Governor elections.

    Good observation by OU812. Although Sarah Palin is as smart and as good a communicator as she is good looking, and as much as I admire and respect her and her policy positions, even I have to know that Sarah Palin could not win in Penna. and neither can Allyson Schwartz.

    Square Chick’s observation that she wants to raise her name ID for Senate run seems plausible.

    With the Paterno family keeping Sandusky cover up high profile, one has to remember that there is a view that “Tom Corbett killed Joe Pa.”

  13. In response to RB Sklaroff: a mainstream Montgomery County Dem is NOT a mainstream PA Dem. You should travel outside of MontCO or just attend one PA State Dem Ctte meeting. There’s a whole ‘nother world out there.

  14. As a GOP-Committee-Person…and having spoken over the decades with many of the people in this piece, I have a few thoughts.

    I heard McCord & Daylin Leach @ the Jewish-D event last summer @ Keneseth Israel Synagogue, and I have spoken with the latter individual in a social-setting; I have seen Marcel @ the Abington 7-2 polls semi-annually since the 1990s and I first heard Allyson speak @ a Glenside church two decades ago [after she defeated Joe Rock, who had been supported by Philly-Physicians despite Allyson’s husband being a physician].

    I’ve also been hounding Josh Shapiro for years [including having composed a letter-to-the-editor], for he keeps trying to defend BHO’s acquiescence to Iranian Nukes; finally, on this website, I’ve suggested strongly that Corbett should come-clean ASAP regarding Sandusky for, otherwise, a bipartisan sector of Penn State fans will become easily reminded of the claim that he “killed” JoePa by having summarily dismissed him [after having dawdled his investigatiomn for 3 years–assigning only one trooper–while unnecessarily invoking a Grand Jury while a child-predator remained on-the-loose].

    With all that in-mind, I think Allyson would be a potent Gubernatorial candidate; she can deliver a zinger-with-a-smile; I also think Josh would covet her Congressional seat [remembering he was Hoeffel’s chief-of-staff].

    Although Allyson has apparently become a millionairess while serving in D.C. for the past decade, it does not appear that either has any skeletons-in-closets [scandal-wise], and both reflect [unfortunately, in my view] the mainstream of D-ideology.

  15. Don’t forget that Schwartz’s efforts to kill energy production in Southwestern PA will not make her the choice of coal miners, gas drillers, and the thousands of workers that support these industries. Alert consumers will not appreciate her push for higher gas and energy prices.

  16. Some wre on her…alot in fact a person says ABC….I like it!

    “And finally …

    • Gov. Tom Corbett

    The beleaguered governor probably reached for the Rolaids after seeing the results of a Franklin & Marshall College poll released Thursday. Not only do a mere 26 percent of registered voters believe Corbett is doing a good job, only 41 percent of Republican respondents believe the GOP governor is performing well.

    Silver lining: In what should bolster confidence in his chances for re-election next year, Corbett did manage to outpoll ringworm, anthrax and most Nazi war criminals. ”

    Read more:
    Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

  17. The Republican comments on here show how the activists in that party are gonna take the elephant off the cliff. Shrill and offensive claims about their Democratic opponents doesn’t win elections (see ’08 and ‘012 elections). Good luck Republicans – you will need it.

  18. Wagner is from Pittsburgh. Was the Auditor General the past 8 years and a state senator before that. 3.5 million votes in his 2008 re-election were the most in state history, but he didn’t have the war chest to keep up with Onorato in the 2010 gubernatorial primary (not that he or anyone would’ve fared better vs. Corbett in the fall).

  19. Who is Jack Wagner again? Honestly, I heard his name once or twice on here but I can’t name an office he has been elected to??

  20. Schwartz 80% in? I would spend 100% of my time ensuring she never inflict on PA the damage she has contributed to inflicting on our country. Every tax and spend bill has this woman’s and her sidekick, Chaka Fattah’s, fingerprints all over it.

  21. A pro-abortion, pro-tax, anti-gun wacko female from SEPA….should do well for the Democrats. Pennylvania’s own version of Nancy Pelosi. I can’t see how this would blow up in the faces of the Dems at all.

    …meanwhile, Jack Wagner is sitting at home, twiddling his thumbs. I guess he’s not crazy enough to be considered a viable candidate for the Democrats.

  22. McCord is the best choice but I am afraid in a primary where activists vote heavily that Schwartz could win the primary and then lose to Corbett.

  23. Jeremy-

    Well, right now, he’s living in VA, and pretending to live in PA. Just like Rick Santorum did for years. Joe’s wife isn’t even registered in PA. She registered for 2006 election, then dropped her registration. (She didn’t even bother to register to vote for Joe in 2010. Arlen Specter’s wife switched to Dem to vote for him.)

    Sestak’s had his house in Virginia since before 2000. I wouldn’t call it a “mansion”, but estimates it worth in the $800K – $900K price range.

    In Oct 2010 (yes, during the election), Sestak filed a building permit for work on an extension to his house in VA. So much for living in PA.

    His house in PA is worth only about 1/3 of his VA house. Maybe he uses it to store all the campaign buttons, and lawn signs left over from his failed Senate campaign. Long after he lost, his campaign finance reports show him buying over a $1,000 in stationery. Maybe he went nuts and sits alone in the house cutting out paper dolls and barking orders at them.
    I’d love to get a look at his military psych eval. It probably just says: See Captain Queeg, Caine Mutiny.

  24. @dave

    I can see where you maybe right. Sestak has a mansion in Alexandria, Virginia. I heard the mansion in VA is nicer than his place in Del Co. But I can’t confirm that. If elected to the Senate, he will be able to live in VA while still representing PA. The weather is better in VA than PA, nicer home, and doesn’t have to deal with a Republican State Senate and House.

    I would vote for him either way.

  25. Actually, a killer ticket would be McCord-Wagner.

    Neither candidate would need to cross Harrisburg for campaigning. 🙂

    As for Sestak, I spoke with the sharpest political mind I know who:
    1) knows Sestak
    2) is not a Sestak hater
    3) is not a Sestak cult worshiper
    4) Has a better record than me on predictions

    His impression was that Sestak’s best bet is 2016 with a presidential year, IF he can win the primary, which might be difficult. Allyson Schwartz would probably be more interested in Senate, and her current Gov noise, is just to float her name around to feel out statewide support.
    As for Sestak, his recent whispers about Gov, are just complete BS, to keep his name talked about. Surprisingly, my friend (who’s bigger liberal Dem than I am) is afraid that Sestak could be the one candidate that could lose and get Corbett reelected.

    My take: If Hillary does run, then Sestak would get both the Bill and Hillary treatment for his primary to lock up the nomination. So, I think Sestak is just trying to get people to talk about him and keep his name out there. I think Sestak will wait until he knows for sure that Hillary is running before announcing Senate run. By, 2016, Schwartz would have a huge war-chest for Senate run, and Sestak would be starting from scratch. Last time, he was able to shift 4.5 million from his congressional account, but this time he wouldn’t. Also, Schwartz would get a lot of ActBlue money that Sestak used to get.

    And if Hillary doesn’t run, the Clintons aren’t likely to bother with raggedy old Joe, and will just enjoy their political retirement. Bill busted his ass this past year, to help Obama and clear the field for Hillary among the Dems. But, if she’s not running, why would Bill bother in 2016 to help someone like Sestak?

  26. Said it before here a couple of months back . . . and I’ll say it again. The ticket for Democrats to win should be Rob McCord for Governor and Kathy Dahlkemper for Lt. Governor. Seems to me that Allyson Schwartz really wants to run for US Senate and is just trying to make sure her name is out there circulating statewide.

  27. Schwartz’s district is 2-1 Dem registration.

    If Daylin won the primary (and had Allyson’s endorsement), no one in that district (or at least 51%) wouldn’t give a crap where he lived in order to get a strong, outspoken, fearless, liberal like Daylin on the national stage.

    The questions are:
    who else would Daylin have to fight for the seat
    who do we run for Daylin’s senate seat?

  28. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Dailyn Leach live in Wayne? He could clearly still run, but that’s not exactly “2 or 3 blocks” over the line.

  29. I think Dems should run an ad: It’s time to “abort” Corbett from the Governor’s mansion. 🙂

  30. Schwartz is the Democrat’s version of Sara Palin, except she doesn’t have Palin’s gift of beauty. Schwartz is shrill like Palin, extreme like Palin, opinionated like Palin. She will not sell statewide in fact if memory serves she has run statewide and got creamed. The Democrats need a centrist candidate with bona fides in fiscal management. Tom Wolf or Rob McCord perhaps. Schwartz is known simply as the pro-choice crusader, and people don’t give a crap about that right now they need a job. An ugly left-wing version of Palin is not the way to beat Corbett.

  31. Pennsylvanians as a whole are middle of the road. They don’t want Rick Santorum at one extreme, and they don’t want Allyson Schwartz at the other extreme. Running an abortion clinic is too extreme for Pennsylvania. Rob McCord would be a much more sensible choice. Allyson is just too extreme.

  32. Haa, I see all the nut-jobs woke up early to spew their hatred and tired old talking points. Note to you crazies, Tom Corbett has already broken his no new taxes pledge and now is trying to raise your gas taxes. So, you can’t win on the taxes nonsense. As for the abortion issue, I heart you one-issue voters who don’t actually care about women or children, but think being pro-life starts and ends with abortion. Spew your hate and vile because it makes you look stupid and turns off independents and women who may actually support you on other issues.

  33. You don’t have to live in a congressional district to be elected to it. According to PA election rules, you only need to live in the state. Admittedly, not living in the district can be a campaign issue, but it’s not a legal requirement

  34. @proudofphilly,

    Perhaps you are unaware, but a member of Congress need not live in her or his district to campaign for or occupy that seat. She or he need only live in the same state. In fact, Allyson Schwartz did not live in her congressional district when she first ran for it (she lived in an area of Philadelphia represented by Congressman Fattah). So, there goes your theory that state Sen. Daylin Leach cannot run for Congresswoman Schwartz’s district if she no longer occupies it, and he doesn’t move, merely because lives outside the district by a short distance.

  35. Way to go, Democrats! Please do your best to push someone into the governor’s race that has voted for dozens of tax increases. The abortion clinic is a nice cherry on top but all we’ll need is her voting record. Thanks.

  36. ONLY Dominic Pileggi can beat Allyson Schwartz! We must have a moderate southeastern Republican to have a chance! Corbett’s base of support has now officially been reduced to family members and employees, and even they are fading.

  37. i wanted to note a factual issue in this article daylin leach does not live in allyson schwartz’s congressional district he lives in pat meehans. he is over the line by i believe two or three blocks

  38. Allyson, a tax, tax and more tax and spend Washington politician is the dream opponent for Corbett.

  39. You whackos are calling her an “abortionist”? Silly single issue voters. Allyson is a fierce and fantastic advocate for women’s rights. You pig are simply offensive.

  40. Bruce Castor is smiling even broader. No chance in the world Corbett beats Schwartz. The GOP’s only shot is to dump Corbett for a candidate who can split Schwartz SE base. Since Asher et al can never admit they made a mistake with Corbett to begin with, he will take them right over the cliff. If fact, I think I hear Castor’s laugh from all the way out here in the ‘burg.

  41. Im interested to see all the horses that enter the race before picking one. I hope we have a candidate that can win votes in all corners of Pennsylvania, as opposed to just 1 or 2 areas because if thats the case, i smell trouble.

  42. Half the GOP wants anybody but Corbett. Of course, Schwartz the Abortionist leads him in the polls. Pennsylvanians would even prefer an abortionist to RINO Corbett.

  43. Allyson Schwartz is proof the Democrat Party is irretrievably in the hands nincompoops, LIVs, anti-constitutionalists, gun-grabbers and those who regard abortion (regardless of the age of the unborn baby) as a Founding Father prerogative.

    But since Nancy Pelosi hasn’t moved to Jenkintown, guess we’re blessed with the next best thing!

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