Monday, May 04, 2009


Quinnipiac has a new poll of the 2010 Pennsylvania Senate race that's quite informative ... except for the fact that it leaves nearly all the important questions unanswered:

Newly-minted Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter would whip old Republican rival Pat Toomey 53 - 33 percent if the 2010 Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race were held today, but if popular former Gov. Tom Ridge becomes the Republican candidate, he trails Specter by just 46 - 43 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today....

We get approval ratings for Specter, Ridge, and Toomey, sliced and diced by party -- but here's what Quinnipiac doesn't poll: How well does the pro-choice, not-completely-conservatively-correct Ridge do in a primary against the pitchfork-wielding tax absolutist Toomey in today's smaller, meaner Republican Party? How does Joe Sestak do in a Democratic primary against Specter? What would happen if, just for the sheer Joker/anarchist bomb-throwing thrill of it, Toomey decided that both parties were conspiring to freeze him out and bypassed the primaries to run as an independent -- would he give Specter an advantage against Ridge (if those two are the nominees) in what would otherwise be a tight race? And that's just a partial list of questions.

I still say Specter is (alas) going to cruise to the Democratic nomination -- his astonishingly high favorable-unfavorable numbers among Dems are up, from 71%-16% in Quinnipiac's last (pre-switch) poll to 81%-10% now. But I know the rest of you think this isn't a done deal, so who am I to argue? On the GOP side, though, I think purity could be the key issue. I really wouldn't assume Ridge is a lock for the nomination if he runs.

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