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Will Quinnipiac Poll Influence Ridge?

A Quinnipiac poll released this morning (April 29-May 3, 1120 RV, MoE +/- 2.9%) finds Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, now a Democrat, drubbing former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) in the Senate race, while leading former Gov. Tom Ridge (R) by just 3 points.

The survey found Ridge winning over some of the independent voters Specter would take against the conservative Toomey. Will the poll influence Ridge to take on Toomey, whose conservative record made him a favorite over Specter in the primary but now place him as a decided underdog in the general election?

As Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said: "Gov. Tom Ridge is probably the only political figure in Pennsylvania who could give Sen. Arlen Specter a run for his money."

That has to worry Pennsylvania Republicans, who perhaps wanted a senator more reliably-conservative than Specter but, should they nominate Toomey, would likely see six more years of him.

Roll Call reported this weekend that Ridge is indeed considering a bid, despite previous statements that he would not run. With numbers like these, the poll could easily tip the scale toward running.

The results of the survey:

Gen Elec..Tot/Rep/Dem/Ind/Men/Wom/Union HsHolds
Specter...46 / 10 / 78 / 37 / 41 / 51 / 57
Ridge.......43 / 82 / 14 / 47 / 50 / 37 / 34
Und..........8

Gen Elec..Tot/Rep/Dem/Ind/Men/Wom/Union HsHolds
Specter...53 / 18 / 85 / 45 / 47 / 59 / 62
Toomey...33 / 74 / 4 / 36 / 41 / 26 / 27
Und.........10