| Public Opinion Strategies (R) for RNC Committeeman Bob Asher (5/3-4, likely voters, no trendlines). Primary results:
Tom Ridge (R): 59
Pat Toomey (R): 21
Peg Luksik (R): 2
Tom Ridge (R): 60
Pat Toomey (R): 23
Arlen Specter (D-inc): 57
Joe Sestak (D): 20
And general election matchups:
Arlen Specter (D-inc): 41
Tom Ridge (R): 48
Arlen Specter (D-inc): 49
Pat Toomey (R): 40
Amusingly, POS was Specter's pollster (they parted ways (PDF) after his switcheroo)... and now they're showing him trailing Tom Ridge in a general election matchup. A little post-breakup revenge polling? Ridge, who's supposedly "50-50" on a race, also seems to have something of a Santorum problem: On various official documents, he's listed his residence in Maryland, not Pennsylvania. This guy was governor and he doesn't even want to live in the Keystone State any longer? Jeez.
Anyhow, POS also has the first primary tests we've seen, with Ridge pounding Toomey. Doubtless Toomey's weak ID among Republicans is holding him back - 50% either have no opinion or have never heard of him. With movement conservatives already taking aim at Ridge, these numbers would be sure to change by the end of what would be a bruising, year-long primary.
Among all voters, meanwhile, Specter clocks in with a 50-40 favorability score, while Sestak has just a 15-3 rating. If Sestak mounted a serious campaign (presumably with labor backing), this too would change. Sestak has been talking pretty tough, though I'm a bit concerned that SEIU's Andy Stern might be using him to put pressure on Specter over EFCA. At the same time, Joe Torsella is apparently trying to gather anti-Specter Dems into his fold. But would Torsella, an acolyte of Ed Rendell, really stick it out against Specter, given that Fast Eddie pledged a clear primary to Arlen?
Specter, though, is making it harder and harder for Dems to stomach him. In fact, it seems that everything he's said since his switch has been designed to alienate rather than embrace his new party. He reiterated his newfound opposition to Employee Free Choice; said he'd still oppose Dawn Johnsen, Obama's choice to head the Office of Legal Counsel; declared he would not be a "loyal Democrat"; voted against Obama's budget; denied he was committed to the President's healthcare plan (contradicting Obama himself); said the one vote in his entire career that he publicly regrets was his vote against Jeff Sessions' nomination to a federal judgeship; and then this gem:
There's still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner.
He's since tried to walk that back, hilariously claiming he "conclusively misspoke". I think Markos got it right - Specter seemes to be rejecting his (D) transplant. He's starting to piss me off more as a "Democrat" than he ever did as a Republican.