Public Policy Polling (D) has released its first survey of the race and found the Republican candidate, former Rep. Pat Toomey (Pa.), beats both Specter and Specter's primary opponent, Rep. Joe Sestak (D), in a general election matchup.
Toomey beats Specter by three, 46-43, and he beats Sestak by six, 42-36.
Specter's job rating is troubling for an incumbent. He had a 34 percent approval rating and a 52 percent disapproval rating.
President Barack Obama also has low approval ratings in the state, which could be helping Toomey. Obama has a 46 percent approval rating and 50 percent disapproval rating. Obama has hosted one fundraiser for Specter and, when Specter switched parties last year, the president vowed to help him win reelection.
Public Policy wrote in its analysis:
This race is basically a toss-up at this point. The big question is whether this represents the low water mark for Democrats in this election cycle. There are a couple of paths to reelection for Specter despite his unpopularity. If Obama's numbers go back up he'll more than likely bring Specter along for the ride.
The poll surveyed 934 Pennsylvania voters from March 29 to April 1. The survey’s margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.2 percent.
Specter has trailed Toomey in several other polls, but he's also been leading Sestak in the primary matchups. The primary is May 18.