July 22, 2009 - Toomey Ties Specter In Pennsylvania, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; More Say New Democrat Does Not Deserve Another Term

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Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter's 2010 reelection lead over Republican challenger Pat Toomey has shrunk to a tie with 45 percent for Specter and 44 percent for Toomey, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. And voters say 49 - 40 percent that Sen. Specter does not deserve reelection.

President Barack Obama gets a 56 - 37 percent job approval, compared to 62 - 31 percent in a May 28 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. By a bare 50 - 43 percent majority, voters approve of the President's handling of the economy.

Specter, first elected to the Senate as a Republican in 1980 but who switched to the Democratic Party earlier this year, holds a commanding 55 - 23 percent lead over U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak in the race for the Democratic nomination. On the Republican side Toomey buries Peg Luksik 47 - 6 percent.

On May 4, Specter led Toomey 53 - 33 percent in a trial heat; his favorable unfavorable ratio among Pennsylvania voters was 52 - 34 percent and voters said 49 - 41 percent he deserved reelection. In a May 28 Quinnipiac University poll, Specter led Toomey 46 - 37 percent.

"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 - 42 percent and say 53 - 35 percent that Specter does not deserve reelection."

Pennsylvania voters split 47 - 46 percent in their job approval for Specter, his highest disapproval ever and his lowest approval since a 47 - 36 percent score in an April 22, 2004, Quinnipiac University poll, when Specter faced Toomey in a Republican primary battle.

Voters also split 45 - 44 percent, the tightest margin ever, on whether they have a favorable opinion of Specter.

In other trial matchups Specter would defeat Luksik 47 - 40 percent, while Toomey would edge Sestak 39 - 35 percent. Sestak would best Luksik 39 - 30 percent.

"The fact that Specter would defeat Luksik by a relatively small margin is much more a comment on his potential weaknesses than her potential strength, since 82 percent of voters don't know enough about her to have an opinion," Brown said.

"Even though Specter has been a Democrat for only a short time, his lead is built upon the traditional Democratic gender gap. He leads Toomey 50 - 37 percent among women, but trails 52 - 39 percent with men. Among traditional Democratic union-members, Toomey leads 43 - 40 percent. Toomey has an opportunity to define himself for Pennsylvania voters: while 9 percent don't have an opinion about Specter, 56 percent don't know enough about Toomey to rate him."

President Obama's job rating in Pennsylvania is the lowest of his presidency, but he still carries a healthy 52 - 40 percent approval rating among politically key independent voters.

"As has been the case for some time, Pennsylvanians' views about the President - first George W. Bush and now Obama - are much more closely aligned with their eastern neighbors in New Jersey than their western ones in Ohio," Brown said. "The latest Quinnipiac University poll in New Jersey last week showed the President with a 61 - 33 percent approval rating, while in Ohio, the July 7 Quinnipiac University poll found his approval rating had dropped 13 points in two months to 49 - 44 percent among registered voters."

Sen. Bob Casey has a 53 - 25 percent job approval rating.

From July 14 - 19, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,173 Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points. The survey includes 511 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percentage points and 512 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 4.3 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 DEMS..                     
                     Tot    Men    Wom    
 
Specter              55%    54%    56%    
Sestak               23     26     21     
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      1     
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      1      2     
DK/NA                19     18     20   
 
TREND:(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 DEMS
                     Jul 22  May 28
                     2009    2009
 
Specter              55      50
Sestak               23      21
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2       2
DK/NA                19      27  
 
 
3. (If registered Republican) If the 2010 Republican primary for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Pat Toomey and Peg Luksik, for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED REPS..                                          
                     Tot    Men    Wom    
 
Toomey               47%    57%    34%    
Luksik                6      4      7     
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      -     
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      3      2     
DK/NA                45     35     56  
 
TREND:(If registered Republican) If the 2010 Republican primary for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Pat Toomey and Peg Luksik, for whom would you vote?
                     
                     REGISTERED REPS
                     Jul 22  May 28
                     2009    2009
 
Toomey               47      38
Luksik                6       3
Gerlach              na      10
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -       -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3       2
DK/NA                45      47   
 
 
5. If the 2010 election for United States Senator 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              45%    11%    79%    42%    39%    50%    40%
Toomey               44     82     11     46     52     37     43
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      1      -      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      1      -      -      -      1
DK/NA                10      7      9     12      7     13     15
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Specter              57%    58%    40%    50%    32%    43%    36%
Toomey               37     31     49     41     57     43     49
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      -      -      -      -      -      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      1      -      2      0
DK/NA                 4     10     10      7     11     12     14
 
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?
                     Jul 22  May 28  May 4
                     2009    2009    2009
 
Specter              45      46      53
Toomey               44      37      33
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -       1       2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -       3       1
DK/NA                10      14      10
 
 
6. 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               35%     7%    67%    28%    32%    38%    38%
Toomey               39     76      9     41     49     30     34
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      -      1      2      -      0
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      1      1      -      1      1      2
DK/NA                23     16     23     30     16     30     26
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Sestak               35%    52%    29%    48%    30%    39%    21%
Toomey               39     28     47     34     40     36     47
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      -      1      -      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      2      -      -      1      2      2
DK/NA                24     18     24     18     28     23     28
 
TREND: 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?
                     Jul 22  May 28
                     2009    2009
 
Sestak               35      37
Toomey               39      35
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1       3
DK/NA                23      23
 
 
7. If the 2010 election for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Arlen Specter the Democrat and Peg Luksik the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Specter              47%    12%    80%    43%    41%    52%    44%
Luksik               40     75     10     42     48     33     40
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      1      1      -      1      1      2
DK/NA                12     11      9     15     10     14     14
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Specter              51%    63%    43%    52%    34%    43%    40%
Luksik               36     29     44     35     53     43     42
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      -      -      -      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      -      1      2      -      2      1
DK/NA                10      8     13     10     14     12     16
 
 
8. If the 2010 election for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Joe Sestak the Democrat and Peg Luksik the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Sestak               39%     9%    72%    33%    38%    40%    38%
Luksik               30     62      5     30     35     26     30
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      -      1      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      2      1      1      1      2      1
DK/NA                29     27     22     35     26     31     30
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Sestak               39%    57%    35%    51%    37%    39%    24%
Luksik               30     25     31     26     28     30     36
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      -      -      -      1      -      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      2      1      2      -      1      1
DK/NA                29     16     32     22     34     29     37
 
 
10. 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            45%    17%    73%    41%    40%    48%    44%
Unfavorable          44     75     16     46     53     36     44
Hvn't hrd enough      9      7      9     12      5     13      8
REFUSED               2      2      2      1      2      3      3
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Favorable            54%    56%    39%    49%    29%    43%    40%
Unfavorable          40     29     46     43     54     53     46
Hvn't hrd enough      6     13     10      6     13      4     12
REFUSED               -      2      5      3      4      -      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Arlen Specter favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Jul 22  May 28  May 4   Mar 25  Nov 26  Aug 5
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2008    2008
 
Favorable            45      46      52      45      56      55
Unfavorable          44      39      34      31      23      26
Hvn't hrd enough      9      14      12      21      19      16
REFUSED               2       2       2       3       3       3
 
 
11. 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            34%    60%    14%    31%    43%    26%    30%
Unfavorable          10      2     18      9     11     10     10
Hvn't hrd enough     56     38     67     60     46     64     60
REFUSED               1      1      1      -      -      1      -
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Favorable            39%    16%    51%    33%    35%    27%    35%
Unfavorable          11     14      9     15      4      6      9
Hvn't hrd enough     51     69     40     52     58     67     56
REFUSED               -      1      -      -      3      -      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Pat Toomey favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Jul 22  May 28  May 4   Mar 25
                     2009    2009    2009    2009
 
Favorable            34      27      20      14
Unfavorable          10      11      13       6
Hvn't hrd enough     56      61      67      78
REFUSED               1       1       1       2
 
 
12. 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            23%    13%    30%    26%    25%    21%    23%
Unfavorable           7      9      3     11      9      5      6
Hvn't hrd enough     69     76     67     62     65     73     71
REFUSED               1      2      -      1      1      1      -
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Favorable            10%    27%    18%    46%    14%    25%    11%
Unfavorable           5     15      6     11      5      6      3
Hvn't hrd enough     83     58     75     42     79     69     86
REFUSED               2      -      2      1      2      -      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Joe Sestak favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Jul 22  May 28
                     2009    2009
 
Favorable            23      18
Unfavorable           7       5
Hvn't hrd enough     69      76
REFUSED               1       -
 
 
14. 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            13%    20%     5%    16%    15%    11%    12%
Unfavorable           5      2      6      6      6      3      5
Hvn't hrd enough     82     77     88     77     77     85     83
REFUSED               1      -      1      1      1      -      -
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Favorable            17%    14%    13%     6%    16%    15%    14%
Unfavorable           4      5      2      3      9      8      4
Hvn't hrd enough     78     81     84     88     74     76     81
REFUSED               1      -      -      2      1      -      -
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Peg Luksik favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     Jul 22  May 28
                     2009    2009
 
Favorable            13       6
Unfavorable           5       4
Hvn't hrd enough     82      89
REFUSED               1       1
 
 
22. 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              47%    18%    75%    46%    42%    52%    43%
Disapprove           46     76     17     47     55     38     44
DK/NA                 7      6      8      7      3     11     13
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Approve              57%    65%    45%    47%    38%    41%    41%
Disapprove           38     32     45     43     56     53     51
DK/NA                 4      4      9     10      6      6      8
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Arlen Specter is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Jul 22  May 28  May 4   Mar 25  Feb 11  Nov 26  Jul 22
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2008    2009
 
Approve              47      51      56      52      56      62      47
Disapprove           46      39      36      33      30      25      46
DK/NA                 7       9       8      15      14      13       7
 
 
23. 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              53%    33%    74%    52%    49%    57%    55%
Disapprove           25     41     10     26     32     20     27
DK/NA                21     27     16     22     19     24     19
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Approve              55%    58%    46%    49%    55%    60%    53%
Disapprove           28     22     36     25     24     19     24
DK/NA                16     20     17     26     22     21     23
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bob Casey Jr. is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High   Low
                     Jul 22  May 28  May 4   Mar 25  Feb 11  May 28 Mar 28
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009    2009   2007
 
Approve              53      56      55      52      54      56     46
Disapprove           25      21      21      23      23      21     18
DK/NA                21      23      24      25      23      23     35
 
 
25. 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              56%    23%    89%    52%    51%    62%    59%
Disapprove           37     70      8     40     43     31     32
DK/NA                 7      8      4      8      6      7      9
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Approve              59%    82%    47%    64%    46%    46%    50%
Disapprove           36     11     48     32     47     39     44
DK/NA                 4      7      5      4      7     14      6
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     Jul 22  May 28  May 4   Mar 25  Feb 12
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009
 
Approve              56      62      66      61      63
Disapprove           37      31      29      30      22
DK/NA                 7       7       5       9      15
 
 
26. Would you say that Barack Obama is doing a better job as president than you expected, a worse job, or about what you expected?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Better               16%     7%    27%    12%    13%    19%    12%
Worse                19     32      5     23     23     15     19
About expected       61     57     65     62     61     62     63
DK/NA                 4      4      3      3      3      4      6
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Better               12%    25%    12%    16%    12%    17%    17%
Worse                19      8     26     16     23     21     21
About expected       66     64     57     64     63     56     59
DK/NA                 2      3      4      4      2      5      3
 
 
28. 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         40%    15%    66%    35%    36%    44%    38%
No/Does Not          49     78     23     53     58     42     50
DK/NA                11      7     11     12      6     14     12
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Yes/Deserves         54%    53%    41%    38%    25%    36%    38%
No/Does Not          40     35     50     48     63     56     53
DK/NA                 6     12      9     14     12      8      9
 
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?
                     Jul 22  May 28  May 4   Mar 25  Feb 11
                     2009    2009    2009    2009    2009
 
Yes/Deserves         40      42      49      38      40
No/Does not          49      43      41      41      43
DK/NA                11      15      10      20      17
 
 
29. Do you think Arlen Specter is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Too liberal          31%    60%     7%    31%    41%    22%    29%
Too conservative      8      4     14      6      8      8      9
About right          46     22     70     42     39     52     42
DK/NA                16     15     10     21     12     18     20
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Too liberal          31%    16%    34%    28%    38%    37%    32%
Too conservative      4     18      7     10      6      9      5
About right          52     53     44     51     36     42     42
DK/NA                13     12     16     12     19     12     21
 
TREND: Do you think Arlen Specter is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
                     Jul 22  May 28  Jun 24
                     2009    2009    2004
 
Too liberal          31      30      22
Too conservative      8       9      17
About right          46      45      45
DK/NA                16      17      16
 
 
30. 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%     3%     6%     6%     2%     3%
Too conservative     10      5     15      9     11      9      8
About right          38     56     25     36     44     32     38
DK/NA                48     36     57     50     39     56     50
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Too liberal           6%     8%     2%     0%     3%     3%     5%
Too conservative     12     16      8     13      4      7      8
About right          39     31     48     33     46     37     38
DK/NA                42     45     42     54     47     54     49
 
TREND: Do you think Pat Toomey is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?
                     Jul 22  May 28
                     2009    2009
 
Too liberal           4       4
Too conservative     10      15
About right          38      32
DK/NA                48      49
 
 
32. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the economy?
                                                               Union
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    HsHolds
 
Approve              50%    15%    81%    46%    42%    56%    51%
Disapprove           43     78     13     48     51     37     42
DK/NA                 7      7      5      7      7      7      7
 
                     Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl
 
Approve              53%    74%    44%    56%    36%    43%    42%
Disapprove           37     22     50     39     54     51     50
DK/NA                10      5      6      5      9      6      8
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the economy?
                     Jul 22  Mar 25  Feb 12
                     2009    2009    2009
 
Approve              50      56      59
Disapprove           43      36      26
DK/NA                 7       8      16