Alex's Outlook

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Toomey surges as primary date draws closer 


A new Quinnipiac poll has some good news for conservatives regarding the most important election outside of the presidential election itself.

Conservative voters have shifted to U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey who has narrowed the gap in the Pennsylvania Republican primary, trailing incumbent U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter 49 ? 44 percent among likely voters, according to a Quinnipiac poll released today.

Sen. Specter held a 52 ? 37 percent lead in and April 7 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University.

In this latest survey, which includes voters who are leaning toward a candidate, conservative Republicans support Rep. Toomey 56 ? 39 percent, while liberal and moderate Republicans back Specter 63 ? 28 percent. One week before the primary, their mind is made up, 77 percent of Specter supporters and 82 percent of Toomey supporters say.

In the April 7 poll, conservative Republican voters split with 46 percent for Specter and 43 percent for Toomey.

Specter is "too liberal," 51 percent of likely Republican primary voters say, up from 43 percent April 7; 14 percent of Republicans say Toomey is "too conservative."

"Conservative Republicans are rallying behind Congressman Toomey's charge that Sen. Specter is too liberal for Pennsylvania. The 10-point swing in the last two weeks comes from conservatives who deserted Specter in favor of his challenger from the right," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

As I've said before, knocking off Specter would do wonders to move the Senate rightward. In my opinion, Toomey would be favored to win over Joe Hoeffel, the Democrats' nominee, but even if he doesn't, Specter's defeat would scare the hell out of moderate Republicans to quit spending so much taxpayer money.

It's hard to win a conservative primary when you don't have any conservatism to run on, even if, like Specter, you have $10 million in the bank.

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