Poll: Specter Would Be Crushed By GOP Primary Challenger Toomey

The latest Quinnipiac University poll shows that Republican Sen. Arlen Specter may have trouble holding onto his seat in 2010. He's trailing former Congressman Pat Toomey 41 to 27 percent in the primary. Twenty-eight percent are undecided, however.

"Pennsylvania Republicans are so unhappy with Sen. Specter's vote for President Barack Obama's Stimulus Package and so-called pork barrel spending that they are voting for a former Congressman they hardly know," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. Republican voters disapprove of his vote on the stimulus 70 to 25 percent. Democrats overwhelmingly support the move 87 to 6 percent.

Overall, Pennsylvania voters have a 45 to 31 percent favorable opinion of Sen. Specter, but he gets a 47 to 29 percent unfavorable score from Republicans. The Republican is more popular with Democrats, getting a 60 to 16 percent positive score and a 41 to 35 percent positive from independent voters. Even though Toomey lost the 2004 Republican primary to Specter by less than two points, 78 percent of all voters, including 73 percent of Republicans, don't know enough about him to form an opinion.

A separate Franklin & Marshall poll showed that half of Republicans in the state believe it is time for a new senator.