Friday, June 25, 2010

Looking at Specter

One thing was abundantly clear from our Pennsylvania poll this week- Democrats are very, very lucky that Arlen Specter lost their party's nomination for the Senate.

Specter had pretty bad approval ratings in late March when we last polled the race, with 34% of voters approving of the job he was doing then to 52% disapproving. But now those numbers are even worse, with Specter's approval dropping all the way down to 30% and his disapproval creeping up to 55%. It's not impossible for any politician to win a race with approval numbers that bad- I still think Pat Quinn could get reelected in Illinois- but I do think it's impossible for a politician in a state as evenly divided as Pennsylvania to win with those kinds of numbers.

Part of Specter's decline predictably can be tied to falling fortunes with Democratic voters in the wake of his primary loss. He's gone from a 53/30 approval spread to a 46/33 one with them. But he's seen an even more dramatic drop with independents. He was at 32/52 with them three months ago and that's now tanked all the way to 19/67.

If Specter had pulled out the primary it's a pretty safe bet we'd be six months away from Senator Toomey. With Sestak as the nominee Democrats are at least even money to hold the seat, and if I had to put money down on it today I'd guess Sestak ends up winning in November when Democrats get a little more tuned into the race.


Anonymous said...

I guess when things are this bad you write articles about how lucky we are a particular candidate did not win a primary? It's going to be ugly for us Dems. My conservative buddies (I have a few) are very riled up and my progressive friends are very quiet...not sure the "more interested" comment is encouraging because I think that sways far more to the right as an advantage come November.

Anonymous said...

Tom, according to your twitter, 29%of republicans are "moderates" as per your national poll. Assuming that percentage to be accurate (which sounds about right), 44%% of that 29% think the GOP is too liberal -- i.e., 13% of republicans in total. Now, of that 13%, how many think Obama is too liberal? That is the real question. If you had a central democrat (perhaps Bill Clinton), then some of that 13% might roll over -- but the real issue for them remains is Obama far more liberal than the republican nominee is conservative.

herbs814 said...

Pennsylvanians are smarter than that. They will support Toomey and Corbett.

NRH said...

Pennsylvanians have had enough of far-right extremists, and Senatory Frothy Mix is still fresh enough in memory that they won't give Toomey a go at it.

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