Toomey Leads Specter 48-36 (Rasmussen)

Arlen Specter switched parties to avoid being beaten by Pat Toomey in the Republican primary.  A new Rasmussen poll finds Toomey would crush Specter 48 to 36 if the general election were held today.  (Which, I always add, it won’t be.)

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.

Just 43% now have a favorable opinion of Specter while 54% offer an unfavorable assessment of the longtime GOP senator who became a Democrat rather than face Toomey in a party primary. Those numbers have reversed since June when 53% had a favorable opinion of him.

The current figures include 15% with a Very Favorable opinion of Specter and 36% with a Very Unfavorable view.

Now, it’s very, very early. The election is more than a year away and it’s almost absurd to even be talking about a Senate race at this point in the game. But 36 percent unfavorable is simply remarkable for a long-time incumbent. And to be trailing a relative nobody by 12 points before the campaigning even starts in earnest is truly unexpected; Specter quite reasonably expected that he’d win the Democratic nomination unopposed and walk to re-election. Neither of those are going to happen.

via Taegan Goddard

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2010, Congress, Public Opinion Polls, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. just me says:

    My guess is that the democrats will be running somebody against Specter in a primary and those numbers will change.

  2. yetanotherjohn says:

    I acknowledge that we are 15 months away from the election, but any bets on the democrats retaining a filibuster proof majority?

  3. An Interested Party says:

    Pat Toomey is a “relative nobody”? Really? Even though he ran against Specter before in the primary and almost beat him?

    My guess is that the democrats will be running somebody against Specter in a primary…

    Indeed

  4. Shannon says:

    I like Toomey, but I think it’s necessary to keep idiots like Specter around. If for nothing else than to illustrate the absurdity of ignorant nutroots.

  5. Eneils Bailey says:

    My guess is that the democrats will be running somebody against Specter in a primary…

    Yes, and it looks like Sestak. That could be a tough bout for Specter.

    And the next primary and election is months down the road. Things change, can Specter get his MoJo back? I think he is destined to have free days ahead in about fifteen months.

  6. Brett says:

    Rasmussen Reports? Those guys are almost always outliers (usually in the conservative direction). Not necessarily because they’re consciously biased, but because they heavily use automated polling and have minimal representation of cell phone users (which skews their polls away from younger people, and people who use a cell phone as their first and frequently only phone. People like me, basically).

  7. Benedict says:

    Pennsylvania shares a border with New Jersey, and I’d be on the lookout for a replay of the Torricelli Gambit, with Ed Rendell in the Frank Lautenberg role. Look for this to happen late in the game (Torricelli dropped on September 30). Gotta believe the White House / DNC would pull out all the stops to protect their 60 votes, and convincing a loyal soldier like Rendell to make the move to Washington seems do-able.

  8. Jim says:

    If you are a public official who does not respect his or her voters, you will eventually get what you deserve.

  9. just me says:

    I acknowledge that we are 15 months away from the election, but any bets on the democrats retaining a filibuster proof majority?

    My bet is that the democrats are going to lose seats in both houses, but they will retain majorities in both-so my guess is they won’t retain the filibuster proof majority, but they aren’t going to lose enough seats that it matters.

    I actually think to some degree the filibuster proof majority hurts the dems more than helps them-because they have no excuse for not passing legislation-or at least they can’t use the GOP as the scapegoat. After all, if they can’t pass the legislation it is due to a failure to keep their own party members in line-the GOP can en mass vote no on every bill and the democrats could still pass it.