January 27th, 2010
09:49 AM ET
13 years ago

Poll: Toomey grabs lead over Specter

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/14/art.getty.arlen.specter.jpg caption="Republican challenger Pat Toomey leads Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania by double digits in a possible November showdown, according to a new poll."](CNN) - Republican challenger Pat Toomey leads Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania by double digits in a possible November showdown, according to a new poll.

A Franklin and Marshall College survey released Wednesday indicates that 45 percent of likely voters back Toomey, with 31 percent supporting Specter and 20 percent undecided.

Polls conducted last October and December suggested Toomey, a former congressman and former head of the Club for Growth - a limited-government and anti-tax organization - and Specter were deadlocked. Specter, a five-term senator, switched parties from Republican to Democrat last spring, saying at the time that the difficulty in winning the Republican primary was a factor in his decision.

According to the Franklin and Marshall poll, the race between Specter and Toomey is deadlocked at 30 percent each when all registered adults are included in the survey, with more than a third undecided.

The poll also indicates that Toomey leads Rep. Joe Sestak 41 percent to 19 percent among likely voters in a hypothetical general election matchup, with 37 percent undecided.

Among all registered voters, Toomey leads 28 percent to 16 percent with more than half undecided.

Sestak, a two-term congressman from southeastern Pennsylvania and former Navy admiral, is challenging Specter in May's Democratic primary. According to the poll, Specter leads Sestak 30 percent to 13 percent among likely Democratic primary voters, with half of those questioned undecided.

The Franklin and Marshall College poll was conducted January 18-24, with 993 registered Pennsylvania voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: Arlen Specter • Pat Toomey • Pennsylvania • Poll
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Obama Victim

    and the democrat blood bath continues................

    January 27, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. Capt. Snarky

    Better stick a fork in Spector – that turkey is DONE!

    January 27, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  3. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    If you cannot get a birther to run, then I suppose a club for growth candidate would be the right wingnuts next choice.

    January 27, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. David

    Go Toomey, beat the guy who tries to stick to his chair forever!
    Enough with these opportunistic politicians who ignore the people!!!!

    January 27, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. MJ

    Specter is a real jerk. Can't see how anyone would vote for him. He is a disgrace to both parties. His arrogance is unmatched – even by Obama.

    January 27, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. JES

    Specter you are a trader to your own party and I hope you get beat by a large margin.

    You can change the way you think but to change parties is just crappy.

    January 27, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. AXH

    Good, beat Specter out of there! Get rid of the whole lot of them!

    January 27, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. Reggie

    Awesome news. Specter is going down HARD!!!

    January 27, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. Bill from GA

    If America is again taken over by tax-cut nut-jobs, we will wind up totally bankrupt. When Eisenhower was president the maximum rate was over 90%, and we started building a great Interstate Highway system, while paying down a huge (justified) war debt. When Regan cut the top rate from almost 70% to 28%, our infrastructure was already in need of repair; it has only gotten worse (not to mention our debt). Repubs say we know best how to spend "our" money; we buy junk from China and cars (and trucks) loaded with every piece of garbage automakers can jam into them. When are we going to rebuild America, and who is going to pay for it? You can't have a Bentley for the cost of a Chevy, so you tax-cut Repubs must think our country is not worth much.

    January 27, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  10. mikl

    He need to go. Specter by-by.

    January 27, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  11. Greg Pottstown PA

    Specter Will be gone come November.

    January 27, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  12. Donkey Party

    For those of you that want less government and lower taxes, look no further than Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, and Nigeria to see what "less" gets you.

    January 27, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. Mike1952

    He's an incumbent. I say vote him out. Vote them all out.

    January 27, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  14. Janalee

    Specter needs to go, NOW! This old geezer who talks down to women should not be in office. He doesn't know what he stands for nor does he know what party he wants to belong to! He is no gentleman.

    January 27, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  15. Justen in Florida

    Now this is a funny story..

    How's that party switch working for you Arlen?

    January 27, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  16. Marcus Mead

    I cannot think of a senator less worthy of his or her office than Spector.

    January 27, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    The country needs some people more interested in solving problems, than creating entitlement programs we can't afford.

    January 27, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. Rickster

    Arlen Sphincter stinks.

    January 27, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  19. Ken

    Time to put Specter out to pasture.

    January 27, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  20. John in the Burgh

    Specter is a two-faced, waffling, sycophant. I am ashamed I voted for him the last time over Pat Toomey. I won't make the mistake again. Snarlin' Arlen must go! Go Toomey.!!!

    January 27, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  21. diridi

    defeat all these thugs....made mess out of the nation....

    January 27, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  22. gt

    to old... no ideas ,,,needs to retired... new blood,,, so long ding dong

    January 27, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  23. obama the liar

    first good news since the vote in Massachusetts.

    January 27, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |

    Say bye bye Arlene...changing parties didn't help...you're still going to lose.

    January 27, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  25. Dar

    Specter is done, stick a fork in him.

    2010/2012 REAL Change is coming

    January 27, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
1 2 3