Specter Enjoys 20-Point Lead Over Toomey
But Tom Ridge would be a stiffer challenge if he nabbed GOP nom
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2009 11:44 AM CDT
Sen. Arlen Specter discusses his switch to the Democratic Party at the White House with President Barack Obama, left, in Washington, Wednesday, April 29, 2009.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – Arlen Specter beat Pat Toomey 53% to 33% in a Quinnipiac poll of Pennsylvanians’ preferred candidate for US senator. But against Tom Ridge, who may become the Republican candidate, Specter's lead grows more precarious—voters prefer Specter to Ridge by a margin of 46% to 43%, the Quinnipiac poll showed.

Democrats welcomed Specter’s recent conversion to the blue side—he trounced Toomey 85% to 4% in that group. Independents may be more apprehensive about Specter 2.0: while they back him over Toomey by a healthy 9 percentage points, independents would break 47% to 37% for Ridge if he runs.