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Latest Poll: Specter and Sestak in dead heat

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

A dead heat. That’s the verdict from a new Franklin & Marshall College poll on the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary between incumbent Arlen Specter and challenger Joe Sestak.

The poll shows Specter with an eight-point lead among all registered Democrats.  But if you narrow the sample to the most likely primary voters, Sestak leads by two points. Poll director Terry Madonna said Specter’s big lead has evaporated because Sestak’s ads have finally given his argument some traction.

“The argument is: Arlen Specter switched parties to get re-elected,” says Madonna. “Number two, Arlen Specter has all these votes with [Presidents] Reagan and Bush, and the reason we’re in the mess that we’re in, according to Sestak, is that Republicans put us there and Arlen is responsible for that.”

Specter is countering with TV ads featuring President Obama. Madonna says Specter can win with a robust turnout. Sestak will perform better if only core Democrats come to the polls.

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