Specter Way Ahead of Toomey in Polling

Capitol Ideas is reporting that Specter beats Pat Toomey 53-33 percent in the general, but Tom Ridge matches up with Specter at 46 percent and Ridge at 43 percent.  Like I’ve said before, incumbents have a sky high reelection rate, which is why it makes sense for NRA to endorse Specter if he holds his position on the Second Amendment and keeps voting that way.

As much as I would like to see Pat Toomey off Sarlen Arlen in the 2010 election, it’s not likely to happen.  I think Toomey could improve his polling numbers if he plays his politics right for Pennsylvania, but if Ridge throws his hat into the primary, he’s going to have to run to the right of Ridge (how’s that for alliteration?).  I think Toomey’s fortunes depend on him avoiding a rough primary, and even if he manages that, he has an uphill fight.

Of course, it’s not out of the question that Specter will face a stiff primary challenge from the left as well, so I’d be hard pressed to suggest this race is over before it starts.  Time will tell.

8 Responses to “Specter Way Ahead of Toomey in Polling”

  1. EgregiousCharles says:

    Dude, it’s way too early to start looking at the polls as if who’s ahead is likely to win. Only the Republican base knows who Toomey is. Since he’s barely started running yet, and Specter is well known, I think those numbers actually look good for Toomey.

    I don’t think the whole incumbent thing is going to work for Specter in the normal way because he was the other party last time he ran. That is not at all the normal situation for an incumbent.

  2. FatWhiteMan says:

    If Specter is so far ahead of Toomey, why did he pee his pants and run from Toomey to the democrats?

  3. Sebastian says:

    Because there’s a difference between the general election and the primary. Pennsylvania has closed primaries, so Specter would be facing much more conservative Republican voters.

  4. IMHO, it’s doubtful that Specter will face any major resistance in a Democratic primary. His party switch stinks of a backroom deal, and I’d bet he was assured the support of the party elite. They’ll either bring the full weight (and money) of the party to bear on putting Specter in the spotlight, or coerce the other primary candidates to back out so party members have little to choose from in the primary.

    I would, however, LOVE to see this move backfire on him and send him out to pasture.

  5. I don’t envy you your position but I will likely be in the same boat in Virginia in 2012 when Webb, with whom I disagree on everything except the gun issue, is up for re-election.

  6. Sebastian says:


    I agree it’s a backroom deal, and any primary challenger won’t have party support. But Sestak keeps saying he’s thinking about it, and he’s the kind of asshole who won’t care what the party establishment thinks.

  7. Sebastian says:

    I don’t envy you your position but I will likely be in the same boat in Virginia in 2012 when Webb, with whom I disagree on everything except the gun issue, is up for re-election.

    It’s a difficult one, because I don’t really appreciate what the Democrats are doing on other issues, but I’ve made this my issue, so I will hold my nose and do the right thing for the Second Amendment.

  8. Ken says:

    I think you miss one thing going on here, Sebastian. Specifically, the country-club Republicans are doing everything they can to destroy Toomey, in order to discourage future primary challenges.

    This is not new, either; in 2006, the Liddy Dole-led NRSC actually registered DEMOCRATS to vote in the open primary for Lincoln Chafee against Lachey, his more conservative challenger (although not as conservative as Pat Toomey). Why did they do this, knowing that the Democrats would (and eventually did) vote for the Democrat candidate in November, handing him the election? Simple: they were quite willing to let the Democrat beat Chafee, but by no means were they willing to let Lachey benefit from challenging Them.

    This poll is sure to be touted by the David Frum wing of the GOP as proof that Toomey Has Already Lost, so that they can get a spoiler like Tom Ridge to run. Note that there’s no way in hell that Ridge survives both a bloody primary battle AND a bloody general election; but then again, the Frums out there could care less if Specter wins reelection. They just want to make damned sure that Toomey is properly punished for questioning authority.

    Furthermore, don’t automatically think that the heads of the NRSC are even loyal to the INCUMBENT Republican candidates. It is entirely possible that Cornyn, Hatch, et al, have already cut deals with the Democrats that the former will throw the overall Senate race, provided the Dems allow these specific Republicans to face only token opposition. We have that arrangement in miniature in Nevada, where it’s an open secret that Reid (D) and Ensign (R) have a corrupt bargain to let each other win reelection bids.

    Truth be told, I just don’t see a 79-year-old crook winning reelection against a Reaganesque Toomey, barring Toomey being found with a dead girl or a live boy (apologies to Edwin Edwards). Look at it this way: Specter just surged due to picking up yellow-dog Democrats and still has barely 50% approval–which will drop as the economy sinks. Toomey isn’t known, and I personally can’t even locate his campaign phone number–and he’s already at 33%.

    Provided he can fend off the country-club stab in the back, Toomey is going to wipe the floor with this senile old coot.