Specter takes lead in Senate race, poll shows
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U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter leads Democratic primary challenger U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak and Republican Pat Toomey in the race for Mr. Specter's seat, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released this morning.
Mr. Specter leads Mr. Sestak, 53-29 percent in the primary race, and Mr. Toomey 49-42 percent in a general election matchup, up from a 44-44 percent tie Dec. 18.
In a battle of relative unknowns, Mr. Toomey leads Mr. Sestak, 39- 36 percent, with 24 percent undecided.
From Feb. 22-28, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,452 Pennsylvania voters. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points. The survey includes 649 Democrats, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.
"Specter's edge is that he is so much better known than his challengers at this point," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Only 11 percent of voters say they don't know enough about him to form an opinion, while 74 percent of voters, including 73 percent of Democrats, say Sestak is too unfamiliar for them to have an opinion.
"Toomey remains unfamiliar to 65 percent of voters. Toomey has eight months to close that gap, but Sestak has a much shorter timeline, given the May 18 primary."
The poll also shows President Barack Obama's job approval rating in Pennsylvania remains below 50 percent: 49-46 percent. Fewer than one in five Pennsylvanians think the federal government in Washington, or the state government in Harrisburg, does the right thing almost all or most of the time.
"President Obama's overall job approval is linked to his 51-44 percent disapproval on handling the economy and 58-35 percent disapproval for handling health care," Mr. Brown said.
Read the complete Quinnipiac University poll news release for more details.
First Published March 2, 2010 6:51 am