Rendell Weak Among Pennsylvania Democrats

By now, we have all probably seen the polls that show Ed Rendell to be in some trouble against newly minted Pennsylvania Republican Gubernatorial nominee Lynn Swann (see polls on the Governor's race at Zobgy, Rasmussen, and Strategic Vision, all conducted within the past couple weeks and all showing a close race). While not a head to head trial heat, I think a recent Pennsylvania presidential primary poll by Republican firm Strategic Vision might show just how deep Rendell's problems actually are: (I have included a recent Wisconsin poll on the same subject for the sake of comparison):

Who is your choice for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008? (Democrats only)


            PA, 1/25        WI, 2/01
Clinton        35              28
Gore           15              16
Edwards      10               6
Kerry            7               4
Feingold        7              23
Clark            5               4
Warner          5               3
Biden           2               2
Rendell         2               1
Bayh            1               1
Richardson      1               1
Vilsack         1               1
Boxer           1               1
Undecided       8               9

That is, um, not good for Rendell. Sure, everyone loses to Clinton in their home state, but not everyone gets blown out, as you can see from the recent Wisconsin poll. Also, not everyone finishes in a tie for eighth in their home state with 2%. In particular, how can Rendell possibly finish behind Feingold, Clark and Warner in Pennsylvania? What sort of name ID do those three have among Democrats in PA? Is it even 30%?

Rendell is not the first choice of Pennsylvania Democrats. He isn't the sixth choice, even when people aren't very familiar with many of the names offered. I think this shows he will clearly have problems firing up the base, a problem the Republican base may not have with Santorum on the ticket. Considering how many other important elections are taking place in Pennsylvania this year, this is a very bad sign indeed. In order to GOTV, we are going to have to run an anti-Santorum campaign around here.

While never great, it wasn't always this bad for Rendell. In August, he managed 6% of the vote in a similar poll. In September, he managed 5%. Still not great, but better. I hope Rendell still thinks endorsing Alito and repeating Republican talking points about Democrats while doing so on Fox News was worth it.

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