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Sestak Swims Upstream « The Washington Independent

Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) is in, no matter what that Obama guy has to say.

The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent reports that Sestak told him he wants to challenge newly minted Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter in the 2010 party primary, even if the White House begs him to stay out of the race.

He’ll have his work cut out for him, according to the latest Quinnipiac poll results released today. The survey says … Specter leads Sestak by 30 points in the primary at this time, and roughly 75 percent of voters don’t know enough about Sestak to even have an opinion on him.

Of course, the more people learn about Sestak the more they could grow to love him … but it takes money to introduce yourself to Pennsylvania voters through TV ads and mailers — and as we mentioned yesterday, Specter is doing the grunt work that will make him, not Sestak, the recipient of Democratic National Committee cash and ad buys.

Former Club for Growth President Pat Toomey — the man who scared Specter from the Republican Party — still trails Specter by nine points, 46-37 percent, according to Quinnipiac, but that’s a big gain compared to the 20 point deficit he faced earlier this month.

Sen. Arlen Specter’s numbers have slipped since the controversy that followed his switch to the Democratic Party, but he’s still better off than he would have been if he stayed a Republican and faced a tough primary challenge from former Rep. Pat Toomey, said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Clearly. The poll’s most interesting finding, I think, is that very few people surveyed (nine percent) said Specter was “too conservative,” while 30 percent found him “too liberal” — most of whom identified as Republicans. One in four people, however, who responded that way were Independents, while eight percent of Democrats said Specter was too liberal.

Still, to go from being a Republican senator to having nearly one-in-three voters say you’re too liberal within a month seems to validate the GOP argument that Specter didn’t really fit in with the other kids.

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