Poll: Specter regains lead in reelection fight

New survey shows Pennsylvania senator leading Republican opponent

By Alex Koppelman
March 2, 2010 7:25PM (UTC)
main article image

Don't call it a comeback: Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., has been here for years.

Well, not really. Actually, ever since he changed parties for fear of what would happen to him at the hands of conservative former Rep. Pat Toomey in a Republican primary, he's been in a precarious position. For a while, polls showed him doing well as a Democrat against Toomey, but the numbers started turning over the summer. According to RealClearPolitics, every poll of the race that's been taken this year showed Toomey leading by at least nine percentage points.


But on Tuesday, Quinnipiac released a new survey that shows Specter leading his Republican opponent by seven percentage points, 49-42. (The margin of error is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.) Quinnipiac's last poll, conducted in December, showed the two men tied; before that, the pollster had Toomey up by a point.

There's still plenty of reason for Specter to worry, though; according to Quinnipiac, much of the incumbent's lead is based on the fact that most voters -- 65 percent -- don't really know who Toomey is. That is likely to change as the campaign heats up.

Quinnipiac also shows Specter with a healthy lead of 24 percentage points over his challenger in the Democratic primary, Rep. Joe Sestak. That's basically consistent with other data on that race; all the polls of it have shown Sestak trailing badly.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2010 Elections Arlen Specter D-pa. Arlen Specter Vs. Joe Sestak Joe Sestak D-pa.