WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Arlen Specter is wasting no time trying to get the upper hand in what might be a bloody 2010 Senate Republican primary battle.
The Pennsylvania senator is airing a new 30-second television ad that targets fellow Republican Pat Toomey, who challenged Specter in the 2004 GOP primary but hasn't yet announced a 2010 run.
"Toomey has been attacking Sen. Specter non-stop for the last six weeks, so we decided to reply," Specter campaign manager Christopher Nicholas told CNN about Specter's early bird strategy.
As the nation continues to battle a recession, the spot focuses on Toomey's background as a Wall Street trader and his views on financial and economic policy matters.
Entitled "Bonus," the new ad began airing Thursday on cable networks across Pennsylvania. It is supported by $100,000 ad buy, according to Nicholas.
A Quinnipiac University survey of registered Pennsylvania voters released last week suggested Specter trails Toomey in a hypothetical Republican primary matchup by a 41 to 27 percent margin, with 28 percent unsure. But a Franklin and Marshall College poll released the same day indicates that Specter leads Toomey 33 percent to 18 percent, with 7 percent for other candidates and 42 percent unsure. While the Franklin and Marshall survey suggests that Specter leads in the matchup, 51 percent of Republicans questioned in that poll believe its time for a change rather than see Specter re-elected.
(Full script after the jump)
Script of "Bonus"
SPECTER: I'm Arlen Specter and I approve this message.
ANNOUNCER: Pat Toomey.
ANNOUNCER: As a Wall Street trader, he sold risky derivatives called credit default swaps.
ANNOUNCER: The same swaps that have now plunged us into this financial mess.
ANNOUNCER: In congress, Toomey fought for less oversight of Wall Street.
ANNOUNCER: He even wants to gamble our social security accounts in the stock market.
ANNOUNCER: Now Toomey wants a bonus - a seat in the United States Senate.
ANNOUNCER: Should we let him have it?