We’re still very far away from the 2014 election so don’t get complacent, but political prognosticator Stu Rothenberg has now upgraded the PA Governor race to Lean Democrat from Toss Up/Tilt Democrat.
Rothenberg thinks Allyson Schwartz is the weakest general election candidate against Tom Corbett. I dunno. If we’re in Lean Democrat territory and Corbett’s unfavorables stay in their current range, I think we probably can pick whichever Democrat we like best and win. There are some good policy reasons to be wary of Schwartz, and we should really be considering the issue of who’ll have the longest state Senate coattails in the Southeast PA suburbs, but I don’t see a serious electability issue.
PENNSYLVANIA — Tom Corbett (R), elected 2010 (54%). March 11 filing deadline, May 20 primary.
Corbett might be digging a hole for himself that he can’t get out of. The governor’s polling numbers continue to lag. He made news recently for saying that same-sex marriage licenses are invalid in the state, just as a license between siblings would be. And the Penn State scandal continues to be a problem for Corbett below the surface.
Smelling a great opportunity, eight Democrats are in the race to face to Corbett. Suburban Philadelphia Rep. Allyson Schwartz is regarded as the frontrunner, but state Treasurer Rob McCord, wealthy businessman Tom Wolf, and Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski are running, along with former state Environmental Protection secretaries John Hanger and Kathleen McGinty, Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz, and minister Max Myers.
The only viable path to re-election for Corbett looks like if Schwartz wins the nomination and Republicans can paint her as too liberal for the rest of the state outside of Southeast PA. She would be the first female governor of the Keystone State — and Corbett might break a long-term trend of parties holding the governorship for eight years before losing it. Move from Toss-Up/Tilt Democrat to Lean Democrat.