Meltdown in PA: Toomey up 14 over Specter?

posted at 10:55 am on January 27, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

A new poll by a newspaper collective in Pennsylvania shows Pat Toomey handily beating both Arlen Specter and Joe Sestak in a matchup for the Senate race in November.  The Times-Tribune reports that the survey polled 1165 registered voters in Pennsylvania, only 395 of which were likely voters, and found Democrats trailing in both groups, although one has to get past a dozen paragraphs or more to find out:

Among all registered voters, Mr. Specter was tied with Republican former Rep. Pat Toomey at 30 percent with 35 percent saying they don’t know whom to support. Mr. Specter was up by 8 percentage points in an August poll.

That’s an 8-point swing for Toomey in just five months, showing that Pennsylvania voters have had enough of Specter and the Democrats.  After all, Specter is the incumbent — and if he can’t get above 30%, he’s not going to be the incumbent for much longer.  Thirty-five percent is a high number for undecided, too, even at this stage, which means that most aren’t sold on their current Senator.

However, the news gets worse for Democrats among likely voters:

But among 395 likely voters, Mr. Toomey led Mr. Specter 45 to 31 percent. Mr Toomey led Mr. Sestak by 41 to 19 percent. The pool of likely voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

Six in 10 voters think it is time for a new senator.

“That’s normally an extraordinarily bad sign for incumbents,” Dr. Madonna said.

You think?  That’s no tie.  Among people most likely to actually vote, Specter’s share doesn’t increase at all, while Toomey’s goes up 50% over his share in the normal sample.  That tells us that voter enthusiasm is on Toomey’s side.

One factor driving this is Barack Obama:

A month after Mr. Obama took office, the F&M poll showed 55 percent thought he was doing a good or excellent job and 36 percent said he was doing a fair or poor job. In the latest poll, that was down to 38 percent good or excellent and 61 percent fair or poor.

The way Pennsylvanians view the president personally also dimmed. In February, 56 percent had a favorable view and 23 percent an unfavorable view. In the latest poll, 44 percent each had favorable and unfavorable views. In October, it was 45 percent favorable, 39 percent unfavorable.

Job approval of 38%?  In Pennsylvania, which has broken Democratic in the last few presidential elections?   Ouch.

Here’s the problem for Democrats.  Sestak may have the best shot at holding onto his own seat in the House.  He wants to run against Specter in order to move the Senate seat to the left, but what he may wind up doing is moving both the Senate and House seat to the right by vacating the latter.  If Sestak continues to poll this badly against Toomey, how long before someone at the DNC or the DCCC has a sit-down with Sestak to convince him to run for re-election instead?

Clearly, though, Specter is about to get the boot from fed-up Keystone State voters.  Democrats might want to push Specter out of the race and find another Democrat with statewide standing to run against Toomey, in the same manner that they pushed Chris Dodd out for Richard Blumenthal in Connecticut.  The irony is that Specter switched parties in the first place to cling to power — and now he’s put himself in a spot where neither party wants anything to do with him.


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cjtony97 on January 27, 2010 at 12:54 PM

…which I am consuming right now, along w/ a Tastykake.

either orr on January 27, 2010 at 12:56 PM

The irony is that Specter switched parties in the first place to cling to power — and now he’s put himself in a spot where neither party wants anything to do with him.

Couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy. Now pardon me while I savor a tall, cool glass of schadenfreude.

Cicero43 on January 27, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Hmmmm… a Tastykake and Turkey Hill iced tea. For those of you outside of eastern Pa. (and maybe south Jersey), that’s quite a snack.
Fitting for Arlen’s last supper celebration, eh?

either orr on January 27, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Hmmmm… a Tastykake and Turkey Hill iced tea. For those of you outside of eastern Pa. (and maybe south Jersey), that’s quite a snack.
Fitting for Arlen’s last supper celebration, eh?

either orr on January 27, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Hmmmm. I’ve heard of TastyKakes. Do they have them in New York too? It seems like I’ve heard them mentioned on “The King of Queens.”

NathanG on January 27, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Specter doesn’t care, he holds a record that no one can take away from him:

http://www.hulu.com/watch/89205/the-tonight-show-with-conan-obrien-the-wait-a-minute-record

Come on Ed, I’ll treat you like a lady, so act like one!

RightWinged on January 27, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Even if Sestak beats Toomey I will be glad to see that POS Specter gone.

angryed on January 27, 2010 at 12:37 PM

Sestak is a joke. The little I know of him is not impressive. He’s a retired Supply Corps Admiral who has the people skills of Attila the Hun (he had a complete staff turnover within months of coming into office). He’s an idiot on virtually every issue and, like the President, it’s all GWB’s fault. I would love to see him completely and totally out of power because that kind of existence is the very worst thing that can happen to people with egos like this.

highhopes on January 27, 2010 at 1:06 PM

At least this RAAAACCCIIIISSSTTT from Western PA is breathing a sigh of relief. Thanks for making my day ;)

ProudPalinFan on January 27, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Keep that $$$$$ flowing into Toomey’s coffers.

onlineanalyst on January 27, 2010 at 1:12 PM

Bad news all around today for Obama, on the day of his first SOTU address.

When you’ve lost Obama Girl, you’ve lost the nation.

UltimateBob on January 27, 2010 at 11:03 AM

I have to post that pic on my fridge to help me lose a couple of pounds (still on that New Year’s resolution!) . Grow my hair a bit, go the beach and I will be Mr. PPF’s girl version 11.0.

ProudPalinFan on January 27, 2010 at 1:13 PM

Hmmmm… a Tastykake and Turkey Hill iced tea. For those of you outside of eastern Pa. (and maybe south Jersey), that’s quite a snack.
Fitting for Arlen’s last supper celebration, eh?

either orr on January 27, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Make that a cheesesteak w/fried onions a tastykake and a wawa ice tea, there now you have a damm fine meal…

SHARPTOOTH on January 27, 2010 at 1:15 PM

I think one of the other factors is that voters in Pennsylvania are waking up to the truth that their less-than-illustrious Senator is an arrogant, self-centered, self-congratulatory turncoat SOB who has been selling them all out since Day One, and they are now about to give him the heave-ho out of office that he so richly deserves.

pilamaye on January 27, 2010 at 1:15 PM

John Murtha needs to go also……….

Jed1899 on January 27, 2010 at 11:22 AM

Don’t worry…I’ll take care of that. Remember I am raaacist because I live in Western PA?

ProudPalinFan on January 27, 2010 at 1:19 PM

I think that Specter is on his way out for a variety of reasons. I wouldn’t get too complacent or optimistic about Toomey’s chances though without lots of cash and support. When Sestak ran for his House seat, the DNC and DCCC infused loads of cash and support for his bid. They also damaged Curt Weldon, whose seat Sestak took, by creating a trumped-up brouhaha over Weldon’s daughter.

Weldon was making a big stink about Able Danger, too, which may have made him a threat to some powers-that-be at the time.

onlineanalyst on January 27, 2010 at 1:25 PM

I still can’t get my arms around why Toomey felt the need to write an unsolicited editorial last year praising the qualifications of then-SCOTUS nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

jay12 on January 27, 2010 at 11:10 AM

I am guessing 2 reasons:

1) She was going to be confirmed anyway – doesnt look like a “Rep obstructionist” 18 months later.

2) High minority population in key cities Reps often lose, namely Philly.

Looks like he had a game plan all along… and it appears to be working.

Odie1941 on January 27, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Look…I am from PR…born and raised there. SHE WAS NOT. Therefore, I became really angry when she wrote in one of those infamous reports/speeches, that she supports independence for Puerto Rico. WTH does she know? She never lived there, does not know what is going on, not even right now!

And the problem is, she can interfere on PR’s current politica status due to her biased opinion. She’s just a JLo. Only I am NOT gonna get to the level JLo got with Sarah Palin. That insult was cat-fight worthy.

ProudPalinFan on January 27, 2010 at 1:27 PM

There is a special place in hell for creeps like Specter. It’s called…Scranton.

DrW on January 27, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Is it that bad? I have a pen pal there, we’re both very Catholic and she does charity work. Too far for me to go; what is it, 2 hrs. past PIT’s airport?

ProudPalinFan on January 27, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Speaking of PA, is Russell running again vs Murtha? Isn’t this coming election a GREAT opportunity for him (or anyone even) to take down Murtha?

Muletrain on January 27, 2010 at 11:24 AM

Yes, Russell is running again. His campaign could always use a cash infusion. Even though he is not my rep., I send some money when I am able. He is a great guy, who would serve as an honorable legislator.

onlineanalyst on January 27, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Dude’s gonna pull a Lieberman and go Independent. Book it.

Dominion on January 27, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Heh, if that’s the case I will baptize him with the nick “The Olympic Torch”. Same is said of women that date a lot of men. Goes from hand to hand, get it? Best example: Kate Hudson.

ProudPalinFan on January 27, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Western PA has never forgiven Specter for the hatchet job he did on Bork.

onlineanalyst on January 27, 2010 at 1:44 PM

Uh-oh. Fellow RINO and butt-kisser Michael Smerconish will not be happy.

Drill_Thrawl on January 27, 2010 at 2:00 PM

So many well-deserved political demises, so little popcorn…

Maquis on January 27, 2010 at 2:01 PM

Dude’s gonna pull a Lieberman and go Independent. Book it.

Dominion on January 27, 2010 at 12:45 PM
Heh, if that’s the case I will baptize him with the nick “The Olympic Torch”. Same is said of women that date a lot of men. Goes from hand to hand, get it? Best example: Kate Hudson.

ProudPalinFan on January 27, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Thankfully you can’t do that in PA. After the primaries you cannot change parties to run in the general.

Drill_Thrawl on January 27, 2010 at 2:02 PM

As a registered voter in PA, I can’t wait to vote this guy out of office!!!! C’mon November! :0)

Eclectic on January 27, 2010 at 2:09 PM

As another registered voter in PA, I’m been WAITING to crawl over broken glass to vote against Specter and for Toomey. Just let me at that voting booth!

Jill1066 on January 27, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Down the crapper with Spector!

sonnyspats1 on January 27, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Bye Specter…stay gone!

FloridaMike on January 27, 2010 at 4:27 PM

I can remember a few months ago Toomey was poison because he’s too conservative.

ddrintn on January 27, 2010 at 5:17 PM

but what he may wind up doing is moving both the Senate and House seat to the right by vacating the latter.

Toomey for the price of one?

chickasaw42 on January 27, 2010 at 5:29 PM

ProudPalinFan on January 27, 2010 at 1:27 PM

Meow!!!!!!!! You go girl!!!!! Sorta makes me want to move back to PA just to vote this SOB out of office – you can be sure when OC starts posting send $$$$$$$ to Pa Toomey- I’ll be puttin a few pennies in the kitty :-)

huskerdiva on January 27, 2010 at 5:34 PM

I think one of the other factors is that voters in Pennsylvania are waking up to the truth that their less-than-illustrious Senator is an arrogant, self-centered, self-congratulatory turncoat SOB who has been selling them all out since Day One, and they are now about to give him the heave-ho out of office that he so richly deserves.

pilamaye on January 27, 2010 at 1:15 PM

What took them so long? It seems everyone outside of PA has known Spector was a fool and a poser for years.

uncalheels on January 27, 2010 at 6:08 PM

Hell yeh. But don’t take it for granted people.

CWforFreedom on January 27, 2010 at 6:25 PM

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