Lynn Swan Leads Rendell in Pennsylvania Governor's Race, that is until independent candidate is included

Including Russ Diamond in the race overwhelmingly takes votes from Republican Lynn Swann. With Diamond in the race, swings the overall polls seven points in Democrat Rendell's direction. This is not surprising given how similar Swann and Diamond appear to be on issues, though it also raises real questions about why Diamond would enter the race as an independent. I assume that Diamond knows that he couldn't win the Republican nomination, but is it just ego to run what will only be a spoiler race for governor?

Republican Lynn Swann, the former football star, now leads Governor Ed Rendell (D), 44% to 41%. That's the mirror image of last month's result.

All four of polls on this race conducted in 2006 have found the candidates within three points of each other. Swann has ranged from 41% of the vote to 45% in the four polls, Rendell from 41% to 46%.

However, Russ Diamond has said he will enter the race as an Independent. Diamond last year formed an organization to oppose a pay raise for state legislators (the pay raise signed by Rendell has since been repealed). He must get 67,000 valid signatures on a petition by August 1 to qualify for the November ballot.

Diamond attracts 16% of the vote if he is included in the poll at this time. Third party candidates often receive more support in early polls than they will actually receive on election day. However, the impact of Diamond's inclusion in the poll is dramatic--the overall poll results switches from a 3-point Swann lead to a 4-point Rendell lead. . . . .


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