February 24th, 2010
09:52 AM ET
4 years ago

Poll: New numbers in Pennsylvania showdowns

 Pat Toomey leads Sen. Arlen Specter by 10 points in a possible November match-up, according to a new poll.
Pat Toomey leads Sen. Arlen Specter by 10 points in a possible November match-up, according to a new poll.

(CNN) – Republican challenger Pat Toomey leads Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania by 10 points in a possible November showdown, according to a new poll.

A Franklin and Marshall College survey released Wednesday morning indicates that 44 percent of likely voters back Toomey, with 34 percent supporting Specter and 16 percent undecided. But according to the poll, among all registered voters in Pennsylvania, Specter leads Toomey 33 percent to 29 percent, with nearly 3 in 10 undecided.

A Franklin and Marshall survey conducted last month indicated Toomey had a 14 point lead among likely voters and was deadlocked with Specter among registered voters.

Toomey is a former congressman and former head of the Club for Growth – a limited-government and anti-tax organization. Specter, a five-term senator, switched parties from Republican to Democrat last spring, saying at the time that the difficulty in winning the Republican primary against Toomey was a factor in his decision.

The poll also indicates that Toomey tops Rep. Joe Sestak 38 percent to 20 percent among likely voters in a hypothetical general election matchup, with nearly 4 in 10 undecided. Among all registered voters, Toomey slightly leads Sestak 25 percent to 22 percent with more than half undecided.

Sestak, a two-term congressman from southeastern Pennsylvania and former Navy admiral, is challenging Specter in May's Democratic primary. According to the poll, Specter leads Sestak 33 percent to 16 percent among likely Democratic primary voters, with nearly half of those questioned undecided.

The Franklin and Marshall College poll was conducted February 15-21, with 954 registered Pennsylvania voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for registered voters is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2010 • Arlen Specter • Pat Toomey • Pennsylvania
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Tom, Bradenton,FL

    Specter a five term Senator-right there is the problem. Vote against Specter.

    February 24, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. Sue

    Rasmussen also polls "likely voters", and Toomey is leading in their poll by a significant amount---leading over both Spectre and Sestak.

    Rasmussen has been right on every election so far.

    Therefore, I would give more weight to the Rasmussen poll.

    February 24, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  3. Ryan

    The trouble we are in began in 2001. That was ALL Republicans and the numbers don't lie on the deficit, the stock market, the unemployment and the lack of education.

    So there you go. Be an idiot and vote Republican because you need to be spoon fed your politics.

    February 24, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  4. dale

    Is spector is re-elected it will prove Penn has totally lost it's mind.
    And spector will want to be a repub again

    February 24, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  5. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    Can't think of anyone besides Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer that needs to get so soundly beat in the November elections than Arlen Specter. What a jerk.

    February 24, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I support Sestak. He is the lesser of the two evils. I can't support Sen. Specter when I'm always reminded that he use to be a republican turned democrat to hold on to his seat. On top of that, he will be very centrist(Blue Dog). We don't need anymore Blue Dogs.

    February 24, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. Bob in Pa

    Snarlin Arlen has already proven himself to be disloyal to the people who voted him into office and that was before he switched parties.
    It's been a good run Mr. Specter, but its time for you to move on.

    February 24, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. Angie in PA

    My Fellow Pennsylvanias check out Joe Sestak look at his voting record when it comes to the troops and the people of PA !GO JOE!!!! hes getting my vote!

    February 24, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. Boisepoet

    I would recommend that Pennsylvanians look at other candidates the Club for Growth has sponsored. Check out Bill Sali from Idaho. A one termer who was for all practical purposes useless. How can someone who hates government and doesn't want it to work actually want to run for office? How can someone vote for someone like that?

    February 24, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  10. Ben

    Looks like Spector's done. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

    February 24, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  11. Publico

    It's February not September. Please move on to a real news story.

    February 24, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  12. Terry - Indiana

    You have to love it! Go check out Pat Toomey's campaign donations. Is it too late to run for public office? If they let me run, I will stop looking into their donations lists, and once elected, I will vote to ban the release of all future donations lists. Being in the Senate or the House is better than robbing a bank!

    February 24, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. Polititech

    What is a likely voter as compared to a registered voter? Does this article have any merit whatsoever or was it written to make it look like Sestak should win? I'm not understanding why the poll was conducted with registered voters yet the "likely" voters are mentioned.

    February 24, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. carol

    If folks in Pennsylvania want to vote in one of the very same folks who got this country into this mess then they deserve what they get. It amazes me how short the memories are of some people!!! After barely a year and they expect the economy and everything else to be back to a 100% after the terrific mess that was left for our President to fix!! It is unbelievable it really is!!!

    February 24, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. RealityKing

    Thanks Obama!!

    February 24, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  16. Dar

    And this was a surprise???? The Dems are all done along with some of the GOPers.
    Odumbo has all but killed off any chance of his reelection and he is taking the rest of the idiot puppets with him starting in 2010.

    2010/2012 REAL Change is coming

    February 24, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  17. Enough is Enough

    If you look at Spectors record he is nothing but a puppet for the trial lawyers. His lips do not move unless the trial lawyers are talking. He is responsible for legislation that has funneled billions and billions into trial lawyers pockets at the expense of you and me. He is a disgrace

    February 24, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. Linda from Minnesota

    Its February, why are there polls now. This is one thing that is wrong with politics, all this starts way too soon.

    February 24, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Vote Congress out, “you are fired” if they are in. Vote them out this fall no matter what party they belong to, and in the next election and every election going forward until they become the servants of the people once more.

    February 24, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  20. Rick McDaniel

    At this point in time, I would vote for "change" in those in government, no matter which party that involves. No one there now, with the exception of newly elected Brown, should remain after the November elections.

    February 24, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  21. jm for sc

    The more republicans are rewarded for there efforts to keep us in the same condition we are in, the less will get done. If we got in to this mess under a republican administration, what makes people think we can get out by putting them back in office?

    February 24, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  22. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Lets hope Toomey doesnt fly a plane.You have to watch these anti tax nuts like Grover Bisquick and his underground hitmen.As for polling 954 students,please give us a break.Polls are like sheep herders,they are made to sway idiots.

    February 24, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  23. Corey, Maryland

    This is the same guy (Pat Toomey) that gave a speech on the floor of the US House of Representatives about the 50th anniversary of Marshmallow Peeps. This guy is an idiot and for Pennsylvanians to support someone that wastes the countries time is absolutely ridiculous. They should feel ashamed of themselves.....

    February 24, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |