"This looks like a very competitive election, the likes of which we have not seen for an incumbent governor seeking re-election," said G. Terry Madonna, professor of public affairs at Franklin & Marshall College and director of the poll.
"You could call it the clash of the titans - two celebrity candidates running from either end of the state, both of them national figures."
In a survey last week, 497 registered voters in Pennsylvania were asked whom they would support if the Rendell-Swann election were held that day. Rendell was the choice of 45 percent, compared to 42 percent for Swann, with 13 percent undecided. Faced with the same question last September, 53 percent chose Rendell and only 33 percent went with Swann.
We are actually, a little surprised by this recent development. Swann, of course, has the GOP nomination clinched with the withdrawal of Lt. Gov. Bill Scranton who admitted he couldn't defeat Swann. Still, he was starting to sound like another annoying, preachy Black Republican touting the usual set of tired themes that have never proven to resonate with African American voters. It remains unclear as to how appealing Swann is to Pennsylvania's Black electorate - particularly in Philadelphia. But, as we predicted, he's getting mad support in Western Pennsylvania.