Those who thought fiscal conservative Pat Toomey couldn’t win in Pennsylvania may have to recalculate after the eruption of anger towards Congress and their rush to take over one industry after another. Rasmussen reports that Toomey now leads Arlen Specter, the Democratic incumbent, by double digits in a survey of likely Keystone State voters:
Uncomfortable town hall meetings are just the tip of the iceberg for Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter. He now trails Republican Pat Toomey by double digits in his bid for reelection next year and is viewed unfavorably by a majority of the state’s voters.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Pennsylvania voters shows 48% would vote for Toomey if the election were held today. Just 36% would vote for Specter while four percent (4%) prefer a third option, and 12% are not sure.
These figures reflect a dramatic reversal since June. At that time, before the public health care debate began, Specter led Toomey by eleven.
In fact, it looks like a pretty clear wipeout for Specter. In the crosstabs, Toomey beats Specter among both men and women (51-33 and 44-39, respectively), every age demographic, and among independents by 20 points (48-28). Specter looks like a complete bust.
But what about Joe Sestak, Specter’s Democratic challenger in the primaries? Surely the sitting Congressman can do better against Toomey. Actually he does, but not by much. Toomey beats Sestak in this poll 43-35, and among both men and women (48-34, 38-35). Toomey wins or edges Sestak in almost every age category save a 37-36 split among thirtysomethings. Toomey also scores a 16-point lead among independents, 44-28.
It looks like Specter switched parties and gave up his seniority for absolutely nothing. In this season, he would have been better off remaining a Republican in the midterm elections.
I will interview Pat Toomey tomorrow from the Right Online conference, and you can still sign up to come to Pittsburgh to hear him speak.
Update: Rasmussen’s new tracking poll, with data now coming in from after Obama’s first town-hall forum, shows his approval ratings falling to 47%:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 29% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-seven percent (37%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -8 …
Overall, 47% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President’s performance. That’s the lowest level of total approval yet recorded. The President’s ratings first fell below 50% just a few weeks ago on July 25. Fifty-two percent (52%) now disapprove.
Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Republicans disapprove along with 65% of those not affiliated with either party. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of Democrats offer their approval.
As I predicted yesterday, Obama’s reappearance on the health-care reform issue has increased the gap in the passion index to -8. His job approval numbers will continue to fall as long as this bill remains on the table.