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August 05, 2008

Specter Leads Matthews

Since Hardball host Chris Matthews is reportedly considering a Senate run against Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter in 2010, it gave Quinnipiac University a "thrill up their leg" to go ahead and poll the matchup. The survey of 1,580 Pennsylvania voters between 7/30-8/3 had a margin of error of +/- 2.5%.

General Election Matchup
(All / Dem / GOP / Ind / Men / Wom)
Specter......41 / 24 / 63 / 44 / 46 / 36
Matthews...36 / 56 / 16 / 27 / 31 / 41

As it turns out, despite his ubiquitous presence on election-night specials and on afternoon cable, the MSNBC talking head isn't that well-known among Keystone voters, as 55% say they don't know enough to have an impression of him. 28% have a favorable impression of their prodigal son, while 15% view him unfavorably. Matthews leads Specter in the state's two population bases, the Philadelphia area in the east and Allegheny County in the west, but the Republican has big leads in the rest of the state.

Specter has much higher favorable ratings, with a 55% favorable rating compared with his 26% unfavorable, including an almost two-to-one favorable ratio among Democrats. But even with his high approval numbers, his paltry five-point lead could point to Pennsylvania's increasingly Democratic lean and could presage a tough race for Specter, whether his opponent is a big-name media type or any other Democrat.