The Benjamin Factor
Can Republican Lynn Swann truly be a competitive candidate against Gov. Ed Rendell?
One way to answer that question is to look at the independent polls. Most show Swann-Rendell as a close race.
Another way – one favored by us political writers – is to look at campaign fundraising reports. In the immortal words of Congressman Ozzie Meyers: “Bullshit walks and money talks.”
What the money is saying about Swann isn’t good, at least so far.
No one expects a challenger to match an incumbent dollar for dollar, but to stay credible you have to keep pace and Swann hasn’t.
The reports for the first three months of 2006 show that Rendell raised $3.4 million and had a total of $15.4 million on hand. Swann’s three-month report shows he raised just under $1 million had a total of $1.5 million on hand.
Swann’s people say he’ll do better at fundraising over the next couple of months and point out that his name ID statewide – as a former Pittsburgh Steelers star – is worth millions.
Key date to mark down: June 15th, the day the next major campaign spending reports are due. If Swann hasn’t shown a big bump by then -- I'm thinking in the $5 million range in terms of dollars on hand -- he’s toast.