Well, it was a gubernatorial campaign, which in PA means no contribution limits. But it was an open seat that Rendell was running for, against State Treasurer Casey in the primary and AG Mike Fisher in the general.
Rendell runs a massive GOTV operation -- it'll be pretty damn intense.
# of votes in PA:
Gore 2000: 2,465,412
Rendell 2002: 1,898,214
Kerry 2004: 2,885,773
Let's put it in context by looking at another blue state, Illinois:
# of votes:
Gore 2000: 2,588,884
Blagojevich 2002: 1,824,211
Kerry 2004: 2,866,307
Well, there was a lot of debate over whether it was good to have Rendell convince Charlie Crystle not to run in the primary. My hunch is that given all the attention to Specter-Toomey, that any primary challenge to Hoeffel would have been lost in the shuffle and not benefited his campaign.
Casey, though, needs a pro-choice challenger, if they ever expect SE PA to support him actively.