PoliticsPA: (Another) New poll shows Toomey leading Specter
By Alex Roarty
PoliticsPA Staff Writer
Let the poll wars begin.
After two recent polls showed Arlen Specter beating Pat Toomey in a U.S. Senate general election matchup, a new survey released Monday showed the former Lehigh Valley congressman once again leading the incumbent.
The poll, conducted by Susquehanna Polling & Research, showed Toomey up 42 percent to 36 percent, with 18 percent of the respondents saying they were undecided. Taken March 3 through March 6, it asked 700 likely general election voters for their opinion and had a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points.
Its results, which the Toomey campaign helped bring to the attention of reporters, will combat a growing perception that the senator’s re-election hopes were far brighter than earlier polling on the race had indicated.
A Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this month showed Specter leading Toomey 49 percent to 42 percent, the first poll to show him winning the general election in months. Last week, a Research 2000/Daily Kos poll again showed Specter beating Toomey, 47 percent to 41 percent.
Their findings surprised many observers because earlier polling had shown Specter down double-digits to Toomey. A Franklin & Marshall poll taken in February showed Specter down 44 percent to 34 percent, and a Rasmussen Reports survey released the same month showed him trailing by 9 points.
The discrepancy among the polls likely comes down to a difference of projected voter turnout in November. Polls that show higher turnout have favored Specter, while those projecting a lower number of votes have Toomey in the lead.
Monday’s Susquehanna Poll highlights this fact, saying that among “super voters,” those who have voted in three of the last four statewide general elections, Toomey holds a 43 to 33 percent lead. Among those who voted only one or two times in the last four general elections, Specter leads Toomey 40 percent to 39 percent.
Specter, of course, must still defeat Joe Sestak in the Democratic primary before facing Toomey.