May 13th, 2010
10:37 AM ET
5 years ago

Sestak, Toomey neck-and-neck in new poll

A new poll out Thursday shows Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pennsylvania, gaining ground against the likely Republican nominee in a hypothetical general election match-up.
A new poll out Thursday shows Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pennsylvania, gaining ground against the likely Republican nominee in a hypothetical general election match-up.

(CNN) – Less than a week before Pennsylvania's Democratic Senate primary, a new poll shows Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak gaining ground in a hypothetical general election match-up against former Rep. Pat Toomey, the likely Republican nominee.

In a head-to-head race between Toomey and Sestak, forty-two percent of those surveyed said they would back Toomey while 40 percent said they would support Sestak, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

In a Quinnipiac poll released April 8, Toomey led Sestak by 8 percentage points – with Toomey's support at 42 percent and Sestak's was 34 percent.

Related: PA Dem primary a dead heat, polls say

"The money that Sestak has been spending introducing himself to Democratic primary voters with TV ads seems to be having an effect on general election voters as well," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said. "The difference is largely among independent voters, who favor Toomey 52 – 31 percent over Specter, but only 46 – 30 percent over Sestak."

In a race between Toomey and Sen. Arlen Specter, who left the GOP last year and became a Democrat, Toomey has a clear advantage. Forty-seven percent of Pennsylvania voters said they would support Toomey and 40 percent would vote for Specter, according to the poll.

In his effort to secure a sixth term in the Senate, Specter recently began an airing a television ad that features President Obama praising the Pennsylvania senator. "I love you," Obama tells a crowd in the 30-second spot, "and I love Arlen Specter."

But the new Quinnipiac poll suggests that Obama's support for Specter may not provide a boost in voters' eyes.

Forty-eight percent of those surveyed said they disapproved of how Obama was handling his job as president while 46 percent approved. Among independents, 49 percent disapproved of Obama's job performance and 41 percent approved.

The Quinnipiac University poll surveyed 1,161 registered Pennsylvania voters by telephone from May 4-10. The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.


Filed under: 2010 • Arlen Specter • Joe Sestak • Pat Toomey • Pennsylvania • Poll • Popular Posts
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. some guy in New Hampshire

    Isn't Toomey a retread from the '90s right-wing authoritarian wing of the GOP? I hope we've finally learned that those ideas have some fairly severe limitations and shortcomings no matter how often you repeat them.

    May 13, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    Never thought I would say this, but I hope Spector wins the democrat nomination. Sounds like he will be easier for the Republicans to knock off than Sestak. The slimy, corrupt union favorite, needs to exit.

    May 13, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. ronalde

    the people of penna. would be stuoid to put toomey in the senate,he would do nothing but clone for McConnell .

    May 13, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  4. Ken in NC

    I've sat and read for years here on CNN political news events and all about polls and the like. It came to me "upon a midnight clear" that with all the polls out here and with the hypothetical general election, I submit that we can save countless millions of dollars by using these hypothetical and virtual polls. Sure makes sense to me.

    May 13, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  5. Wisconsinite

    I have to differ with the President on this one . . . I want Sestak to go all the way! But, that's the nice thing about being a Democrat. We DON"T march in lock-step and our party actually encourages differences of opinion unlike a couple of other parties I could mention.

    May 13, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. Lets expose Rush Limbaughs staff.

    If the Quinn poll has it close,you know the Dem. will win it.

    May 13, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    So much for the traitorous Arlen Specter.

    So, if you abandon your old team, your new team doesn't quite trust you? Huh! Imagine that.

    May 13, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  8. Pam, Eugene, OR

    Say bye bye Specter. It is time for you to retire.

    May 13, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  9. SensibleDem2

    HOORAY!! Icertainly hope & pray,Rep.Joe Spectak not only keeps gaining ground but wins the election.Glory to God!

    May 13, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. Steve, NY

    Specter is an old phart that needs to retire. He's over the hill. His performance in the town hall meetings showed him out of touch, no logic, and showed basically a low performer image. Plus anybody that runs from one party to another demonstrates weakness. Washington is full of these old phart non performers. We need to clean house, vote for enegetic young indfividuals.

    May 13, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  11. Interesting

    AHHAHAH "Joe Sestak gaining ground in a hypothetical general election"

    May 13, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. tess

    please, o'bama, keep going to every place a democrat is running – you are the kiss of death and we can hardly wait to have you on the ballot! p.s. you might want to keep your eye on hillary – i think she knows what deep trouble you are in and is ready, willing and able to jump in and relieve you of your job!!!

    May 13, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  13. Johnathan

    No republican Lite's or DINO's in the democratic party, please. Put these old bulls out to pasture now.

    May 13, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  14. Lead, Follow or Get Out of The Way

    Congress is without honor. He had become a place where the unintelligent and the selfish have gone to enrich themselves.

    Specter has long overstayed his welcome.

    Tomey is a PARTISAN REPUBLICAN that will only get in the way of anything getting done in Congress.

    It's time to elect a smart, capable man of action ... a former Naval Officer ... someone that will handle the People's business to the Senate seat in Pennsylvania.

    It's time for Joe Sestak.

    May 13, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  15. A Guy

    bye bye, Specter.

    May 13, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. andy

    Dems spending tons of money on campaign...wonder how many people they have to pay off to win...

    May 13, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. Leon pa

    What these voter went another rep,it don't make any

    May 13, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. cspurgeon

    Specter is just another too old politician that needs to go. Term Limits are the answer for all.

    May 13, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    In other senate news, Marco Rubio, Dick Armey's cabana boy, is addressing the wealthy Floridians at Rumrunner's in Cape Coral today. He is trying so hard to look like he is mainstream.

    May 13, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. Layla

    If Sestak gained it is because the DCCC is sinking all their money into races like these.

    Anyone supporting Sestak will be giving Obama the green light to continue to Socialize this nation.

    May 13, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. If We Can Defeat Him On Healthcare, It Will Be His Waterloo

    Sestak can beat Toomey, Spector can not.
    It's that simple.

    May 13, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |