April 20, 2004 - Toomey Narrows Gap In Pennsylvania GOP Primary, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Conservative Voters Desert Specter For Challenger
Conservative voters have shifted to U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey who has narrowed the gap in the Pennsylvania Republican primary, trailing incumbent U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter 49 - 44 percent among likely voters, according to a Quinnipiac poll released today.

Sen. Specter held a 52 - 37 percent lead in and April 7 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University.

In this latest survey, which includes voters who are leaning toward a candidate, conservative Republicans support Rep. Toomey 56 - 39 percent, while liberal and moderate Republicans back Specter 63 - 28 percent. One week before the primary, their mind is made up, 77 percent of Specter supporters and 82 percent of Toomey supporters say.

In the April 7 poll, conservative Republican voters split with 46 percent for Specter and 43 percent for Toomey.

Specter is "too liberal," 51 percent of likely Republican primary voters say, up from 43 percent April 7; 14 percent of Republicans say Toomey is "too conservative."

"Conservative Republicans are rallying behind Congressman Toomey's charge that Sen. Specter is too liberal for Pennsylvania. The 10-point swing in the last two weeks comes from conservatives who deserted Specter in favor of his challenger from the right," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"A majority of likely primary voters now agree Specter is too liberal, up 8 points from the last poll, and three out of four of those voters are going to Toomey. Toomey has turned his challenge into a real horse race and the outcome depends on whether Specter can halt the conservative desertions and rally his own liberal and moderate Republican base. He is still the incumbent and he is still ahead, but now he can hear Toomey's footsteps coming up behind him," Richards added.

Among Toomey supporters, 32 percent say their vote is pro-Toomey and 59 percent say it is anti-Specter; 75 percent of Specter backers say they're voting for the incumbent, while 15 percent are voting against Toomey.

Specter gets a 40 - 27 favorability rating from Pennsylvania Republican voters, with 29 percent mixed and 1 percent who say they don't know enough to form an opinion. This compares to a 39 - 24 percent favorability April 7.

Toomey gets a 35 - 13 percent favorability rating, with 25 percent mixed and 25 percent who don't know enough to form an opinion. This compares to a 24 - 12 percent favorability rating for Toomey April 7, with 39 percent who haven't heard enough to form an opinion.

"Toomey's advertising campaign clearly is hitting the target," Richards said. "More Republicans know who he is and agree with his message."

From April 12 - 18, Quinnipiac University surveyed 431 Pennsylvania likely Republican primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.7 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the nation as a public service and for research.
For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu and quicklinks

3. If the Republican primary for senator were being held today, would you vote for Pat Toomey or Arlen Specter? 3a. Well as of today, do you lean more towards Toomey or Specter?

                    Tot     Lib/Mod Con     Men     Wom


Toomey 44% 28% 56% 49% 39% Specter 49 63 39 44 53 DK/NA 7 9 4 7 8



3b. (If candidate choice on Q3) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the primary?

                      IF CANDIDATE CHOICE Q3
                              Toomey  Specter
                      Tot     Voters  Voters


Made up 80% 82% 77% Might change 19 18 21 DK/NA 1 - 2



4. (If Toomey voter Q3 or Q3a)Is your vote more for Toomey or more against Specter?
                    Toomey
                    Voter Q3/3a


For Toomey 32% Against Specter 59 DK/NA 9



5. (If Specter voter Q3 or Q3a)Is your vote more for Specter or more against Toomey?
                    Specter
                    Voter Q3/3a


For Specter 75% Against Toomey 15 DK/NA 10



6. Is your opinion of Arlen Specter favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                    Tot     Lib/Mod Con     Men     Wom


Favorable 40% 54% 31% 37% 44% Unfavorable 27 17 35 33 20 Mixed 29 25 33 28 31 Hvn't hrd enough 1 2 1 1 2 REFUSED 2 2 1 2 2



7. Is your opinion of Pat Toomey favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                    Tot     Lib/Mod Con     Men     Wom


Favorable 35% 20% 47% 42% 28% Unfavorable 13 23 6 10 15 Mixed 25 28 24 22 28 Hvn't hrd enough 25 27 23 23 26 REFUSED 2 3 1 2 2



8. Do you think Arlen Specter is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?

                    Tot     Lib/Mod Con     Men     Wom


Too Liberal 51% 29% 68% 59% 43% Too Conservative 4 9 - 3 4 About right 37 54 26 31 44 DK/NA 9 9 5 7 10



9. Do you think Pat Toomey is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?

                    Tot     Lib/Mod Con     Men     Wom


Too Liberal 12% 15% 11% 12% 13% Too Conservative 14 24 8 16 12 About right 44 24 59 50 38 DK/NA 30 37 21 23 37



10. Suppose Arlen Specter wins the republican primary. If the general election for senator were being held today, and the candidates were Joseph Hoeffel the Democrat and Arlen Specter the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                            Toomey
                    Tot     Voters


Hoeffel 7% 13% Specter 73 57 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 3 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 4 10 DK/NA 14 18