Quinnipiac Dishes on Ridge-Specter Poll

Monday, May 04, 2009 at 1:03 pm

The new Quinnipiac poll on Pennsylvania’s 2010 U.S. Senate race shows Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) thrashing Republican candidate Pat Toomey, but only narrowly leading former Gov. Tom Ridge (R-Pa.). But since the poll did not ask Republicans who they’d choose in a primary between Toomey and Ridge (who has not come out and said he’d run) I asked Clay Richards, the assistant director of the poll, which candidate would be favored in a theoretical intra-GOP battle.

“The fact that so many people don’t know anything about Toomey indicates that he’d be in a tough position against Ridge, who’s the best known Republican in Pennsylvania,” said Richards. “While it’s hard to tell and it’s a ways away I think Ridge is such a dominant force that it would be hard to defeat him.”

The poll was not actually conducted as a reaction to the Ridge rumors, but as a test between Specter and the single strongest Republican nominee. “At the time we put Ridge’s name in the field, no one thought Ridge would run,” said Richards. “Mainly, this is a poll about Specter.” Quinnipiac will conduct a Republican primary poll at some point, but it’s not on the schedule yet.

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