PA-Sen: GOP Poll Shows Ridge Beating Toomey & Specter

Public Opinion Strategies (R) for RNC Committeeman Bob Asher (5/3-4, likely voters, no trendlines). Primary results:

Tom Ridge (R): 59

Pat Toomey (R): 21

Peg Luksik (R): 2

Undecided: 17

Tom Ridge (R): 60

Pat Toomey (R): 23

Undecided: 16

(MoE: ±4.6%)

Arlen Specter (D-inc): 57

Joe Sestak (D): 20

Undecided: 22

(MoE: ±5.2%)

And general election matchups:

Arlen Specter (D-inc): 41

Tom Ridge (R): 48

Undecided: 10

Arlen Specter (D-inc): 49

Pat Toomey (R): 40

Undecided: 10

(MoE: ±3.7%)

Amusingly, POS was Specter’s pollster (they parted ways (PDF) after his switcheroo)… and now they’re showing him trailing Tom Ridge in a general election matchup. A little post-breakup revenge polling? Ridge, who’s supposedly “50-50” on a race, also seems to have something of a Santorum problem: On various official documents, he’s listed his residence in Maryland, not Pennsylvania. This guy was governor and he doesn’t even want to live in the Keystone State any longer? Jeez.

Anyhow, POS also has the first primary tests we’ve seen, with Ridge pounding Toomey. Doubtless Toomey’s weak ID among Republicans is holding him back – 50% either have no opinion or have never heard of him. With movement conservatives already taking aim at Ridge, these numbers would be sure to change by the end of what would be a bruising, year-long primary.

Among all voters, meanwhile, Specter clocks in with a 50-40 favorability score, while Sestak has just a 15-3 rating. If Sestak mounted a serious campaign (presumably with labor backing), this too would change. Sestak has been talking pretty tough, though I’m a bit concerned that SEIU’s Andy Stern might be using him to put pressure on Specter over EFCA. At the same time, Joe Torsella is apparently trying to gather anti-Specter Dems into his fold. But would Torsella, an acolyte of Ed Rendell, really stick it out against Specter, given that Fast Eddie pledged a clear primary to Arlen?

Specter, though, is making it harder and harder for Dems to stomach him. In fact, it seems that everything he’s said since his switch has been designed to alienate rather than embrace his new party. He reiterated his newfound opposition to Employee Free Choice; said he’d still oppose Dawn Johnsen, Obama’s choice to head the Office of Legal Counsel; declared he would not be a “loyal Democrat”; voted against Obama’s budget; denied he was committed to the President’s healthcare plan (contradicting Obama himself); said the one vote in his entire career that he publicly regrets was his vote against Jeff Sessions’ nomination to a federal judgeship; and then this gem:

There’s still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner.

He’s since tried to walk that back, hilariously claiming he “conclusively misspoke”. I think Markos got it right – Specter seemes to be rejecting his (D) transplant. He’s starting to piss me off more as a “Democrat” than he ever did as a Republican.

23 thoughts on “PA-Sen: GOP Poll Shows Ridge Beating Toomey & Specter”

  1. The biggest thing going against Arlen Specter is his bloated sense of entitlement.  I don’t think he even realizes that everyone needs to fight to win.  His assumption is that the Democratic nomination and the general are going to be just given to him because he’s the great Arlen Specter.

    Hence him saying bizarre stuff like the GOP helped kill Jack Kemp.  Going out of his way to explicitly say he won’t be a loyal member of the party he just joined.

    I honestly do worry that he’s going to pull a George Allen and find a way to blow the race.

    There is a fine line between being a maverick and just being an oaf.

  2. Not that that’s news at all.

    And yes, he’s a headache on whoever’s side he’s on.  Which is why he’s better entertainment when he’s on the other side.

    Now, I’m not going to endorse anyone yet.  I have yet to sort through the strategy surrounding this mess.

    But no matter what happens, I’ll have to thank Pennsylvania for producing for us all this entertainment value.  Big-budget entertainment, mind you.

  3. This poll makes no sense.

    Why would Republican voters be so willing to support Ridge but not Specter over Toomey?

    Democratic side looks normal.

  4. What kind of “business” leaves themselves with the initials POS (piece of s***)?  They are either jerks who think this is funny or completely unaware.  Either way, the fact thast the POS poll is a pos is fitting.

  5. It’s what he is saying.  I really didn’t expect Specter to immediately flip flop on EFCA or Dawn Johnson.  It takes a little time to walk back his positions and get more in line voting wise.  But, all this shit he’s saying is not acceptable.  If he wants to be an independent, then run as one!  If he wants to be on the Democratic ticket, then he better start showing some respect for the party.

  6. But the guy was governor of the state. He moved to an adjacent state for work.

    By the time the general happens, Ridge will be viewed as a Pennsylvanian again.

    Go after Ridge on the substantive stuff. He was a Bush cabinet member who did his part to drive the country into the ground. He never spoke out. He didn’t moderate Bushism from the inside.

    He’s a nice guy who lacks the brains to see how bad Bush policies were or the guts to do something about it.

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