Toomey, a former congressman, led Specter in his first re-election bid as a Democrat since switching parties in 2009, 46 percent to 41 percent, the Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday indicated.
Toomey also leads U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, who is challenging Specter in the Democratic primary, by 42 percent to 34 percent, the poll said. Specter leads Sestak for the Democratic nomination, 53 percent to 32 percent, the poll conducted by the Hamden, Conn., university said.
"A Toomey-Specter race could continue swinging back and forth until November because most voters won't begin to focus on it until after Labor Day," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "On paper, Sen. Specter is vulnerable in the general election because only 36 percent of voters say he deserves another term. But Toomey is so little known that the electorate is torn which way to go."
Results are based on interviews with 1,412 Pennsylvania voters conducted March 30-April 5. The margin of error is 2.6 percentage points.
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