[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/15/art.sestak0815.gi.jpg caption=" Rep. Joe Sestak beat out Sen. Arlen Specter in a straw poll conducted at the 2009 Netroots Nation conference in Pittsburgh."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Rep. Joe Sestak beat out Sen. Arlen Specter in a straw poll conducted at the 2009 Netroots Nation conference in Pittsburgh, an annual gathering of liberal online political activists and bloggers.
Sestak received 46 percent of the vote, while Specter got 10 percent, in this unscientific survey of 235 attendees who participated. Sestak is challenging Specter in the 2010 Pennsylvania Democratic primary.
Specter left the Republican Party earlier this year to became a Democrat.
Thirty-three percent of those queried in the straw poll said they did not know who they supported in the upcoming Democratic primary and seven percent said they supported neither Sestak nor Specter.
Among the field of likely contenders for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, 36 percent of participants in the straw poll rated former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin as the easiest to beat. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty were each rated easiest to beat by one percent of those surveyed in the straw poll.
The straw poll was conducted Aug. 13-14 at the conference by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and Democracy Corps in conjunction with the Campaign for America’s Future.
Conservative online political activists and bloggers are also gathering in Pittsburgh for the 2009 RightOnline conference over the weekend.