With just 47 more days in the Governor primary race, it’s not clear to me who will have the juice to push Tom Wolf out of the frontrunner slot with polling numbers like this:
Tom Wolf reaffirmed his lead in the latest Franklin & Marshall poll in the Democratic primary for governor, taking 33% – 26 points more than his closest opponent.
Rep. Allyson Schwartz earned 7%, State Treasurer Rob McCord took 6% and former DEP Secretary Katie McGinty won 4%.
Yes the number of undecideds is still high, so this isn’t the most solid foundation of support. But I also think there has to be a reason that people haven’t been lining up behind Schwartz, who’s been treated as the frontrunner in the media since she first announced last spring.
As Jake pointed out, Schwartz is cold-calling donors the night before the fundraising deadline. Not only would our ideal nominee not be cold-calling at this point, s/he would also be on TV by now.
Katie McGinty’s problem is more straightforward – she hasn’t raised the kind of money to really be competitive. That’s too bad, because she’s long been one of my top two choices.
Rob McCord’s situation is harder to understand, since one would think the focus on collecting union endorsements would have brought in a lot more money and vocal activist support than he has.
So just look at the fundamentals of the race at this point. Wolf has the money to compete, everybody else is saving up for the final few weeks, but in the meantime Wolf is steady plugging away, converting all that soft support into solid support. Anecdotally, I’m seeing it – more and more people I talk to who were on the fence are now declared Wolf supporters.
The race certainly isn’t over, but I’m going to go ahead and predict that we’ve reached a durable holding pattern where none of the predictable things yet to happen will really shake the race out of its current dynamic. Wolf needed to meet a minimum threshold for ideological acceptability and he seems to have cleared it, so he’s probably going to be the nominee.