Specter's lead over Toomey disappears, poll shows
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Republican challenger Pat Toomey has moved into a virtual tie with Democratic U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter in a bid for the senator's seat in 2010, according to the Quinnipiac University poll released this morning.
Among voters polled in Pennsylvania, Mr. Specter holds a slight edge, 45 to 44 percent.
Mr. Specter, first elected in 1980 to the Senate as a Republican but who switched this year to the Democratic party, holds a commanding 55 to 23 percent lead over U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak in the race for the Democratic nomination.
"Sen. Arlen Specter's 20-point lead over former Congressman Pat Toomey less than three months ago has virtually vanished," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Voters see Sen. Specter much less favorably than they once did and are net negative about giving him a sixth term in the U.S. Senate. Independent voters have shifted narrowly to Toomey, 46 to 42 percent, and say 53 to 35 percent that Specter does not deserve reelection."
In a May 28 Quinnipiac University poll, Specter led Toomey, 46 to 37 percent.
State voters split, 47 to 46 percent, in their job approval for Mr. Specter, his highest disapproval ever and his lowest approval since a 47 to 36 percent score in an April 22, 2004 poll when Specter faced Toomey in a Republican primary battle.
Voters also split, 45 to 44 percent, the tightest margin ever, on whether they have a favorable opinion of Specter.
On the Republican side, Toomey hold a huge lead over Peg Luksik, 47 to 6 percent.
Also in the poll, President Barack Obama got a 56 to 37 percent job approval, compared with 62 to 31 percent in a May 28 survey. By 50 to 43 percent, voters approve of the President's handling of the economy.
Sen. Bob Casey has a 53 to 25 percent job approval rating
From Tuesday through Sunday, Quinnipiac University polled 1,173 Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points. The survey includes 511 Republicans with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points and 512 Democrats with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.
First Published July 22, 2009 7:00 am