Rendell gets call from pollster

April 8, 2008 5:42:23 PM PDT
Gov. Ed Rendell recently received his first call from a political pollster despite nearly a lifetime in politics. The caller from the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute wanted Rendell's opinions on the Democratic presidential race between Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois in the April 22 Pennsylvania primary.

As Clinton's most visible supporter in the state, Rendell was better prepared than most of the 1,340 likely Democratic voters who took part in the poll.

"When they asked if Ed Rendell's endorsement had any impact, I said, 'absolutely,"' Rendell told The Patriot-News newspaper in Harrisburg.

The pollster, who reached Rendell at his Philadelphia home during the weekend, also asked whether Sen. Bob Casey's endorsement of Obama made Rendell more or less likely to vote for him.

"I said 'no difference,"' said Rendell, who defeated Casey for the gubernatorial nomination in 2002.

The latest statewide poll by Connecticut-based Quinnipiac, released Tuesday, showed Clinton still leading in the state with 50 percent of the vote, but by a margin of only 6 percentage points - compared with 9 percentage points a week earlier and 12 percentage points in mid-March.

"Along with 1,339 fellow Pennsylvania Democrats, it's good to see Governor Rendell qualified as a likely voter in our poll," Clay Richards, assistant director of the institute, said Tuesday.