August 15th, 2009
04:43 PM ET
5 years ago

Sestak preferred over Specter by 'Netroots Nation' straw poll

 Rep. Joe Sestak beat out Sen. Arlen Specter in a straw poll conducted at the 2009 Netroots Nation conference in Pittsburgh.
Rep. Joe Sestak beat out Sen. Arlen Specter in a straw poll conducted at the 2009 Netroots Nation conference in Pittsburgh.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Rep. Joe Sestak beat out Sen. Arlen Specter in a straw poll conducted at the 2009 Netroots Nation conference in Pittsburgh, an annual gathering of liberal online political activists and bloggers.

Sestak received 46 percent of the vote, while Specter got 10 percent, in this unscientific survey of 235 attendees who participated. Sestak is challenging Specter in the 2010 Pennsylvania Democratic primary.

Specter left the Republican Party earlier this year to became a Democrat.

Thirty-three percent of those queried in the straw poll said they did not know who they supported in the upcoming Democratic primary and seven percent said they supported neither Sestak nor Specter.

Related: CNN's Mark Preston discusses 'Netroots Nation' in a CNN Radio podcast

Among the field of likely contenders for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, 36 percent of participants in the straw poll rated former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin as the easiest to beat. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty were each rated easiest to beat by one percent of those surveyed in the straw poll.

The straw poll was conducted Aug. 13-14 at the conference by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and Democracy Corps in conjunction with the Campaign for America’s Future.

Conservative online political activists and bloggers are also gathering in Pittsburgh for the 2009 RightOnline conference over the weekend.


Filed under: Arlen Specter • Joe Sestak • Pennsylvania • Senate
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Larry

    Specters going to kick Sestak's butt when the REAL vote is done

    Specters experience in the senate will certainly benefit Pennsylvania voters far greater than the inexperienced Sestak

    Sestak is still in diapers based on his lack of knowledge regarding a senate job

    He hasn't got a chance, and the smart voters know it

    GO HOME JOE ...

    Straw votes are as worthless as the grass their named after

    August 15, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  2. Claudia in Houson

    In 2012 a wink and a blink won't get it and then to top that off with degrading Americans. Running for President isn't a beauty contest and somebody needs to tell Palin other than the Republicans.

    August 15, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. Ken in NC

    The funny thing is that Senator Specter may see the train wreck coming and can't get off the track. He can't go to the right or the left because neither Republicans or Democrats want him.

    August 15, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  4. Kate in SW Fla

    This is a case of the liberal wing of the Democratic party pushing a candidate that will not win in the general election. If it comes to it, Sestak will never beat Toomey, who has a HUGE backing. Arlen Specter has been a good Senator. Even though that puke McCain claimed it, Specter is the REAL Maverick in Washington. He has bucked the Republican party on many occasions, putting PA first. I hope Sestak changes his mind, and holds onto his house seat, then in 6 years, he can run for senate, with the full help and backing of Arlen Specter.

    August 15, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  5. rufus

    Can you feel it coming? All this socialist government is going to devour democrats. Most of us would prefer politicians go to represent us not rule us with quackery and big government! Leave your egos and legacy building at home ; play poker if you must but don't enslave us with more and more inane laws and government intrusion!

    August 15, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  6. JS007

    I like Sestak but I'm not sure how meaningful this poll really is. Were they polling the liberal bloggers? Of course they will prefer Sestak. The question is what the voters will do. I like the fact that Specter switched sides but I'm not sure if he can be trusted to be a real Democrat. We don't need any more Republicans disguised as Democrats, I mean Blue Dogs.

    August 15, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  7. Auten

    Anyone who would vote for Specter is a fool. He is a traitor to the GOP and will sell out the DemoRats just as fast. But, of course the Rats don't care.

    August 15, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  8. bob

    Go Joe. Specter is done and needs to go home. Joe has my vote.

    August 15, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  9. John, Brooklyn, New York

    While I respect Arlen Specter for turning his back on the GOP for turning its back on the American people, he has a long way to go to genuinely demonstrate that he, in fact, represents the interests of Pennsyvania Democrats.

    August 15, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  10. Thomas

    A few years ago Ned Lamont successfully primaried Joe Lieberman. I wouldn't be surprised to see something similar happen here in Pennsylvania. Of course we all know what happened after that primary with Lieberman going independent. I wonder if Arlen will switch to the green party if Sestak beats him?

    August 15, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  11. Jane/Seattle

    One should think, hope, and will that the veils are lifting from the eyes of the world. Very few today are qualified to hold the government in their hands as these are so given to the corruption that poisons our souls. Peace

    August 15, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    Go Sleestak Go!

    August 15, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  13. Ally

    Sarah Palin is going to be sooooo easiy to beat....her and her "death panel" remark will keep her defeated for the next 50 years. She's a pathological liar and a twit!

    August 15, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  14. Janey

    Specter will be just fine.

    August 15, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  15. Denna

    You, Sestak, are not fit to wipe Senator Specter's shoes. I don't know why Arlen Specter decided to desert the Republican rat's nest, but I'm guessing that he vomited one morning after realizing what a cesspool his party has become. I'll just bet that Sestak is chomping at the bit – not to serve this country – but to become another useless Rethuglican thorn in the president's side. Really, really, people, how much more pain is this country going to have to go through before we banish the Party of No from the public arena.

    August 15, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  16. valwayne

    Time for Senator ...finger to the wind.....to leave the scene!

    August 15, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  17. Sestak betrayed the troops

    Remember the NYT ad when it promoted Moveon.org with the "General Betrayus" article? You know they were giddy over making up a rhyme.

    Not once did sestak publically condemn the article. In fact, he probably thought it was cute the way "they" were exercising their free speech (like the protesters over obama-care).
    I hope folks don't forget the fact that sestak did NOT support the troops when that piece was run in the NYT.

    Nor did he speak up when the troops were accused of being murderers, going around pillaging innocent citizens by john kerry.

    Sestak is an opportunist – nothing more. He'll pretend to care about serving the people but he failed to protect even "his own". No veteran should support this putz!

    August 15, 2009 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  18. Keith in Austin

    Nobody likes a turncoat! Specter sold his conservative values for his selfish political gain! Time to go home and retire Arlen! You're a loser!

    August 15, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  19. mike

    I live in PA and I would rather have spector I know of. Move over Sestak!

    August 15, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |