Poll: Toomey now has razor-thin edge over Specter in Senate race


Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Arlen Specter are running neck and neck in the seesaw battle for a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania, a poll released this morning found.

Forty-three percent of those polled by Quinnipiac University said they favored Toomey, a former congressman, compared to 42 percent for Specter, the longtime incumbent and recently converted Democrat.

The results reverse what the university found when it last polled on the head-to-head matchup in July. Specter then had a 45-44 percent edge. And Toomey has closed what had been a 20-point deficit -- 53-33 – from what the school’s May survey showed.

There was good news for Specter, however.

He remains well ahead – 44-25 percent -- of his primary opponent, U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak.

“Toomey and Specter are neck and neck in what could be a 13-month horse race,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “…Specter has more than enough time to reverse his fortunes, but being tied with the relatively unknown Toomey is evidence that this election has become a referendum on Specter.”

President Obama’s job-approval rating in Pennsylvania has dropped to a new low, 49 – 42 percent, the first time he has been under 50 percent in the state, the poll also found.

The poll was conducted between Sept. 22 and 28. It surveyed 1,100 Pennsylvania voters and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.


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