Poll: Former Steeler Shows Slight Lead Over Rendell in Pa. Gov. Race

Pro Football Hall of Famer Lynn Swann held a slight lead over Gov. Ed Rendell in a statewide poll released Thursday, but more than a third of registered voters indicated they hadn't settled on either candidate.

Thirty-five percent of those surveyed in the IssuesPA/Pew Poll said they were likely to vote for Swann, a retired Pittsburgh Steelers star and Republican campaigning to become the state's first black governor.

Twenty-nine percent said they would probably support Rendell, a Democrat and former Philadelphia mayor who is running for a second four-year term.

Among the rest, 34 percent were considered up for grabs and 2 percent didn't support either candidate. Neither Swann nor Rendell faces a primary challenge.

Swann's press secretary, Melissa Walters, called the poll "another example of the clear momentum behind Lynn Swann's campaign and the growing support for change and reform in Pennsylvania."

Rendell campaign spokesman Dan Fee said the results indicate voters want to know where candidates stand on issues and about their experience.

"Those are Ed Rendell's strengths and Lynn Swann's weaknesses. So when the voters begin to focus on the race we'll be doing just fine," Fee said.

Princeton Survey Research Associates International interviewed 1,229 registered voters March 14-22. The sampling margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points. IssuesPA is a statewide public-awareness project of the Pennsylvania Economy League. The poll was funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts.