Poll: Sestak stronger against Toomey than Specter

A new Rasmussen survey shows Republican Pat Toomey ahead of Arlen Specter, 50-38 -- but barely beating Joe Sestak

By Mike Madden

Published May 10, 2010 9:48PM (EDT)

All the momentum in Pennsylvania's Democratic Senate primary now seems to be with Arlen Specter's challenger, Rep. Joe Sestak. A new Rasmussen poll out Monday afternoon -- just eight days before Democrats head to the polls -- marks the latest bit of damning polling news for the embattled incumbent.

The survey shows Sestak may be the best hope for Democrats if they want to hold onto the seat in November. Republican nominee Pat Toomey beats Specter 50-38 percent in the poll, but is only ahead of Sestak 42-40.

Which, if voters buy the findings, could undercut one of the main reasons to vote for Specter in the first place. Remember, this is a guy who was a Republican himself until a year ago, when he decided Toomey would beat him for the GOP nomination. But if Democrats think Specter will just lose anyway in the fall, why not take a shot on Sestak? They may not know him as well, but at least he was a Democrat last time he ran.

Mike Madden

Mike Madden is Salon's Washington correspondent. A complete listing of his articles is here. Follow him on Twitter here.

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