April 8th, 2010
11:12 AM ET
4 years ago

Republicans have advantage in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell is term limited and prevented from running for re-election this year.
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell is term limited and prevented from running for re-election this year.

(CNN) – Republicans have the advantage in this year's battle for Pennsylvania governor and for one of the state's U.S. Senate seats, according to a new poll.

A Quinnipiac University survey of Pennsylvania voters released Thursday indicates that the leading GOP candidate, Attorney General Tom Corbett, remains ahead of each of the three top Democratic contenders by double digits in hypothetical general election matchups. The incumbent governor, Democrat Ed Rendell, is term limited and prevented from running for re-election this year.

According to the poll, in the Senate campaign Republican challenger Pat Toomey leads Sen. Arlen Specter 46 percent to 41 percent, with 12 percent undecided. The advantage for Toomey is just inside the poll's sampling error. Toomey trailed Specter in a Quinnipiac poll released a month ago. The two men have exchanged small leads since last autumn.

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. At the time of the party flip, he cited the difficulty in winning the Republican primary against Toomey as a factor.

"A Toomey-Specter race could continue swinging back and forth until November because most voters won't begin to focus on it until after Labor Day," says Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Toomey is unchallenged for his party's Senate nomination. The poll indicates that Specter leads Rep. Joe Sestak 53 percent to 32 percent in a Democratic primary matchup. Pennsylvania holds its primary on May 18.

According to the poll, President Obama's approval rating in Pennsylvania has dropped four points, to 45 percent, with 49 percent saying they disapprove of the job he's doing in the White House. Fifty-three percent of those questioned say they disapprove of the new health care law, basically unchanged from a month ago. Thirty-nine percent approve of the reform plan.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted March 30-April 5, with 1,412 Pennsylvania voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.


Filed under: 2010 • Ed Rendell • Pennsylvania • Tom Corbett
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. mark

    excellent news!

    April 8, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. Bob in Pa.

    Everything in Pa has been going south since smilen Ed hit town.

    State Income Tax rates increased.
    A corrupt Turnpike commission that doubled fares while the road continues to deteriorate.

    We have suffered in silence long enough and can't wait for election day!

    April 8, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. Aspen Professor

    "Toomey is a former congressman and former head of the Club for Growth, a limited-government and anti-tax organization."

    And this will be the same guy at all the ribbon cutting events for bridges, highways, etc. that he whines about when the government pays for them.

    Remember well when the Repubiicans controlled both houses of Congress and outspent every Democratic controlled Congress in over 40 years. Top that off by cutting taxes for the wealthiest 1% and failing to pay for the war in Iraq. Oh yea - lets vote them back into office :(

    April 8, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  4. cjr

    something must be wrong with the folks in PA – it used to be a beautiful state – why would anyone vote for any republican???? I would rather vote for a convicted drug dealer than any republican Maybe they don't remember the bush years???

    April 8, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. phoenix86

    I guess Pennylvanias are going to back to God and guns after worshipping the Liberal Alter of the Obama, Pelosi, Reid trinity.

    April 8, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  6. Darth Vadik, CA

    I thought El Rushbo was the GOP boss, God, and Saviour. Now if only Rush would give his one begotten son as a sacrifice for the GOP sins, or at least a few million dollars for charity, oh heck this is the GOP we're talking about...

    ...c'mon son we know you got autism and asthma from the pollutants that are pumped into the air everyday and GOP supports, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, we know you don't have any boots, but do it and you can one day live the American dream like Rush, and you can go down to Honduras for underage prostitutes like Rush too...

    April 8, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  7. windrider

    Ah Pat Toomey, beloved of Massey Energy and its murderous CEO Don Blankenship. Oh yeah, I'm sure Blankenship would love to have another Senator in his pocket. He'll need one once the Congressional hearings begin on the preventable catastrophe at the Upper Branch Mine

    April 8, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. news flash

    repubs took mass. they have the advantage in PA... and for that matter, everywhere.
    Thanks Obama and Pelosi!

    April 8, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  9. Independent_me

    These people are crazy!

    The Republicans are horrific fiscal managers and they brought this country to the brink of disaster with all of their deregulation... and people actually want them back in office????

    What will it take for them to see that the Republicans talk a good talk about small government and fiscal responsibility – but they cannot manage! They almost ruined the economy!

    April 8, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  10. Enough is Enough

    Specters lips only move when the trial lawyers are talking.

    April 8, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. geecee

    Yes, people are unemployed and they blame the government, whether it's federal, state or local, so they vote out the incumbents. Really smart there, morons. Even if someone is doing a good job for the City, State or Country, vote him or her out just because you don't have a job or because your life is miserable. Lot's of common sense in that rationale. Guess you just have got to blame someone other than yourselves!!

    April 8, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. David

    So funny that Specter's switch will not save him. The man is a buffoon. He is getting what he deserves since he supported that trashy healthcare bill.

    April 8, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. terry,va.

    This is not surprising. I think you will see the dumbocraps swept out in November. Is the White House paying attention to what is going on in Kyrgyzstan? I hope so. People can only take so much.

    April 8, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. carlos

    God forbid the people of Pennsylvania make the sames mistakes made in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachussets.......it will be a tragedy........

    April 8, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  15. some guy in New Hampshire

    Isn't Toomey from the authoritarian right wing and someone who is obsessed with cutting taxes, regardless of the consequences? Can Specter be so bad that he should be replaced with an extremist from the '90s?

    April 8, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. Peggy Lucas, Middletown, Pennsylvania

    I still believe Onorato will be our next Governor in Pennsylvania. Corbett is shoting himself in his foot. We actually have more registered D's in PA than R's.

    April 8, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  17. mary derricotte

    Why would three democrats be running against one republican unless the want to split the vote. I guess these three are jack asses cant see that none of them will win Why don't they donate their camapaine funds to the homeless.

    April 8, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. Brig

    No doubt Republicans have the advantage. Specter to going to lose and there is not much he can do about it. Where I live in PA there is a lot bigger disparity in Obama's approval rating than 4 percent.

    April 8, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. T'SAH from Virginia

    The people of PA love Rendell!!! If he endorses the right person he feels should fall in his footsteps and be the best for PA, then PA will go for it!!!!

    I hate the intrusions of the Tea Party, radio & TV host who constantly want to interfere with the STATE'S BUSINESS when they are not from that STATE!!! Watch, before long, the OUTER LIMITS Tea Party led by PALIN, LIMBAUGH and inSANNITY are going to march in there and try to 'disrupt' what is going on!!

    You know what – I HATED these POLLS even if they were in my favor because they do not tell the REAL TRUTH. But now – come on CNN, keep the ridiculous polls coming because just like you predicted in 2008 – where everything was split 50/50, we prevailed and elected the first African American president. Everyone is in for a RUDE AWAKENING this time too when 2010/2012 arrives!!!

    April 8, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  20. SocialismBad

    Arlen Specter is the EPITOMY of a slimey politician that is only there for the power. To change parties just because he had a tough challenge is the sign of a person that has overstayed his welcome. It'll be a great day when he is sent packing his bags, never to be heard from again.

    November can't come soon enough....

    April 8, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. lucy

    I might have voted for Corbett myself if he hadn't decided to join the AG's suing to prevent health care reform for everyone except the state and federal employees who get their health care paid for by my tax dollars – the same "government run" health care they don't want us to have...

    April 8, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. gt

    arlen is toast...just retire old man....

    April 8, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  23. Glennis

    Well, to be blunt about it, many of us are sick of both Rendell and Specter. Thankfully, Rendell can't run again this time around but he has proven himself to be an incompetent buffoon. And I voted for him when he ran for his first term. It didn't take long for the scales to fall from my eyes.

    April 8, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |