Polls: Is Specter Up or Down In Primary?

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Now this is odd. After Quinnipiac came out with a poll showing Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) losing his 2010 primary to likely challenger Pat Toomey, now Franklin & Marshall College has a survey showing…Specter ahead?

The numbers: Specter 33%, Toomey 18%, plus Peg Luksik, a right-wing activist who has already declared her candidacy, at two percent. By contrast, Quinnipiac had Toomey up 41%-27%.

One possible cause of the difference could be that Quinnipiac didn’t include Luksik, so the addition of a third candidate’s name could cause anti-Specter voters to shift to the undecided column — and it’s not a great sign that an incumbent is stuck in the 30s in a good poll. Either that, or one or both of these polls are just totally wrong.

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Specter is sounding out GOP state Senators back home, about the idea of the state switching from a closed-primary system to an open primary that allows independents in. This would greatly benefit Specter by creating a Republican primary electorate that goes beyond just the conservative base. And a bunch of legislators are strenuously opposed to it.

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