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On Saturday, December 8th, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (D. PA-13) gave the people of Pennsylvania a hint at which direction she's going with her political career:

Democratic U.S. Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz has hired the state party's finance director for her own political operation, an indication the longtime congresswoman is seriously thinking about a run for the nomination to take on Gov. Corbett in 2014. - Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/8/12
Schwartz hired Aubrey Montgomery, a fundraising juggernaut for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.  Schwartz has long been a named floated as a potential candidate to go up against Governor Tom Corbett (R):
Montgomery's extensive state-level fund-raising contacts could be an asset as Schwartz contemplates her next move. Democrats say Schwartz, mentioned as a possible contender for statewide office, is considering a gubernatorial run. Though the Democratic primary is about 14 months away, it pays to start early when taking on an incumbent who is expected to be able to raise at least $30 million for his reelection campaign. - Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/8/12
Montgomery is a national trainer for Democracy For America:

With more than a decade of experience in both candidate and political non-profit fundraising, Aubrey is an expert at executing political finance plans, coaching candidates, state and federal fundraising compliance, and managing finance staff. She has a wealth of knowledge about targeting and soliciting potential donors, methods and means for maximizing contributions, as well as how to avoid common mistakes and misconceptions about fundraising.

Aubrey has worked on dozens of local, state, and federal races throughout the country as well as several political issue campaigns. She served previously as Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Pennsylvania, led the campaigns of State Senator Daylin Leach, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams and Bryan Lentz’s top-targeted campaign for Congress. Aubrey, a Philadelphia native, is currently the finance director for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and serves on the national faculty for the Center for Progressive Leadership, The Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics and the New Leaders Council. - Democracy For America Training Team

But a few days later, this news broke:

Rep. Allyson Schwartz keeps on moving up in the ranks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and it’s cast doubt on her intent to run for Governor.

DCCC Chair Steve Israel announced Thursday that he was tapping her to be the national Finance Chair of the committee.

The National Journal reported the news, and the PG’s Early Returns noted its implications on the Gov 2014 picture.

Schwartz made news on the eve of the Pa. Society weekend when she hired Aubrey Montgomery, who worked as finance director for the Pa. Democratic Party during the 2012. The Democratic Congresswoman from Montgomery County then said she was considering a bid.

However, her rising star in DC may entice her to stay in Congress. She’s often listed among member who may rise into leadership when Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her team depart. - Politics PA, 12/13/12

As soon as I heard that news, I pretty much crossed Schwartz off the list of potential opponents to go up against Tom Corbett (R) in 2014.  But then I found this out:

Allyson Schwartz, a five-term Democratic congresswoman representing a suburban Philadelphia district, is seriously eyeing a bid for governor of Pennsylvania next year.

Word of Schwartz’s potential candidacy was confirmed late last night by Rachel Magnuson, her chief of staff, at a meeting of the party’s state committee in Hershey.

Schwartz, who was reportedly encouraged by a recent poll conducted by the Democratic Governors Association showing that she could mount a strong challenge to Gov. Tom Corbett (R), has been seriously considering a candidacy for several months.

A recent survey conducted by Franklin & Marshall’s Center for Opinion Research, found that only 26% of registered voters in Pennsylvania give Gov. Corbett “excellent” or “good” marks on his job performance — the lowest approval rating for a sitting governor in the history of the poll.  A similar poll released last month by the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling found that only 38 percent of the state’s registered voters approve of Corbett’s performance. - Uncovered Politics, 2/9/13

The Democratic Governor's Association also conducted it's own poll on the Pennsylvania Governor's race and tested Schwartz's name which helped give Schwartz second thoughts about the race:

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 with ties to 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. - Politics PA, 2/8/13

The DGA's polling name makes Schwartz's run for governor "80% more likely":
“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. - Politics PA, 2/8/13

A big war chest and a juggernaut campaign fundraiser are what's necessary in order to go up against Corbett and the Pennsylvania GOP:

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell speak to the Republican Party of Pennsylvania's Lincoln Dinner at the Hilton Hotel in Harrisburg, Pa. Friday night, Feb. 8, 2013..Mark Pynes |
Though plenty of prominent party members are floating their own names, party insiders say only state Treasurer Rob McCord, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, and York County businessman Tom Wolf are capable of assembling the war chest needed to combat the $30-$40 million state Republican Party Chairman Tom Gleason said Gov. Tom Corbett will assemble to defend his seat.

“We're not going to mess around,” Gleason said at the conclusion of his party's winter meeting at the downtown Harrisburg Hilton. “This is serious business. We're going to have much more money than any Democrat.”

Of the big three Democrats being bandied as Corbett challengers, McCord was on hand Friday at the Hershey Lodge to assure those in attendance that he'll be in the race no matter who else – read Schwartz – gets in.

Schwartz did not attend the party winter meeting but sent staffers to talk up her potential candidacy, to co-sponsor a major reception, and dispense swag in the form of water bottles emblazoned with her name. - The Patriot-News, 2/9/13

Schwartz's candidacy could help strengthen the blue state roots in the Keystone state.  Her time in congress helped turn her once swing district into a strong Democratic hold:

Schwartz, whose district includes parts of northern Philadelphia and suburban Montgomery County, was first elected in 2004. She has long been considered a strong potential candidate for statewide office, and Magnuson said the congresswoman has been receiving encouragement from around the state to run in the 2014 gubernatorial election.

Fifteen years ago, Schwartz’s district was highly competitive, but two rounds of redistricting, a shift in the political winds and Schwartz’s popularity have made it solidly Democratic. - Politico, 2/8/13

Schwartz's new found interest in the Governor's race could be a real challenge because Pennsylvania Treasurer, Rob McCord (D), has been hyped up as a serious candidate:

Ebullient, inquisitive and, yes, a bit undisciplined, McCord is unlike any prominent politician to cross the Pennsylvania stage in years. And he’s obviously having an awfully good time.

As well he should. Life has been very good to McCord, an ambitious Main Liner and venture capitalist turned political aspirant. He is a rich man gifted both with the right connections and the talent to maximize those advantages. Born into an academic family, he was schooled at Harvard and Wharton. He was mentored in politics by two-time U.S. Cabinet Secretary Norman Mineta, and in business by legendary former Safeguard Scientifics CEO Pete Musser. He made millions investing in tech start-ups, then waltzed into statewide elected office four years ago as a first-time candidate. And in early November, he was easily reelected to a second term as state treasurer.

And so, in a state Democratic Party short on high-profile talent, McCord’s profile is surging, and the calls for him to challenge Governor Corbett in 2014 are growing louder. State Democratic chairman Jim Burn says McCord is a “top-tier” name “held in the highest esteem” by party bosses. Congressman Chaka Fattah pronounces himself a “big fan.” Philadelphia Democratic Party boss Bob Brady considers him “formidable” and “probably our strongest candidate.”

What makes this establishment enthusiasm for McCord so interesting is the fact that he in no way resembles gubernatorial candidates of the past. Pennsylvanians tend to be traditionalists when it comes to their elected leaders. Governors Corbett and Rendell are both redolent of the 20th century, with old-fashioned political résumés and brands (Rendell the charismatic operator, Corbett the sober uncle). So were Dan Onorato (a longtime lawyer and pol) and Lynn Swann (the ex-athlete trope).

McCord, though, is a thoroughly modern politician. He’s run a think tank and a series of investment funds. He’s considered a critical early leader in the development of the region’s tech industry. He has an African-American wife. And he entered politics late in life, mea­ning he has ascended without the benefit—or b­aggage—of a machine to call his own. - Philly Mag, December 2012

And if Schwartz officially enters the race, it won't stop McCord from jumping in either:
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.” - Politics PA, 2/8/13

Schwartz and McCord both entering the race would also be a real headache for state party chairman Jim Burn:

FILE - In this May 13, 2010 file photo, Allegheny County Democratic Chairman Jim Burn is seen in Pittsburgh. Burn and Montgomery County Democratic party Marcel Groen are both contending to replace T.J. Rooney who told The Associated Press on Tuesday, June 8, 2010, he will step down as chairman of the state Democratic Party later this month. (AP Photo/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pam Panchak, File) MAGS OUT; NO SALES; MONESSEN OUT; KITTANNING OUT; CONNELLSVILLE OUT; GREENSBURG OUT; TARENTUM OUT; NORTH HILLS NEWS RECORD OUT; BUTLER OUT
“We have a real shot,” said state chairman Jim Burn, a Pittsburgh lawyer. “This is the most unpopular governor in the United States.”

The chairman added that state party leaders agree it would be wise to unite behind a single candidate in the 2014 gubernatorial primary, to avoid an expensive brawl and conserve resources for the fight against Corbett in a state that historically does not turn out incumbent chief executives.  

“There are a lot of conversations taking place,” Burn said. “We have a responsibility to vet this before the primary. Ideally we don’t want a contested primary.” - Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/6/12

Plus we need to wait and see if this guy officially jumps into the race as well:

U.S. senatorial candidate, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) holds up his thumb as he exits the polling place after casting his ballot in the democratic primary at the Edgmont Township Municipal Building in Gradyville, Pennsylvania, May 18, 2010. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (United States - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
First of all, you can’t argue with results. Sestak was the top Democratic vote-getter in 2010. In a banner Republican year he came within two points of beating Pat Toomey. This is probably because the Democratic base voters love a winning primary challenger, and Sestak walloped Arlen Specter 54-46. If Sestak can come that close in a Republican wave year, he’s got a decent shot at knocking off a weakened Tom Corbett in 2014.

Second, you have to consider the guy’s campaigning abilities, which are formidable. There’s a big negative mark on his record in this category, which is that he foolishly did not join the coordinated Democratic campaign in 2010. If he’d bought into the coordinated campaign, he could’ve avoided some duplication of efforts in the field and maybe pulled out a win. I would like to think Sestak realizes how bad that was now, and why he can’t run as a lone wolf again. - Keystone Politics, 11/12/12

Schwartz, McCord and Sestak, in my opinion, are the three strongest candidates to go up against Corbett.  But for now, lets look a little closer at Schwartz as a candidate.

Schwartz has really made a name for herself in congress.  She's been considered both as a strong contender to one day replace Nancy Pelosi as the Democratic House Leader and is also being heavily considered a strong opponent to go up against Tea Party Senator Pat Toomey (R. PA):

Washington — If U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, who is widely known to be eyeing a run for statewide office, does wait and take on incumbent GOP U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey in 2016, both politicians' recent campaign finance filings foreshadow a high-priced race between two seasoned fundraisers.
Schwartz did not have a competitive race in 2012 and Toomey was not up for re-election for another four years, but both raised in the ballpark of $3 million over the last two-year cycle.

As of Dec. 31, 2012, Schwartz had $3.1 million on hand and Toomey had $2 million, according to their FEC end of the year reports. - The Morning Call, 2/6/13

Schwartz is also the only female and Jewish congresswoman representing Pennsylvania in the House and she has been eyeing a higher office for a while now:

Even before voters chose to send U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, a Democrat from Jenkintown, back to the House for a fifth term, some had begun to speculate that the congresswoman might have her sights set on some higher office.

Could she be mulling a 2014 challenge to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett or, perhaps more likely, a run against U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey in 2016?

In a recent interview, Schwartz didn’t exactly deny she’s harboring such ambitions, though she did seek to steer the conversation toward the very real challenges facing Congress right now.

“We’ll leave the future to future conversations,” said Schwartz, who is both the only Jew and only woman representing Pennsylvania in Congress. The longtime member of the Germantown Jewish Centre represents a district that is now roughly split between Northeast Philadelphia and Montgomery County. - Jewish Exponent, 11/14/12

Schwartz would also be a pretty aggressive fighter in this race.  Here's her criticism of Corbett's refusal to implement the rules of the Affordable Health Care Act:

“Governor Corbett’s decision not to accept the authority to develop and operate a state ‘exchange’ marketplace of private health coverage for individuals and small businesses is a failure of leadership and vision,” she said. “It is a lost opportunity for the Commonwealth to demonstrate leadership and innovation in affordability and accessibility in the insurance marketplace.”

Corbett cited a lack of details from President Obama’s administration as the chief reason for his decision.

“While there are unanswered questions, as there are with all new ventures, the Governor’s decision demonstrates the low priority he has given to the serious challenge of affordable, accessible health coverage for our citizens,” Schwartz (D-Montco) concluded.

Health care policy is Schwartz’s wheelhouse. But she, too, has objected to an important element of Obamacare: the Independent Payment Advisory Board. It’s a key part of the health care law’s price structure, but it would reduce reimbursement rates for medical facilities – one of Schwartz’s key constituencies. - Politics PA, 12/12/12

Now here's something you need to keep in mind; Schwartz is a co-chair at Third Way.  Here's her bio on their website:

Prior to her service in Congress, Representative Schwartz was a leading healthcare executive in Philadelphia and from 1990 to 2004 served as a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate, where she was considered one of the most accomplished legislators for her ability to forge bipartisanship partnerships.

Schwartz continues to serve on the Budget Committee where she has distinguished herself as an outspoken critic of deficit spending. A strong proponent of fiscal discipline and a balanced federal budget, Schwartz believes the nation must reduce our enormous national debt and redirect our policies to meet the priorities of American families.

Long considered a leading advocate for children, Schwartz spearheaded Pennsylvania’s legislative efforts to provide healthcare coverage to the children of middle-class families. Her leadership led to the creation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in 1992, which served as the model for the federal plan that now provides health insurance to millions of children.

In Congress, Schwartz has continued to focus on healthcare, including working for the expansion of federal SCHIP to cover all eligible children. She played a significant role in drafting and passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, specifically the provision to end pre-existing condition exclusions for children, strengthen primary care, and providing increased benefits to seniors on Medicare.

Schwartz is also instrumental in legislative efforts redirecting the nation’s environmental and energy policies towards energy independence and the reduction of global warming.

Her energy legislative accomplishments include smart reuse of Brownfield sites, incentives for businesses to build energy efficient buildings and securing tens of millions of dollars to enable communities throughout the 13th district to revitalize commercial business districts and develop new greenways.

She is a member of the centrist New Democratic Coalition and is considered a champion for business development, particularly in areas of biotechnology and technological innovation. -

Now here's Schwartz's remarks on Medicare:

GWEN IFILL: How about reaching an agreement on some of the spending by, for instance, raising the eligibility age for Medicare? Was that something that you can imagine raising real money from?

ALLYSON SCHWARTZ: Well, I think there -- we have to look at these a little bit different.

We have to look at the budget, which is, of course, nondiscretionary spending, non-defense discretionary and defense spending, the trillion dollars we have already committed.

The way we start the conversation about Medicare has to be -- we haven't yet heard the Republicans really say this -- it has to be from our point of view start with the fact that we are going to strengthen and protect and assure that Medicare continues for our current seniors and for future seniors, that we -- other conditions, we don't want to cut -- we will not cut benefits. We don't want to cut eligibility at either.

I think it has to be universal, all seniors, and that we do want to protect these important benefits. And then we have the conversation about how we can make sure it's sustainable well into the future.

As you know, the action we took under the Affordable Care Act extended the life of the Medicare trust fund by seven years.

So we made some real serious effort there in making sure that we could guarantee Medicare for longer. We have some more work to do. And I think we're willing to have that conversation. But we have to start with a commitment to Medicare. - PBS, December 2012

Schwartz's liberal ratings are also strangely high:

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 15:  Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., speaks at a news conference with members of the New Democratic Coalition in the Capitol Visitor Center on how to deal with the upcoming
Congresswoman Schwartz has, from a progressive point of view, a really good record. Her AFL-CIO scores are typically in the high 90s. It was 96% in 2007 and  97% in 2008. Her ADA scores are also typically in in the 90s. It was 90 in 2010.  Recently Daily Kos created a lifetime score for all members that combined the ADA and ACU (American Conservative Union Score). Schwartz had a rating of 93 just slightly behind liberal hero Sherrod Brown’s 93.2. - Marc Stier at, 2/7/12
She's also an ardent and vocal supporter of gun control which is politically risky in a state like Pennsylvania:

Count Philly’s Bob Brady and Allyson Schwartz among the Democrats urging a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Each called for those moves today, shortly before President Obama’s spokesman said the president also backs a ban on assault weapons and closing the so-called gun-show loophole that allows for firearms purchases without background checks.

“Too many Americans die each week from gun violence,” Schwartz said on C-SPAN Tuesday morning, after calling for “common sense” gun laws in a speech on the House floor Monday night.

“When you see 20, really, babies who are just gunned down with a weapon that should not be in any civilian’s hand, it is action we should take,” Schwartz said this morning. She represents parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County. “That is not self protection, that is really weapons intended for one purpose only, and that is to kill many people at one time and kill them fast.” - Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/18/12

She was also the first major Democrat to call for Congressman Anthony Weiner's resignation after tweeting pictures of his bulge to a girl on Twitter:

Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), who serves among the leadership of the DCCC, told Politico Wednesday afternoon that it’s time for Weiner to go. Schwartz’ office confirmed the news to TPM.

Democrats have stayed publicly silent on Weiner’s future as a member of Congress since he admitted to a series of explicit online relationships with numerous women over the years. Schwartz’ statement comes after Andrew Breitbart saw to it that a image of what he says is Weiner’s fully exposed penis made it onto the Internet Wednesday.

“Having the respect of your constituents is fundamental for a member of Congress,” Schwartz told the website. “In light of Anthony Weiner’s offensive behavior online, he should resign.” - 6/8/11

But Schwartz can also be a great team player and enjoys helping her fellow Democrats with their campaigns:

-Congresswoman Schwartz, when traveling the Commonwealth for her campaign, often offers to host events for area candidates during her travels – both in southeastern Pennsylvania and across the state. In the 2012 cycle alone, she also participated in over 100 surrogate events and other efforts for the President’s re-election campaign and the state Democratic party.

-Congresswoman Schwartz made contributions totaling $315,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last cycle – including $300,000 in the first quarter of 2011, and $15,000 before the 2012 election from her leadership committee We the People PAC. Schwartz was one of the first members of the caucus to support the DCCC in the 2012 cycle.

-Through direct contributions, fundraising events and more, Congresswoman Schwartz has given or raised over $3 million for Frontline and Red to Blue candidates since 2005.

-Congresswoman Schwartz’s leadership PAC  – We the People PAC - has raised and distributed approximately $770,000 to candidates and committees since its creation in 2007.

-Schwartz has made direct contributions of $547,000 from her campaign committee and leadership PAC to 192 members and candidates for the House since 2004 – including over $215,000 in the 2012 cycle.

-Congresswoman Schwartz has also made direct contributions of $38,000 to candidates for the United States Senate from We the People PAC – $23,500 in the 2012 cycle alone.

-Knowing the importance of a strong party at all levels, Schwartz has made direct contributions of $92,000 to non-federal candidates from We the People PAC – including $50,350 in the 2012 cycle, along with over $60,000 to local and state level party committees in the 2012 cycle. - Keystone Politics, 2/10/13

Last year, Pennsylvania made electoral history by electing the first female and Democrat, Kathleen Kane, to the Attorney General's office and she campaigned heavily on her predecessor's handling of the Penn State sex scandal.  The people of Pennsylvania have another chance to make history by electing their first female governor.  If there is one state that needs more women in charge, it's Pennsylvania.  If Schwartz runs, the Keystone State will be missing it's only female congresswoman but the seat is a strong blue so Democrats won't be losing that seat.  I admit, I am nervous about Schwartz's connections to Third Way but if she is serious about running for Governor, she cannot agree to any deep cuts to Social Security and Medicare.  In a state with a high senior population, especially during a midterm year, it would be political suicide to agree to such cuts and Corbett could use that against Schwartz.  So I hope she's keeping that in mind.

Now I also see Schwartz as a strong contender.  She's built her way up the ranks in both congress and the party and she's proven to be a strong fundraiser with over $3 million in the bank and with a juggernaut campaign finance director on her side, she could pull this off.  Pennsylvania is an old school Catholic state that really needs to get with the times.  Both of our Senators are pro-life whereas Schwartz is a strong advocate for a woman's right to choose.  If Schwartz wins, it'll prove the state is moving forward on this issue.  Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support access to birth control and Schwartz has fought hard to make birth control affordable and available for women.  Plus, Schwartz would be going up against a man who signed a law making women who are thinking about getting an abortion a mandatory ultrasound:

During a discussion of a far-reaching mandatory ultrasound bill, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) on Wednesday dismissed off-handedly the insinuation that the measure goes too far, saying, "You just have to close your eyes."

Corbett reaffirmed his support for the "Women's Right to Know" Act, which would require doctors to perform an ultrasound on a patient, offer her two personalized copies of the image and play and describe fetal heartbeat in detail before she can have an abortion -- "as long as it's not obtrusive."

He did not indicate whether or not he considered a transvaginal ultrasound to be an intrusive procedure, which the bill would require doctors to perform on a woman whose fetus is not developed enough to be visible by a regular, "jelly-on-the-belly" ultrasound.

Asked if he thinks the bill goes too far to make a woman look at the ultrasound image, Corbett responded, "You can't make anybody watch, okay? Because you just have to close your eyes. As long as it's on the exterior and not the interior." - Huffington Post, 3/15/12

Here's video of Corbett actually making that statement:

With statements like that, no wonder Corbett has terrible numbers with female voters.  His unpopularity with the female electorate would surely work in Schwartz's favor.  She can make this race not only about how Corbett handled the Penn State scandal as Attorney General but also make this about women's rights and dignity.  Schwartz could get female and younger voters to come out in large numbers during a midterm election.  Former Senator Rick Santorum (R)'s constant attacks on women's reproductive rights and homosexuals pissed a lot of people and motivated college kids to come out to the polls in 2006.  Santorum ended up losing by the biggest margin in Pennsylvania electoral history to current Senator Bob Casey Jr. (D. PA).  Plus it's looking like Pennsylvanians are also starting to open to marriage equality and gun control:

There is strong support in Pennsylvania for a number of measures at the national level:

95 - 5 percent for requiring background checks for all gun purchases;
60 - 37 percent for a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons;
59 - 39 percent for a nationwide ban on the sale of magazines with more than 10 rounds.

There is less support on most gun-control questions among voters in households where there is a gun, but 95 percent of voters in these gun households support stricter background checks.

Same-Sex Marriage

Pennsylvania voters are divided on same-sex marriage, with 47 percent in favor and 43 percent opposed. Support is 50 - 40 percent among women, while men are divided, with 44 percent in favor and 46 percent opposed. Support is 65 - 27 percent among Democrats and 51 - 38 percent among independent voters. Republicans are opposed 67 - 23 percent.

White Catholics support same-sex marriage 50 - 40 percent while white Protestants are opposed 60 - 31 percent. Voters 18 to 34 years old support same-sex marriage 68 - 25 percent; voters 35 to 54 years old back it 48 - 41 percent. Voters over 55 are opposed 52 - 39 percent. - Quinnipac, 1/30/13

This will be an expensive race for sure and the Pennsylvania Democratic Party is feeling good about it's chances of unseating Corbett but they have to be cautious.  Corbett would be the first one term governor since the law was changed in 1968 giving the governor the ok to run for two terms instead of just one.  Since then, Pennsylvanians have been consistent in re-electing governors.  But Corbett's policies and cuts go to far for Pennsylvania and the Penn State sex scandal and how Corbett handled it while serving as Attorney General is a real game changer.  It's the biggest scandal in the state's history and everyone is pissed about Corbett letting Jerry Sandusky go.  Schwartz should have no problem hitting Corbett over the head with that.  It worked for Kane in her run for Attorney General and she is delivering on her promise to probe Corbett's handling of the case.  Schwartz's rating with the AFL-CIO will work in her favor especially with Corbett wanting to make pension cuts and actually said he would sign "right to work" legislation if it came to his desk:

A little more than a month after Michigan Republicans successfully passed landmark anti-union legislation in their state, members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly are attempting to follow in their footsteps. Six Republican state representatives are each bringing their own “right-to-work” style bill to the State House floor, as part of an effort collectively known as the Open Workforce Initiative.

One of the legislators involved, Rep. Darryl Metcalfe, has reportedly introduced right-to-work bills during every legislative session of the past 14 years. ”The framers of our Constitution did not intend for our government to become an enforcer for unions,” he explains on his website. “Working men and women should have the freedom to join a union if they choose and to leave that union when it is in their best interest to do so.”

Metcalfe’s success record so far might reassure union allies that Pennsylvania is unlikely to turn into another Michigan. In fact, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, a Republican, said as much during the Michigan right-to-work battle, telling reporters, “There is not much of a movement to do it.”

However, Corbett has also said he would sign right-to-work legislation if it came across his desk. Furthermore, though the right-to-work bill which Metcalfe proposed in 2011 predictably failed, his persistence was rewarded with a House Labor and Industry Committee hearing in July of that year.

Kelly Rutherford, David Koch - March 14, 2011 - THE SCHOOL OF AMERICAN BALLET Winter Ball 2011 Sponsored by Van Cleef and Arpels held at David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC. Photo Credit: Patrick Mcmullan/ Press/balletsipapmc.017/1103152028 (Newscom TagID: sipaphotosthree094785) [Photo via Newscom]
While it seems unlikely that Pennsylvania could go entirely right-to-work any time soon, it’s worth noting that same thing was true of Michigan only a couple of months ago. And while Pennsylvania’s union density is above the national average, it is slightly weaker than in Michigan. Meanwhile, some of the same forces which helped pave the way for right-to-work in Lansing are now mobilizing in Philadelphia: The Pennsylvania chapter of the Koch outfit Americans for Prosperity announced on its Facebook page that it “stands in solidarity with our coalition partners to move Right to Work in PA.” - MSNBC, 1/22/13
Not to mention, Corbett is trying to steal the next Presidential election for the GOP:
Pileggi's new proposal is, at its core, similar to the one he and Gov. Corbett championed last fall, in that it would do away with Pennsylvania's winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes.

This time, Pileggi wants to have electoral votes awarded "proportionately," based on the popular vote.

"The major goal remains the same - to more closely align our electoral vote with our popular vote," said Pileggi spokesman Erik Arneson, adding that the senator plans to formally introduce the bill early next year.

Pileggi's new plan would award two votes to the winner of the popular vote statewide and then divide the remaining 18 based on the percentage of the popular vote each presidential candidate received. - Philadelphia Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau, 12/4/12

The other key to winning the general election is having the Philly suburbs go in your favor.  Democrats can win Erie, Pittsburgh, the Scranton area and Philadelphia but the Philly suburbs would put Schwartz over the edge.  It's how Ed Rendell won his election in 2002.  I would like to avoid an expensive and nasty primary as well but I think we need to pick the right Democrat for this race.  So whenever Schwartz makes her final decision and if she decides to jump in 100% I look forward to her entrance.  I hope she can make a strong case for herself because we need a strong candidate to take out the most corrupt governor in Pennsylvania electoral history.    

Originally posted to pdc on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:51 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, DKos Pennsylvania, Philly Kos, and Pittsburgh Area Kossacks.


Of the three candidates I mentioned as the strongest, who's your pick?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    Funny Stuff at

    by poopdogcomedy on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:51:14 AM PST

  •  I'd like to see McCord take on Toomey in '16 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poopdogcomedy, bear83, antooo

    Keystone XL Pipeline - Canada gets the money, Asia gets the oil, America gets the toxic refinery pollution and potential for a pipeline leak ecological disaster.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:01:16 AM PST

    •  He wouldn't be the first popular Treasurer to take (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam B, Loge, marina

      out a right wing-extremist in Pennsylvania.  Patrick Murphy, Brian Lentz and Kathleen Kane are great candidates as well and if Sestak passes on this race and his old congressional seat and is in great health, then I also advocate a rematch.  I once described Toomey as a mixture of John E. Sununu's economic ideology and Club For Growth devotion along with Saxby Chambliss' chicken hawk mentality and hypocrisy.  

      Funny Stuff at

      by poopdogcomedy on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:04:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I want to see a rematch ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... between Joe Sestak and Toomey in 2016, (prefferably with Hillary Clinton at the top of the ticket).

  •  Well done. (5+ / 0-)

    Of everyone in the PA Democratic political establishment, I think she's probably the one who could potentially unseat Corbett.

    But I'm not going to sit back and say she'll have an easy job at it. We should assume we're way behind, even after she officially declares (and gets through the primary.) I'm still standing by my Corbett eeks out a win in a squeaker but we really have to see how national races for 2014 shape up. What kind of year will that be?

    If she runs in the primary as of now she's got my vote.

  •  Nice comprehensive take (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poopdogcomedy, Loge, marina, jakewaters

    I was at state committee this weekend, and I'm pretty convinced that Schwartz will run.  If she does, I hope this doesn't become a contest primary, because I think having her atop the ticket gives us our best chance not only for the Governor's mansion, but to make real inroads in the legislative races.

  •  I think Sestak is the best choice. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Schwartz sounds like a good candidate but I think it would be helpful to have a nominee with a higher level of recognition in Western PA.

    Not only did Sestak come very close to victory against the wave of 2010, I think he would have won had not Dan Onorato been a drag at the top of the ticket.

    Plus, I very much like the idea of a Pennsylvania woman in the ranks of the Congressional leadership in Washington.

    If nothing else, so the rest of the country can see that clowns like little Ricky Santorum and Pat the corporate rat Toomey are not representative of the state as a whole.

    "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

    by Notthemayor on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:48:55 PM PST

    •  Can't agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and I say that with real regret. I have been a huge Sestak supporter since his first campaign against Curt Weldon. But assuming that Schwartz really wants this, then Joe needs to back out.

      (On the other hand, if McCord runs and Schwartz sits out, Joe should go for it.)

      I actually wish that somebody would talk Sestak into running for his former seat in the House and kicking the fumbling, inept Meehan to the curb. We need Joe's voice back in Washington.

      •  Interesting. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Montco PA Dem

        Particularly as I see Joe Sestak is among your followers.

        I'd be interested in hearing your reasons as you obviously have been a supporter of Sestak in the past.

        Is there a weakness you see or are you just that impressed with Schwartz?

        "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

        by Notthemayor on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 07:03:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It comes down to this: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jakewaters, Notthemayor

          We need a Democratic governor in PA more than we need a perfect Democratic candidate.

          I am not at all blown away by Allyson Schwartz - she is much too centrist and too in-line with big money interests to ever be a candidate I could get excited about.  But I'm not a typical Pennsylvanian, and I think that Schwartz is right on enough issues - and has the added advantage of igniting women across the state - that she could easily unseat Corbett.

          A divisive primary battle would only hurt her chances to do that.

          On the other hand, I think a Corbett-Sestak or a Corbett-McCord election would be tougher to win. And in that case, I'd like Joe to take his shot, though it would likely be a bloody primary similar to his race against Arlen Specter. I hope that the state committee learned its lesson last time and stays neutral if there is a primary; I remain convinced that the reason he lost against Toomey was that Democratic leadership in PA hated Joe almost as much as they hated Toomey.  He's spent the time since then trying to heal that rift, but I'm not sure he'll ever be fully accepted by PA Dem party bosses.

          •  Thanks. (0+ / 0-)

            My impression remains that Sestak would run better here in Western no small part because his military service resonates with the blue collar Democrats...but I've never seen Schwartz campaigning.

            "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

            by Notthemayor on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 02:01:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  You get the name recognition by running. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      She'll gain it just as Sestak did in 2010.  Not rocket science.

  •  Great Diary, I'm all in for Allyson (0+ / 0-)

    just told the PADems fundraisers not to call me back but if she runs I'mm make my contribution to her campaign directly.

    She's had such a clear advantage in her last few elections that I've spent the $ that would have gone to her on Orange to Blue /Act Blue candidates.

    I don't get the Third Way issue. I thought there was a 'low brow R's singing Kumbaya with their fingers crossed' bunch of the same name, this isn't them is it?

    At least it isn't second mile.

    "I'll press your flesh, you dimwitted sumbitch! " -Pappy O'Daniel

    by jakewaters on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:15:50 AM PST

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