Thursday, April 1, 2010

Onorato, Corbett Are Standouts Survivors In Race Crawl Toward Nominations For Governor

The campaign for governor of Pennsylvania has reached a new phase, which is good news for two of the candidates running crawling toward the opportunity to replace Ed Rendell.

Among Democrats (or, at least, those who masquerade as Democrats), Dan Onorato has newly emerged as the favorite -- not so much because of anything Onorato has done or will do, but instead because his opponents refrained from derailing him before the onset of Air Dan, a massive television advertising campaign funded by the big-money donors who believe Pennsylvania they would benefit from Onorato's election. Until now, Jack Wagner's statewide connections and Joe Hoeffel's status as an actual Democrat had been enough to prevent any candidate from claiming an edge, and Onorato's "inevitability" argument was never credible. But his opponents squandered the chance to dent Onorato with a scandal or his vulnerabilities (assessments, drink tax, his ability to pass the Republican litmus test) before massive media buys dominate the discussion. (The most likely explanation of Anthony Williams' candidacy is that he is carrying water for someone who wishes to dilute the Philadelphia vote -- has anyone checked his petition circulators?)

Among Republicans, Tom Corbett has withstood the principal threats to his candidacy (another across-the-board acquittal of a politician Democratic politician chased by Corbett's prosecutors; a careful examination of the relationship between Corbett's campaign and Corbett's Office of the Attorney General; or a Republican candidate with charisma) and is positioned to cruise to nomination -- and the slight favorite's position for November.

The likely (and lackluster) matchup in November: Corbett-Onorato.

The relevant Propositions Board lines (far right column) have been adjusted.

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