POLL: Specter leads, but Sestak and Torsella remain unknown

Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) holds significant leads against other Democrats in the Democratic primary next year but Pennsylvania Democrats know very little about those contenders, according to a new Research 2000/DailyKos poll.

Specter, who become a Democrat last week, beats Congressman Joe Sestak (D), who is considering the race, by a 56 percent to 11 percent margin with 33 percent undecided.

The senator also defeats Democrat Joe Torsella, who is already in the race, by a 60 percent to 5 percent margin with 35 percent undecided.

Those numbers are pretty daunting for Sestak and Torsella, but a closer look shows Pennsylvania Democrats know very little about them. More than half – 56 percent – have no opinion of Sestak while a whopping 85 percent have no opinion of Torsella.

Democrats also aren’t sure they will back Specter in the primary. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they would either “consider” or “definitely” vote for someone other than Specter and nearly quarter said they weren’t sure.

These numbers will undoubtedly add fuel to liberal Democrats fire. One group has already launched an online poll to see if it should start a “draft Joe Sestak” movement and Torsella’s camp told the BBR it is already looking at ways to harness liberal Democrats’ unease with Specter.

Also noteworthy: All three Democrats – Specter, Torsella and Sestak – beat Former Rep. Pat Toomey, the Republican in the race, in head to head matchups.

Specter (D) 55
Toomey (R) 31

Sestak (D) 37
Toomey (R) 32

Torsella (D) 35
Toomey (R) 33

The poll also found that former Gov. Tom Ridge, who bowed out of the contest earlier Thursday, would have lost to Toomey in the GOP primary by a 41 percent to 33 percent margin.

Tags Arlen Specter Arlen Specter Candidate Position Joe Sestak Joe Sestak Joe Torsella Joe Torsella Pat Toomey Pennsylvania Person Career Person Party Political Relationship Politics Polls Result Quotation United States United States Senate Democratic primary election in Pennsylvania United States Senate election in Pennsylvania
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