From Tom to Tom: Insight into Pennsylvania’s Governor’s Race

In the final week leading up to Election Day, both Wolf’s and Corbett’s campaigns are going into overdrive. They are targeting specific audiences to illicit their desired response. The impact of political campaigns on voter turnout is tremendous. Here at Bravo Group we implement similar strategies in our public relations and advocacy campaigns. If there is one lesson taught by this election, it is that tough fights do not win themselves. Campaigning, whether it be political or pertaining to public relations, is an ongoing project. Carefully crafted tactics and meticulous attention to detail is essential for favorable results.

Elections set the foundation for democracy. They allow us to have, as Abraham Lincoln so eloquently stated, a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” The right to vote allows us to have oversight over our government. When officials fail to meet the needs of their constituency they risk losing their office in the next election.

Midterm elections are just six days away and candidates are well-aware of the possibility of an unfavorable outcome. They must utilize the remaining days to convince their supporters to show up at the polls. With midterms drawing nearer with each passing moment, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett finds himself in such a position. The incumbent is in one of the most closely-followed midterm elections against businessman Tom Wolf. Gubernatorial elections are important not only because they help set the legislative agenda at the state level, but also because they act as indicators of how voters will behave in the next set of elections.

The outcome of this election could signal a new era for Pennsylvania politics. Since the middle of the 20th century, elections for the governor’s mansion in Harrisburg have followed a predictable pattern. Beginning in 1947 the position has alternated in party control every eight years. If Tom Wolf is victorious on Tuesday, it will be the first time in over sixty years that this pattern is broken.

The stakes are high for both Wolf and Corbett. This election not only has the opportunity to reshape Pennsylvania’s historical landscape, but also its political agenda. Pennsylvanians have called attention to particular issues, most notably taxes and education. The spotlight on issues, in addition to the positioning of the candidates in the polls, has led each of the men to develop competitive campaign strategies for the final days leading up to November 4th.

Both candidates have risen to the challenges presented by Pennsylvanians. To bolster their campaigns, they have garnered support from wealthy donors and various political action committees. Total combined expenditures are expected to be record-breaking. If the competitors spend all of their funds, this will become the most expensive campaign in Pennsylvania’s history.

However, Wolf and Corbett are not relying on their funds alone. Some of the political elite in their respective parties recently came to Pennsylvania to campaign on their behalf. Earlier in October former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama attended rallies for Wolf. Current New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made appearances in the Philadelphia area for Governor Corbett. More recently, former president Bill Clinton spoke in Pittsburgh on behalf of Wolf. The democratic candidate also has the advantage of sharing partisanship with the incumbent president. On November 2nd, President Barack Obama is scheduled to campaign with Wolf in Philadelphia.

Currently, Wolf leads the polls over Governor Corbett. According to the Franklin and Marshall College Poll, he has a 13 point lead over the incumbent. Regardless of these statistics, the election is not over. Both sides of the race have contested formidable efforts through their campaign strategies. In the upcoming week, both sides will implement their final tactics to rally their base. As was mentioned previously in this post, tough fights do not win themselves. It is crucial to recognize that the objective of these campaigns is to make people realize the weight of their vote. Ultimately, this election will not be determined by the support each candidate has in polls. Instead, it relies on the call to action heralded by each candidate. After all, the next Governor of Pennsylvania will be determined by the voters that show up on Election Day.

Meghan Gary| Bravo Group | Pittsburgh

 

Photo Credit:

1. http://articles.philly.com/2014-09-24/news/54244375_1_democrat-tom-wolf-corbett-marcellus-shale

2. http://www.pennlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/10/hillary_clinton_chris_christie.html

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