In the 2012 presidential election, there was great anticipation on the right for a Rick Perry run. Polls showed that the Texas governor was competitive against Mitt Romney and was leading many polls. However after Perry joined the race, he sizzled out and withdrew after a disappointing finish in the Iowa caucus.
In Pennsylvania, this occured with, not one, but two candidates. The first was Allyson Schwartz and the second was Marjorie Margolies.
As the Democratic primary for the gubernatorial race ramped up, one name was in polling but absent from declared candidate lists. That name was Rep. Allyson Schwartz, who served in the U.S. House from a reliably blue district by Philadelphia. Poll after poll showed her leading the pack and she was seen as the strongest candidate in a large, and largely untested, field. However, once she joined her campaign soon slowed. Tom Wolf began his on-slaught of advertising. Wolf, who was largely unknown in Pennsylvania, began advertising to raise his name recognition. As his advertising campaign began, Wolf’s poll numbers shot up, hitting 40%. Schwartz was then in a battle for second place, battling state Treasurer Rob McCord.
Tom Wolf ended up winning the primary with 58%, Schwartz got second place with one percentage point over McCord.
Schwartz lost due to outspent, similar to Perry. Mitt Romney was better funded and his super PAC was stronger than Perry’s.
Most of the national attention on the race has been because of Margolies’s connection to the Clinton vote. Back in 1994, Margolies cast the deciding vote for Pres. Clinton’s controversial budget, she ended up losing her seat later that year. A few years ago, her son married Chelsea Clinton and the bond between the two families were strengthened. When Margolies ran for Schwartz’s seat, both Clintons got involved. President Clinton recorded a robocall for voters and Hillary Clinton appeared at a fundraiser for her.
However in the end, the Clinton factor was not strong enough and Margolies lost her primary. Margolies’s campaign suffered due to a lack of cash-on-hand and questions raised about Margolies’s actions while her husband was on trial for fraud.
Both candidates were viewed by the media as inevitables, presumptives even. However, the voters decided otherwise.