Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 2006
|Elections in Pennsylvania|
Incumbent Governor Ed Rendell, a Democrat, ran for re-election. Though some had speculated that Rendell would choose another running mate, Pennsylvania's first female Lieutenant Governor, Catherine Baker Knoll was also running for re-election.
Shortly after the 2002 Gubernatorial election, political observers speculated that Jeff Piccola, Jane Earll, Pat Toomey, Mark Schweiker, Melissa Hart, Rick Santorum, Bruce Castor would consider pursuing the GOP nomination.
Four candidates where campaigning for governor, but only two went on to appear on the ballot in November. Rendell and Swann both were unopposed for their respective major party nominations. Constitution candidate Hagan Smith was unable to secure the necessary signatures to appear on the ballot. On August 11, Green Party candidate Marakay Rogers withdrew her nominating papers, following a challenge by Pennsylvania Democrats, who alleged more than 69,000 signatures on the petitions were fake names, unregistered voters or illegible. The challenge followed Republican Senator Rick Santorum's drive to collect signatures to put Green candidate Carl Romanelli on the ballot.
Rogers continued to campaign, hopeful that a federal appeals court would rule favorably in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the state's signature requirement for third party candidates.
- Democrat: Ed Rendell—incumbent Governor of Pennsylvania. Previously, he was the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and Mayor of Philadelphia.
- Republican: Lynn Swann—a retired Pittsburgh Steelers football Hall of Famer, and former chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
- Green Party: Marakay Rogers (Green Party), an attorney, liberal activist, and 2004 Green Party State Attorney General nominee.
- Constitution Party: Hagan Smith (Constitution Party), a building contractor, conservative activist and chair of the Butler County Constitution Party.
- Jim Panyard—the former president of the Pennsylvania Manufacturer's Association withdrew from the race in February 2006. His official statement cited poor fundraising and the lack of significant media attention among his reasons.
- Jeff Piccola—the Majority Whip of the Pennsylvania State Senate. Piccola officially entered the race in 2005 but withdrew in January 2006. Early polling of showed that his chances of winning the State Committee endorsement were slim.
- William Scranton III—a former Lieutenant Governor and the 1986 GOP nominee. He is also the son of former governor William Scranton. On 25 January 2006 Scranton fired his campaign manager Jim Seif when he referred to Swann as "the rich white guy in this campaign" on a Pennsylvania Cable Network call-in show. Seif was attempting to portray Swann as the favorite of the GOP political establishment. Scranton withdrew from the race on February 7, 2006, stating that he had found that Lynn Swann was receiving "near unanimous backing of the state and national parties." 
- Russ Diamond (Independent), one of three people declared "people of the year" by the Philadelphia Inquirer, for his work in exposing the clandestine pay raise the General Assembly voted themselves at 2am just before adjournment in July 2005. His running mate would have been Tom Lingenfelter, a former GOP state committeeman, conservative activist, and frequent candidate. Diamond ended his campaign due to an inability to meet the petition requirements to get on the ballot as an independent.
- Michael Morrill—he is a political activist and was the Green Party's nominee for governor in 2002. Had he run as a Democrat, Morrill likely would have attempted to court support from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party by attacking what he perceives as flaws in Governor Rendell's record on labor unions, civil liberties, and poverty alleviation. Morrill announced on February 13, 2006, that he would not run, citing the "toll" his 2002 race took on him and his family.
Challenging Rendell was former Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Famer, Lynn Swann (R). His running mate was businessman Jim Matthews, Montgomery County Commisoner and the brother of MSNBC's Chris Matthews.
In the 2000 Presidential election, then Vice President Al Gore won the state 51%-47% over then Texas Governor George W. Bush. In 2004, Senator John Kerry carried the state 51%-49% over incumbent President Bush.
Although the state has voted Democratic for 8 of the past 12 presidential elections, its Congressional delegation has been majority Republican for years. The counties of Philadelphia and Allegheny are the Democratic strongholds (Philadelphia: 75% Democrat, Allegheny: 60% Democrat), while the central part of the state is where the Republican Party fares best. The statewide party registration is:
In July 2005, a Zogby Poll showed Rendell with only a 47% to 41% lead over Lynn Swann. Some speculated that controversy over Act 72, proposed Medicaid cuts, and possibly even a legislative pay increase that was signed into law had reduced the Governor’s popularity. Also, when compared to other polls, the six percent lead was an outlier. Rendell has led in other recent polls by significantly higher margins.
Following that poll, Rendell’s supporters pointed out that he has raised more money than his opponents, which they felt would help him spread his message. They also pointed out that no Pennsylvania governor had lost re-election since the 1950s, [until the PA Constitutional Convention of 1968, PA governors were limited to one consecutive term—therefore a correct statement would be "no PA governor has lost a bid for re-election since 1970"] and that, as a sitting governor, Rendell had all of the traditional advantages of an incumbent.
Swann hoped to perform strongly in the conservative "T" section of the state (the central and northern regions) and in his native western Pennsylvania area. On 7 February 2006 Swann served as master of ceremonies for the Pittsburgh Steelers's Super Bowl XL victory parade before 250,000 people. Swann canvassed for votes among tailgating voters in Philadelphia before the Steelers game against the Eagles.
At the time, Rendell had relatively low approval ratings outside of his native Southeastern Pennsylvania. Polls in early February showed Swann and Rendell in a statistical tie.
However, Swann's momentum did not survive an effective barrage of advertising from Rendell in early spring and had trouble keeping up with Rendell's effective fundraising. Swann's focus on "reforming" Harrisburg never caught traction, possibly as a result of his vocal support for Chip Brightbill and Robert Jubelirer, two legislative leaders who were defeated in the May 2006 primary election.
|Source||Date||Rendell (D)||Swann (R)|
|Temple/Inquirer Poll||September 24, 2006||60%||33%|
|Rasmussen||September 22, 2006||56%||36%|
|Zogby/WSJ||September 11, 2006||51.6%||42.1%|
|Zogby/WSJ||August 28, 2006||48.4%||43.5%|
|Rasmussen||August 25, 2006||50%||38%|
|Strategic Vision||August 17, 2006||51%||41%|
|Quinnipiac||August 16, 2006||57%||38%|
|Rasmussen||July 26, 2006||50%||40%|
|Zogby/WSJ||July 24, 2006||47.5%||41.1%|
|Strategic Vision||July 20, 2006||49%||36%|
|Rasmussen||June 26, 2006||50%||36%|
|Quinnipiac||June 22, 2006||55%||31%|
|Zogby/WSJ||June 21, 2006||47.7%||43.4%|
|Strategic Vision||June 15, 2006||49%||38%|
|Rasmussen||May 25, 2006||52%||34%|
|Quinnipiac||May 12, 2006||55%||33%|
|Strategic Vision||May 10, 2006||49%||41%|
|Keystone Poll||May 3, 2006||49%||35%|
|Rasmussen||April 29, 2006||41%||44%|
|IssuesPA/Pew Poll||April 17–26, 2006||30%||29%|
|Muhlenberg||April 17–24, 2006||45%||39%|
|Strategic Vision||April 13, 2006||44%||42%|
|Quinnipiac||April 5, 2006||47%||37%|
|IssuesPA/Pew Poll||March 30, 2006||29%||35%|
|Rasmussen||March 28, 2006||44%||41%|
|Strategic Vision||March 15, 2006||44%||44%|
|Muhlenberg||March 4, 2006||46%||43%|
|Rasmussen||Feb 21, 2006||46%||43%|
|Quinnipiac||Feb 15, 2006||48%||36%|
|Keystone Poll||Feb 9, 2006||45%||42%|
|Strategic Vision||Jan 25, 2006||44%||46%|
|Rasmussen||Jan 19, 2006||43%||45%|
|Strategic Vision||Dec 21, 2005||45%||41%|
|Quinnipiac||Dec 13, 2005||48%||35%|
|Strategic Vision||Nov 16, 2005||45%||42%|
|Rasmussen||Nov 7, 2005||50%||36%|
|Strategic Vision||Oct 19, 2005||46%||41%|
|Keystone Poll||September, 2005||53%||33%|
|Strategic Vision||Sept 12, 2005||48%||43%|
|Strategic Vision||Aug 2, 2005||47%||41%|
|Rasmussen||July 20, 2005||47%||41%|
|Keystone Poll||June 2005||42%||32%|
|Keystone Poll||March 2005||59%||29%|
|Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 2006|
- Pennsylvania United States Senate election, 2006
- United States gubernatorial elections, 2006
- 2005 Pennsylvania General Assembly pay raise controversy
- Knoll fights talk of replacement
- "GOP Shortlist for Governor". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2002. Archived from the original on 2002-11-08.
- Politics1: Pennsylvania
- Green Party candidates give up
- Green Party candidate withdraws
- Minor parties sue
- Ed Rendell’s Campaign Website
- Lynn Swann’s Campaign Website
- Green Party
- Hagan For Governor site
- Panyard site
- Scranton fires campaign manager for calling Swann 'rich white guy' - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
- PA Comeback site
- Scranton drops out of race for governor - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
- Russ Diamond's Campaign Website
- Morrill Majority
- Morrill release
- Survey USA
- 2005 Municipal Election
- Ritter, Kara (August 2006). "Ex-Steeler looks to sway support of Eagles' fans". Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Madonna analysis
- Franklin & Marshall College (Terry Madonna) Center for Politics & Public Affairs
- A quarter-million thanks - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
- Rendell, Swann in dead heat - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
- Barnes, Tom; Roddy, Dennis B. (November 8, 2006). "Rendell cruises to 2nd term as governor". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Deparle, Jason (May 18, 2006). "G.O.P. Conservatives Topple Veteran State Lawmakers in Pennsylvania". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- The Pennsylvania Manual, p. 7-18.
- The Pennsylvania Manual, p. 7-84.
- Trostle, Sharon, ed. (2007). The Pennsylvania Manual 118. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Department of General Services. ISBN 0-8182-0318-8.