Three More Blows For Specter
by Nathan Empsall, Mon May 10, 2010 at 05:42:17 PM EDT
Today is not a good day to be former Repub Arlen Specter. First, a second polling firm now shows him well behind retired Admiral Rep. Joe Sestak in the PA-SEN Democratic primary. Second, Specter has fallen well behind Sestak in both state-wide favorability ratings and general election matchups, giving Sestak all the electability cards. Third, you just know Specter had to be rooting against Obama nominating Kagan for the Supreme Court, and that's going to hurt him.
Reflecting the same results as the Muhlenberg tracking poll, Rasmussen now shows Sestak in the lead. Both polls show a 47-42 race, right at the 5% MOE. This is the third day in a row Sestak has led the Muhlenberg poll and his largest lead yet; it is the first time he has led in a new Rasmussen poll. Muhlenberg has 11% undecided; Rasmussen 8%. (Rasmussen included "some other candidate" among the choices, which grabbed the other 3%.) These polls used different methodologies to find virtually the same results.
Another new Rasmussen poll shows that Sestak is surging almost as much with the general public as he is the Democratic electorate. Sestak's favorable rating is now 50%, tied with Toomey's 51% and far ahead of Specter's 41. If the general election were held today, Specter would lose to Toomey 50-38, whereas Sestak is virtually tied at 42-40. In February, both trailed 47-38. It's clear where the momentum lies.
Also, this nugget from NBC's First Read sugests the President's new nominee to the Supreme Court may have an impact on the PA-SEN race:
As we predicted in First Thoughts, Joe Sestak's campaign is seizing on Arlen Specter's vote against Elena Kagan in 2009, when the Senate was confirming her to be U.S. solicitor general. Specter voted against her before his switch to the Democratic Party...
But he added: "My opponent, Sen. Specter, has already made his views about the president's nominee clear by voting against her confirmation to be Solicitor General, even as seven of his fellow Republicans approved her nomination. I expect Sen. Specter may backtrack from his earlier vote on Ms. Kagan this week in order to help himself in the upcoming primary election, but the people of Pennsylvania have no way of knowing where he will stand after May 18.