by Craig Dimitri

Gov. Ed Rendell (D), who has a huge lead over GOP challenger Lynn Swann, will be appearing in Langhorne, Pa., on Monday afternoon, to endorse Patrick Murphy (D) in his hotly contested race against U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R).

Obviously, it is not news (in any sense of the word) that the Democratic governor is going to endorse the Democratic U.S. House candidate.   However, this visit demonstrates two important facts about the statewide gubernatorial election and the 8th CD, which largely comprises Bucks County in the northern suburbs of Philadelphia.

1) Statewide, Rendell has such a huge lead over Swann, that he can concentrate his efforts on assisting other Democrats. 

Rendell certainly doesn’t need to campaign in Bucks County.  The most recent independent poll, the Keystone Poll from G. Terry Madonna at Franklin & Marshall College, shows Rendell with an incredible 66%-25% lead over Swann in the 8th CD – a district in which the same poll showed voters declaring themselves 50% Republicans, 40% Democrat.   

2) It indicates that Murphy’s campaign is one, in which Rendell feels that his endorsement might make a difference in the outcome.

On Friday, the Keystone Poll asserted that Fitzpatrick currently has a 48%-39% lead over Murphy – thus, Fitzpatrick is running 23% ahead of fellow Republican Swann.  Rendell is enormously popular with Republicans, especially in the five Southeast counties.  Thus, Rendell’s target is that 23% of the 8th CD electorate- essentially, Bucks County Republicans, who enthusiastically plan to vote for him for governor, but still plan to stick with the GOP incumbent, Fitzpatrick, for Congress.

The Murphy campaign ( cites two internal Democratic polls, which claim that Murphy is not in fact 9% behind Fitzpatrick (, but instead in a statistical tie.  However, it must be noted that they are both internal Democratic polls, and thus not commissioned for the purpose of enlightening the public about the race.  Instead, they should be viewed as part of the Murphy campaign effort, as it seeks to retain its status as a “too-close-to-call” race.  

The full results of the Keystone Poll can be found at 

Questions?  Comments?  Information?  You can contact Craig Dimitri at 


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