[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/11/art.getty.arlen.specter.jpg caption="Forty-three percent of registered voters in Pennsylvania questioned in a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday say Sen. Arlen Specter doesn't deserve to be re-elected."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new survey suggests Republican Sen. Arlen Specter could face a tough re-election fight.
Forty-three percent of registered voters in Pennsylvania questioned in a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday say Specter doesn't deserve to be re-elected - 3 points higher than the 40 percent who feel Specter deserves to be re-elected. And in a sign that he could be in for a bruising primary if he faces a strong opponent, the poll indicates that Republican voters are split on whether Specter should be re-elected.
The poll does suggest a majority of Pennsylvania voters like the job Specter's doing: 56 percent of those polled approve of the way he's handling his duties as a senator, with Democrats giving Specter higher numbers than members of his own party. Sixty-two percent of Democrats questioned give Specter the thumbs up, 7 points higher than his approval rating among Republicans.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted February 4-9, with 1,490 registered voters in Pennsylvania questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for the overall sample.