PA-Sen: Specter Crushes Toomey as Democrat, but Ridge is Close

Quinnipiac University (4/29-5/3, “Pennsylvania voters,” no trendlines):

Arlen Specter (D-inc): 53

Pat Toomey (R): 33

Undecided: 10

Arlen Specter (D-inc): 46

Tom Ridge (R): 43

Undecided: 8

(MoE: ±2.9%)

Specter gets an impressive 77-8 approval rating among Democrats, though that may fade as the afterglow wears off. His overall approvals jumped a bit, too, from 45-31 to 52-34. Former Gov. Tom Ridge, though, has an even better 55-19 rating – but if Arlen Specter was hopeless against Pat Toomey in a GOP primary, does the also-moderate Ridge really have a shadow of a chance? Nonetheless, he’s apparently considering a run.

On the Democratic side, meanwhile, Rep. Joe Sestak continues to seriously explore a challenge to Specter. Appearing yesterday on CNN, he said of Specter, “I’m not sure he’s a Democrat yet,” and acted undaunted by Obama’s support for party-switchin’ Arlen. Sestak’s also apparently meeting with SEIU’s iconoclastic leader Andy Stern. The labor movement is of course deeply unhappy with a different Specter flip-flop: his shameful decision to abandon the Employee Free Choice Act.

Unsurprisingly, Specter also appeared on the Sunday talk shows, and he just provided the script for Sestak’s (or Joe Torsella’s, or Patrick Murphy’s, etc.) first attack ad. Specter supposedly told Obama over the phone last week that “I’m a loyal Democrat. I support your agenda.” But he told David Gregory yesterday:

I did not say I would be a loyal Democrat. I did not say that.

Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary, just like the Republican contest, is closed, a fact Arlen already seems to be ignoring.

(Hat-tips: Political Wire & Politico)

49 thoughts on “PA-Sen: Specter Crushes Toomey as Democrat, but Ridge is Close”

  1. If you want to be a Democrat, if you are going to say that you are a loyal Democrat and support President Obama’s agenda, you had better be able and willing to back that up with words.  Your saying this puts the burden on yourself to back it up, and more so than a lot of Democratic House members representing ruby-red districts, who don’t say (at least directly) things like this.

    I can understand not looking like a complete flip-flopper on the issues, so having to take some time to shift in the voters’ minds, but now that your mouth is going off you’re instead looking like a flip-flopper in words.

    And since you’re now “our SOB”, as someone else here at SSP put it, I’d advise you to be careful.

  2. The polling on Specter’s opposition to EFCA was most interesting to me.  Specter’s opposition made 22% of Democrats less likely to vote for him, 13% more likely, and 60% doesn’t make a difference (not really surprising).  But, Specter’s EFCA opposition made 26% of Republicans less likely to vote for him and only 13% more likely, with it not making a difference to 59%.  I don’t really get the Republican results.  Maybe there really is 26% of PA Republicans who are strongly pro-labor?

    Also of note for its absence:  no polling of Ridge v. Toomey in the R primary.  The CS seems to be that Toomey would be Ridge handily since Ridge and Specter are similar, but I’m skeptical.  Would be nice to see if Ridge is a real threat to us or not.  Also would be good to get Sestak v. Ridge and Sestak v. Toomey general election numbers.

    Maybe Kos can help us out here?

  3. I have to wonder what in the world is Specter doing?  Was he told by Rendell that Sestak and Torsella would not run when Rendell in fact did not know that?

  4. But there is next to no chance of it happening.  Republicans are not going to nominate Ridge due to social views.  He’ll get destroyed by Toomey in a primary.

  5. Political landscapes can change quickly, they are built on sand, not bedrock. An unpopular Obama in 2010, and it could easily go to Ridge in the general.  

    Ridge winning the primary may be tough, but I don’t discount it too much either.    

    I remember the big Harris Wofford win in ’91 followed by the about face Santorum win in ’94.    

  6. So:

    1 Was he ever recorded on video or audio saying that?

    2 Has he ever recently explained this change now that’s he isn’t anymore.

    3 How much could Ridge (and his backers) use Toomey’s flipflop against in the Repub primary? I think it’s big. At a minimum it should put doubts in the minds of the true-believers about how “legit” Toomey really is.

  7. It’s getting harder and harder to argue that he’s not a moron.

    He’s not going to get to keep the Republican base, and most of the Republican moderates in SE PA support Obama anyway or would forgive Specter for doing so.

    All he’s doing now is building up more resistance towards him amongst the Democratic base, which is a mind-numbingly stupid idea.

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