Pat Toomey, left, is interviewed by news anchor Rob Vaughn at the WFMZ TV studio in Allentown, Pa. on Tuesday, April 28, 2009.. Toomey, was asked about the decision of Sen. Arlen Specter who switched from the Republican to the Democratic party. Toomey was set to challenge Specter for the Republican nomination
That’s better than Toomey’s showing in a May 4 poll, in which he trailed Specter by 20 points immediately following Specter’s party switch — a switch Specter decided to make in large part because polls showed Toomey beating him in the GOP primary race.
The numbers and candidates in the Pennsylvania race are still in a state of flux. Former Republican Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge was considered a possible challenger, but he opted not to run earlier this month despite a Quinnipiac survey showing him competitive against Specter in a general election.
Now Toomey is the leading GOP candidate. Another potential Democratic challenger recently dropped out of the race against Specter as well.
And though Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., is expected to challenge Specter in the Democratic primary, the latest Quinnipiac poll shows the lesser known congressman trailing the five-term senator by nearly 30 points.
The GOP must be heartened with this poll since it appears that Rep. Joe Sestak will be running against Specter in a contested Democratic Party primary election. The negatives of this primary campaign undoubtedly will help Toomey who has a clear field now that Tom Ridge has declared he will not be running.
Now, will President Obama who has promised to support Specter for re-election place pressure on Rep. Sestak to withdraw and/or will he campaign directly for the incumbent Senator?