Pa. Voters Sharply Divided on Specter

Pennsylvania voters approve 56 percent to 30 percent of Republican Sen. Arlen Specter's job performance, though he does better among Democrats than self-identified members of his own party, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released this morning.

Democrats approve of Specter 62 percent to 26 percent who disapprove, compared with Republican support of 55 percent to 33 percent. Independents like the job the state's senior senator is doing by a margin of 49 percent to 35 percent.

But, by a narrow margin, 43 percent to 40 percent, registered voters in the survey say that Specter does not deserve reelection. Republicans were split 42 percent to 42 percent, while Democrats were 41 percent "yes" to 42 percent "no." Independent voters said "no" to a sixth Specter term, 45 percent to 36 percent.

The low Republican re-elect number probably is because "the GOP senator is one of only three from the party supporting President Barack Obama's stimulus package," said Clay F. Richards, associate director of the Quinnipiac Poll. "But Specter has always been politically controversial and has needed votes from both parties to stay in office."

Specter's term is up in 2010, and he has said he is running for reelection. Conservatives in the GOP are mad at him again because of the stimulus bill and are wary about some other upcoming votes. See my newspaper story on the topic here.

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