May 17th, 2010
09:25 AM ET
4 years ago

No room for error in Pennsylvania nail biter

Specter is fighting for his political career one day before the Senate primary.
Specter is fighting for his political career one day before the Senate primary.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Sen. Arlen Specter and Rep. Joe Sestak are spending the closing hours of this bitter primary for the Senate Democratic nomination hunting for votes, as two final public polls show that the race is too close too call.

Specter and Sestak are making multiple stops throughout the state in an effort to rally support before Pennsylvania Democrats head to the polls Tuesday to choose their nominee for the November election.

A Quinnipiac University Poll released Monday morning shows that Sestak holds a 1 point lead over Specter, 42 percent to 41 percent, well within the survey’s 3.2 point margin of error. The Quinnipiac poll also shows that 16 percent of Democratic primary voters remain undecided and 25 percent of those who stated a preference for a candidate noted they could change their vote.

Quinnipiac’s results are similar to the Muhlenberg College/Morning Call Democratic Primary Tracking Poll. That survey has Specter heading into Tuesday’s contest with a 2 point lead over Sestak, 45 percent to 43 percent - also comfortably within the poll’s 5 point margin of error.

CNN Radio: Primaries in four states Tuesday could spell trouble for the incumbents.

Both candidates made multiple visits to African American churches in Philadelphia Sunday to make a last minute appeal for support from the pulpit. Specter said he thinks that support from the African American community could be the key to victory.

“Well, the black vote is critical, maybe decisive, and it’s nice to have the endorsement of the black clergy,” Specter said outside the Mount Ephraim Baptist Church.

The winner of the Specter/Sestak primary will likely face former Rep. Pat Toomey, the GOP favorite, in November.

The Quinnipiac poll of 951 likely Democratic voters was conducted from May 12-16. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 points. The Muhlenberg College/Morning Call tracking poll of 416 likely Democratic voters was conducted May 10-13. This survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 points.


Filed under: 2010 • Arlen Specter • Joe Sestak • Pennsylvania • Polls • Popular Posts
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Shucks

    I will be voting for Senator Specter tomorrow. Anyone that fingers the GOP has my vote, even if it were my cat!!!

    May 17, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  2. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    In a race of Slimeballs, Spector is the slimiest. Knowing libertards love the slimiest characters possible for their leaders (look no further than current "president"), Arlen should win in a slither.

    May 17, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  3. GI Joe

    Specter is too old – plain and simple - we don't need more Byrds and Thurmonds drooling while being wheeled down the isle to vote.

    We need vibrant, clear thinkers more than ever.

    All respect given that is due the oldsters that think they are still what this country needs, but I think we see that too much is changing in the world, and it's changing fast.

    May 17, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  4. Hugo

    CNN aka the liberal biased propaganda organization. Ever wander back through the previous report blogs and see how they systematically cleanse the comments to support the current Administration and their leftist ideology?

    May 17, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. Paul from Phoenix

    He is such a liar and sleaze. He said a year ago that he switched parties because he was trying to keep his job. Now he is saying that he would have easily won re-election if he had stayed a republican? WRONG!!! He would have been taken out in the primary by Toomey. Now, he is going out in the primary to Sestak. Good riddance!

    May 17, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  6. JES

    Spector you are a joke to everyone it seems but yourself.

    You have had 30 years to get it right and because you change parties you think that should do it.

    I call BS on that you are nothing but a politican and only care about getting elected again.

    Go home and keep your great retirement we gave you along with all the money you took from the American people for the so called great job you have done.

    May 17, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  7. Angus McDugan

    Arlin just wants to have Obama swing by and let him ride on Air Force 1. Arlin has a big man-crush on Obama. In the words from Arlin's diary "Obama is the neatest guy I ever met. I know it it too soon, but I'm going to say it. Yes, yes, I love him and I don't care if the whole world knows! I want to have his love child." It gets worse from there and I will spare us all from that embarrassment.

    May 17, 2010 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  8. Willy Brown

    Tomorrow your BOSS (the voters) will have you your pink slip...

    May 17, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. Larry

    Later Specter. You've been in Washington too long.

    May 17, 2010 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  10. John D

    Bye, Bye traitor! Thought you were going to get an easy re-election as a demorat! Guess again. You cheated your constituents and now will pay the ultimate price! Hope you got you resume updated!

    May 17, 2010 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. Peace

    We need some people who have wisdom like Specter. We can not clear out everybody and end up with new faces who have no idea at all of how to handle things. It had happened in UK, no one knew how to handle the hung Parliament!

    May 17, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  12. Elizabeth

    Specter is right. He could have been re-elected had he just said no and let the economy crash. He chose to step up and do the right thing. He did not leave the republican party. They left him by not letting him negotiate with the democrats.This whole anti-imcumbant nonsense is being way overblown by the press. Look at Specters record. He has always done what was rigtht.

    May 17, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  13. johnnyhouse

    What difference will it make?They are both Democrats and will follow their leaders into the same pit. Unless Reid and Pelosi go nothing will change. We need to start telling our children just how much they already owe because of this fiasco.We need to find the cost of the bait that got sensible people to go along with this robbery of the country.

    May 17, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  14. Johnny DC

    Go Specter, go!!!

    He'll be easier to beat come November.

    May 17, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  15. Dano

    Maybe I'm wrong but I think there should be some age limit on being a US senator. Once a person hits 80 there's no way they can be as sharp as they were 30 years earlier. These people want to hold on to the power and prestige long after their mental and physical abilities diminish.

    May 17, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  16. Bob in PA

    Atlen, if you had voted against the so called stimulus or the health care bill saying either was a waste of money, you might have been re-elected.

    May 17, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  17. sandy

    I for one believe it is time for Spector to go. Some of these people have been in Washington way too long and he is one of them. I firmly believe in a 12 year term limit for these people. If they serve 12 years, then give them a pension. If they do not serve 12 years, no pension. I am tired of paying for these guys lavish life styles and I hope there are others who agree. Also, I do not want to pay for their insurance for their rest of their lives jusst because they were a senator or congressman. When there done, let them pay for their own insurance the same as I have too.

    May 17, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  18. johnnyhouse

    I get the message.

    May 17, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  19. File under "Sarcasm"

    Based on the earlier story quoting Spector as having a "clear shot at re-election" as a Republican, the man is either delusional or a liar, neither of which is a good reason to vore for him.

    May 17, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  20. Bob in PA

    ARlen shows himself for what he and so many like him really are.
    "the black vote" instead of "the people of Pennsylvania" says it all. The man is clearly a racist and can not move beyond it just as so many old-time Democratic politicians are. Take the groupism out of politics and deal with "all" the people Mr. Specter.

    May 17, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  21. Rick Of PA

    Sorry Arlen – it's time for a change!

    May 17, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  22. Mavent

    I wish CNN would quit pretending that Party Primaries are the same thing as General Elections. I understand that they're trying to be deceptive and play to the Tea Party demographic, but it'd be nice if journalistic integrity counted for anything these days.

    May 17, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  23. Specter needs to go away

    Specter is over 80 and, if elected, would serve til he is 86. This is NONSENSE and this country can do better than having a second Senator like Byrd who cannot even hold his speeches he reads becasue they shake too much. we need young, energetic, new faces and new ideas in these troubling times. not power hungry special interest beauracrats. . After a lifetime of being a staunch conservative Republican, Specter switched to the left after realizing he could not win a GOP primary. Contrary to anything that Specter says, he is willing to forsake his principles to retain power. This is the ultimate career beaurcrat, cut from the same side of pork as Liberman – willing to sell themselves and their vote to this highest bidder.

    May 17, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  24. Jon, Pittsburgh, PA

    All registered voters MUST vote for the challengers in these primary elections. It's the only effective way to enact term limits. The politicians will NEVER limit themselves. A vote for Sestak will send the message that voters are desperate for Washington to hear – we want fundamental change!

    May 17, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  25. Shermani

    Be it Republican, or Democrat, it is time for this old soldier to go home. He has brought zero value to either party for a number of years. Adios!

    May 17, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
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