May 28, 2009 - Specter Tops Toomey By 9 Pts. In Pennsylvania Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; New Democratic Senator Has Big Primary Lead

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Former U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey, the likely Republican challenger in the 2010 Pennsylvania Senate race, has gained some ground and now trails newly-converted Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter 46 - 37 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 53 - 33 percent Specter lead in a May 4 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll.

In this latest look at the Specter-Toomey matchup, Republicans back Toomey 73 - 16 percent. Specter leads 73 - 10 percent among Democrats and 43 - 33 percent among independent voters. The Democrat leads 47 - 39 percent among men and 45 - 35 percent among women.

In a Democratic primary, Specter tops U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak 50 - 21 percent.

Toomey tops U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach 38 - 10 percent in a Republican primary, with 3 percent for anti-abortion activist Peg Luksik.

"Sen. Arlen Specter's numbers have slipped since the controversy that followed his switch to the Democratic Party, but he's still better off than he would have been if he stayed a Republican and faced a tough primary challenge from former Rep. Pat Toomey," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Running as a Democrat, the Senator leads Toomey by 9 points, down from 20 points right after his conversion. But now that he's got President Barack Obama and Gov. Ed Rendell on his side, Specter should be able to hold the edge over the conservative Republican. At this point none of the other names mentioned as candidates in either party is well enough known to make a challenge."

Pennsylvania voters approve 51 - 39 percent, including 74 - 16 percent among Democrats, of the job Specter is doing. This compares to a 56 - 36 percent approval, including 81 - 10 percent among Democrats, May 4.

By a 46 - 39 percent margin, voters have a favorable opinion of Specter. Toomey gets a 27 - 11 percent favorability, but 61 percent don't know enough about him to form an opinion. Sestak, Gerlach and Luksik are little known to voters, as 76 percent or more say they don't know enough about any of them to form an opinion.

Voters split 42 - 43 percent on whether Specter deserves to be reelected, down from 49 - 41 percent May 4. Voters also say 52 - 43 percent that he is not too old to serve another six- year U.S. Senate term, down from 60 - 37 percent.

Specter is "too liberal," 30 percent say, while 9 percent say he is "too conservative" and 45 percent say he is "about right."

Toomey is "too conservative," 15 percent say, while 4 percent say he is "too liberal" and 32 percent say he is "about right."

Obama, Rendell, Casey Approval

Pennsylvania voters approve 62 - 31 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing and approve 54 - 37 percent of the job Gov. Ed Rendell is doing.

Sen. Bob Casey gets a 56 - 21 percent approval, his highest score ever.

From May 20 - 26, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,191 Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points. The survey includes 517 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percentage points and 561 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed -- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

1. (If registered Democrat) If the 2010 Democratic primary for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Arlen Specter and Joe Sestak, for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED DEMOCRATS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
 
Specter              50%    51%    48%
Sestak               21     20     21
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      3      1
DK/NA                27     26     28
 
 
2. (If registered Republican) If the 2010 Republican primary for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Pat Toomey, Jim Gerlach and Peg Luksik, for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED REPUBLICANS
                     Tot    Men    Wom
 
Toomey               38%    47%    30%
Gerlach              10     10     10
Luksik                3      4      2
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      3      1
DK/NA                47     36     56
 
 
3. If the 2010 election for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Arlen Specter the Democrat and Pat Toomey the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Specter              46%    16%    73%    43%    47%    45%    58%
Toomey               37     73     10     33     39     35     30
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      1      1      2      -      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      1      3      4      1      4      1
DK/NA                14     10     13     19     12     15     10
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Specter              41%    75%    45%    54%    46%    39%    31%
Toomey               43     11     40     33     38     41     46
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      3      -      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      8      3      2      1      2      3      2
DK/NA                 8     11     13     12     12     17     18
 
TREND: If the 2010 election for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Arlen Specter the Democrat and Pat Toomey the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     May 28  May 4
                     2009    2009
 
Specter              46      53
Toomey               37      33
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3       1
DK/NA                14      10
 
 
4. If the 2010 election for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Arlen Specter the Democrat and Jim Gerlach the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Specter              45%    12%    75%    43%    46%    45%    58%
Gerlach              36     73      9     31     36     35     30
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      2      1      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      1      3      5      2      4      2
DK/NA                15     13     13     18     15     16     10
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Specter              43%    71%    48%    50%    48%    39%    31%
Gerlach              39     14     34     36     38     34     44
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      2      -      -      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      9      3      4      1      1      3      3
DK/NA                10     12     14     11     13     24     20
 
 
5. If the 2010 election for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Joe Sestak the Democrat and Pat Toomey the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Sestak               37%     5%    68%    32%    37%    38%    46%
Toomey               35     72      8     34     40     32     25
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      2      1      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      2      3      4      2      3      3
DK/NA                23     20     20     28     20     26     25
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Sestak               32%    70%    32%    47%    36%    31%    22%
Toomey               40     12     38     31     37     34     47
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      3      1      -      3      -      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      8      -      1      1      3      4      3
DK/NA                20     16     29     20     22     31     26
 
 
6. If the 2010 election for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Joe Sestak the Democrat and Jim Gerlach the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Sestak               36%     6%    65%    30%    36%    36%    41%
Gerlach              30     61      8     25     31     29     25
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      1      1      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      2      3      6      3      4      2
DK/NA                30     30     23     38     29     31     32
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Sestak               28%    66%    30%    46%    34%    31%    22%
Gerlach              30     10     30     35     31     25     36
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      1      -      3      1      0
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      8      4      4      1      1      4      3
DK/NA                33     19     34     18     30     38     38
 
 
7. Is your opinion of - Arlen Specter favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Favorable            46%    18%    70%    46%    47%    45%    53%
Unfavorable          39     69     14     42     40     37     32
Hvn't hrd enough     14     11     14     12     11     16     14
REFUSED               2      2      2      1      1      2      1
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Favorable            36%    70%    49%    54%    45%    38%    34%
Unfavorable          53     13     40     38     36     42     46
Hvn't hrd enough      9     17     11      7     18     18     17
REFUSED               2      -      1      1      1      2      3
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Arlen Specter favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     May 28  May 4   Mar 25  Nov 26  Aug 5
                     2009    2009    2009    2008    2008
 
Favorable            46      52      45      56      55
Unfavorable          39      34      31      23      26
Hvn't hrd enough     14      12      21      19      16
REFUSED               2       2       3       3       3
 
 
8. Is your opinion of - Pat Toomey favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Favorable            27%    45%    14%    24%    32%    22%    21%
Unfavorable          11      3     17     12     14      8     14
Hvn't hrd enough     61     51     68     63     53     68     65
REFUSED               1      1      1      1      -      2      -
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Favorable            29%    17%    33%    24%    18%    26%    33%
Unfavorable          11     17     15     12     12      2      9
Hvn't hrd enough     60     66     50     64     69     70     57
REFUSED               -      -      1      1      1      2      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Pat Toomey favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     May 28  May 4   Mar 25
                     2009    2009    2009
 
Favorable            27      20      14
Unfavorable          11      13       6
Hvn't hrd enough     61      67      78
REFUSED               1       1       2
 
 
9. Is your opinion of - Joe Sestak favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Favorable            18%    10%    27%    17%    20%    17%    22%
Unfavorable           5      7      3      5      7      3      3
Hvn't hrd enough     76     82     70     78     72     80     74
REFUSED               -      1      -      -      -      1      -
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Favorable             8%    36%    13%    38%    11%     5%    10%
Unfavorable           3      3      6     11      6      -      3
Hvn't hrd enough     89     61     81     50     83     95     87
REFUSED               -      -      -      -      1      -      1
 
 
10. Is your opinion of - Jim Gerlach favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Favorable            15%    22%    11%    15%    19%    11%    15%
Unfavorable           5      2      8      7      8      4      4
Hvn't hrd enough     79     76     81     78     73     84     81
REFUSED               1      -      1      -      -      1      -
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Favorable             6%    10%    11%    28%    11%     5%    19%
Unfavorable           6      9      6      9      2      3      2
Hvn't hrd enough     88     80     83     62     87     92     79
REFUSED               -      -      -      1      1      1      1
 
 
11. Is your opinion of - Peg Luksik favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Favorable             6%     7%     5%     8%     6%     6%     4%
Unfavorable           4      4      4      3      6      2      6
Hvn't hrd enough     89     89     89     89     87     91     89
REFUSED               1      -      1      1      -      1      1
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Favorable            10%     1%     1%     6%     1%    11%     9%
Unfavorable           5      3      2      6      6      3      2
Hvn't hrd enough     85     96     96     87     92     84     88
REFUSED               -      -      1      2      1      2      -
 
 
12. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling his job as Governor?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Approve              54%    35%    73%    52%    54%    55%    61%
Disapprove           37     57     19     39     40     34     33
DK/NA                 9      8      8      9      6     11      6
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Approve              49%    77%    55%    69%    56%    35%    41%
Disapprove           43     11     38     24     40     57     47
DK/NA                 7     12      7      8      4      8     11
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling his job as Governor? (*Also 46% on 10/5/2005, 4/22/2004, 3/18/2004 and 12/16/2003)
                                                             APPROVE......
                                                             High    Low
                     May 28  May 4   Mar 25  Feb 11  Nov 26  Feb 7   Apr 5
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2008    2007    2006*
 
Approve              54      53      50      47      55      61      46
Disapprove           37      38      38      38      34      30      37
DK/NA                 9       9      12      15      12       9      17
 
 
13. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Approve              42%    35%    47%    44%    38%    45%    43%
Disapprove           40     47     34     42     46     35     40
DK/NA                18     18     19     14     16     20     17
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Approve              38%    43%    46%    46%    46%    34%    39%
Disapprove           50     35     38     29     37     48     46
DK/NA                13     22     16     25     17     18     15
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                             APPROVE.....
                                                             High    Low
                     May 28  May 4   Mar 25  Feb 11  Nov 26  Apr 10  Oct 5
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2008    2003    2005
 
Approve              42      42      37      39      39      49      26
Disapprove           40      40      43      42      42      24      60
DK/NA                18      17      20      20      20      27      14
 
 
14. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Arlen Specter is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Approve              51%    23%    74%    49%    49%    53%    61%
Disapprove           39     70     16     41     43     37     33
DK/NA                 9      7     11     10      8     10      6
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Approve              39%    77%    54%    53%    54%    44%    43%
Disapprove           53     12     41     39     40     42     46
DK/NA                 7     11      4      8      5     13     12
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Arlen Specter is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     May 28  May 4   Mar 25  Feb 11  Nov 26  Nov 26  Apr 22
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2008    2008    2004
 
Approve              51      56      52      56      62      62      47
Disapprove           39      36      33      30      25      25      36
DK/NA                 9       8      15      14      13      13      17
 
 
15. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bob Casey Jr. is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Approve              56%    41%    68%    59%    56%    57%    66%
Disapprove           21     34     12     20     23     19     17
DK/NA                23     25     20     20     22     24     17
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Approve              58%    55%    56%    58%    57%    53%    55%
Disapprove           25     15     29     18     18     24     20
DK/NA                17     30     15     23     25     23     24
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bob Casey Jr. is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High   Low
                     May 28  May 4   Mar 25  Feb 11  Nov 26  May 28 Mar 28
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2008    2009   2007
 
Approve              56      55      52      54      55      56     46
Disapprove           21      21      23      23      20      21     18
DK/NA                23      24      25      23      26      23     35
 
 
16. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Approve              62%    27%    91%    63%    60%    64%    66%
Disapprove           31     62      6     29     33     29     30
DK/NA                 7     11      3      8      7      6      4
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Approve              53%    94%    55%    67%    67%    51%    54%
Disapprove           38      4     35     25     29     45     38
DK/NA                 9      2     10      7      3      5      8
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     May 28  May 4   Mar 25  Feb 12
                     2009    2009    2009    2009
 
Approve              62      66      61      63
Disapprove           31      29      30      22
DK/NA                 7       5       9      15
 
 
17. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Pennsylvania today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Very satisfied        6%     3%     9%     5%     7%     5%     8%
Smwht satisfied      50     36     61     50     46     53     50
Smwht dissatisfied   29     42     20     28     31     28     21
Very dissatisfied    13     18      8     16     15     12     19
DK/NA                 2      1      2      1      1      2      2
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Very satisfied        8%    10%     5%     7%     8%     5%     2%
Smwht satisfied      45     56     44     61     44     37     50
Smwht dissatisfied   31     20     26     27     31     40     33
Very dissatisfied    16     10     24      4     16     17     14
DK/NA                 -      4      2      2      1      1      1
 
TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Pennsylvania today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied? (*also combined low=46% 10/05/2005)
                                                             VERY+SMWHT....
                                                             High    Low
                     May 28  May 4   Mar 25  Feb 11  Nov 26  Jun 5   Nov 26
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2008    2002    2008*
 
Very satisfied        6       6        4      3       3       8       3
Smwht satisfied      50      53       47     46      43      60      43
Smwht dissatisfied   29      27       31     33      34      22      34
Very dissatisfied    13      13       18     17      18       8      18
DK/NA                 2       2        2      1       2       3       2
 
 
18. Looking ahead to the 2010 election for United States Senator, do you feel that Arlen Specter deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Yes/Deserves         42%    18%    64%    38%    42%    42%    54%
No/Does not          43     73     18     46     45     41     36
DK/NA                15     10     18     16     12     18     10
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Yes/Deserves         38%    70%    41%    43%    40%    33%    33%
No/Does not          51     14     45     42     43     45     52
DK/NA                11     16     14     15     16     22     14
 
TREND: Looking ahead to the 2010 election for United States Senator, do you feel that Arlen Specter deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                     May 28  May 4   Mar 25  Feb 11
                     2009    2009    2009    2009
 
Yes/Deserves         42      49      38      40
No/Does not          43      41      41      43
DK/NA                15      10      20      17
 
 
19. At age 79, do you think Arlen Specter is too old to effectively serve another 6-year term as United States Senator, or not?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Yes                  43%    51%    36%    46%    43%    43%    46%
No                   52     45     59     48     53     50     49
DK/NA                 5      4      5      6      4      7      4
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Yes                  41%    32%    42%    42%    46%    43%    49%
No                   57     60     52     53     49     47     47
DK/NA                 2      8      7      5      6     10      3
 
TREND: At age 79, do you think Arlen Specter is too old to effectively serve another 6-year term as United States Senator, or not?
                     May 28  May 4   Mar 25
                     2009    2009    2009
 
Yes                  43      37      41
No                   52      60      54
DK/NA                 5       4       5
 
 
20. Do you think Arlen Specter is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Too liberal          30%    59%     8%    25%    33%    27%    24%
Too conservative      9      5     12      9      6     11     10
About right          45     19     66     45     46     44     53
DK/NA                17     16     14     20     15     19     14
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Too liberal          34%     6%    32%    28%    29%    38%    36%
Too conservative      9     12      8     10      7      5      8
About right          42     66     45     49     40     34     37
DK/NA                15     16     14     13     24     23     18
 
TREND: Do you think Arlen Specter is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
                     May 28  Jun 24
                     2009    2004
 
Too liberal          30      22
Too conservative      9      17
About right          45      45
DK/NA                17      16
 
 
21. Do you think Pat Toomey is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Too liberal           4%     4%     5%     3%     5%     3%     5%
Too conservative     15      5     22     16     20     10     18
About right          32     53     19     27     35     30     24
DK/NA                49     38     54     54     40     57     52
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Too liberal           3%     7%     5%     4%     4%     2%     3%
Too conservative     15     18     14     21     19      6     11
About right          32     21     37     31     27     31     40
DK/NA                51     54     45     44     50     62     47