May 28th, 2009
11:38 AM ET
6 years ago

Poll: Specter's lead in Pennsylvania shrinks

New Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter, pictured in this file photo with the president at a White House event, has lost ground against his likely Republican challenger in a new poll.
New Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter, pictured in this file photo with the president at a White House event, has lost ground against his likely Republican challenger in a new poll.

(CNN) - A new poll of Pennsylvania voters suggests that Sen. Arlen Specter's lead over his most likely Republican challenger in next year's re-election battle is shrinking.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday indicates that Specter tops former Rep. Pat Toomey by nine points, 46 percent to 37 percent. That's down from a 20 point lead that Specter held over Toomey in Quinnipiac's previous poll, which was released at the beginning of May, around the time that Specter switched from a Republican to a Democrat.

The poll suggests that Specter would top Rep. Joe Sestak 50 percent to 21 percent in a probable Democratic primary matchup. On Wednesday, Sestak announced that he would challenge Specter as long as his family goes along with the decision. The poll was conducted before Sestak's decision was announced.

Toomey leads Congressman Jim Gerlach 38 percent to 10 percent in a possible Republican primary, with 3 percent for anti-abortion activist Peg Luksik.

"Senator Arlen Specter's numbers have slipped since the controversy that followed his switch to the Democratic Party, but he's still better off than he would have been if he stayed a Republican and faced a tough primary challenge from former Rep. Pat Toomey," says Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted May 20-26, with 1,191 Pennyslvania voters questioned by phone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.


Filed under: Arlen Specter • Joe Sestak • Pat Toomey • Pennsylvania • Poll • Popular Posts
soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. Anarchy X

    Ah, the sweet sound of Justice coming down the stairs to lead Specter to his political gallows.

    May 28, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  2. Nini

    Excuse Mr. President may I interrupt you to inform you that North Korea has declared war on South Korea and the United State?

    Negotiations and your open hand didn’t work Mr. Obama, now WHAT?

    Biden told us, "less than six months we will have an international crisis to test this guy", what he forgot to tell us was the potential cost of this test.

    May 28, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. Nini

    To KH, I couldn’t agree with you more.

    Excellent point.

    May 28, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. Mariel

    TCM – It's Republicans like you that have made more than 80% of responsible Americans away from your party. And that 80% is growing rapidly every single day.

    May 28, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. V. Clausewitz

    Specter.....yet another Liberal with no principles and no clue. Useful Idiots, as Lenin once said.

    May 28, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. Ms Priss

    Obviously, Specter doesn't have any set standards since he moves so easily between party philosophies and there is such a wide difference between liberal democrats and conservative republicans. People who don't know what they believe about being an American should not serve in high national office; know-nothings who have an interest in politics should be community organizers, not senators or heaven forbid, higher office.

    May 28, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. dontreadonme

    A man who turns his back on the very people who put him in office….only a liberal could applaud this.

    May 28, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. Dems are Hypocrites

    Pathetic Traitor.......

    May 28, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. bsmith171

    specter is done, go to a nursing home.

    May 28, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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