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December 04, 2008

Poll: Matthews within 3 points of Specter

As Politico reported today, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is moving closer to running for the Senate against Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), and a new poll released today may only fuel his interest further.

The poll shows Matthews trailing Specter in a hypothetical matchup by only three points, 46 to 43 percent. Early polls — especially from automated firms — can be unreliable, but the fact that the veteran lawmaker is polling under 50 percent is notable.

Specter has shown the ability to win over moderate Democrats, but still is having trouble winning over the state's conservative base. The poll shows 32 percent of Democrats supporting him in the matchup. But he only wins over 70 percent of Republicans.

Specter still has higher favorability ratings than Matthews, with 60 percent of voters viewing him favorably. By contrast, a 49 percent plurality of respondents view Matthews favorably, while 37 percent view him unfavorably.

The automated poll surveyed 500 likely Pennsylvania voters on Dec. 2, and has a four percent margin of error.