Feb. 14, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Specter's Election Prospects Improve

A Quinnipiac University poll from earlier this year showed Specter with a 41 percent approval rating from Republicans and a 71 percent approval rating from Democrats — his highest rating among Democrats since 2002.

Specter said Tuesday that the Quinnipiac poll was consistent with his campaign’s own polling, which showed he dropped 30 points among Republicans after he voted for the stimulus bill earlier this year.

“The pollster said he’s never seen that kind of precipitous drop,” Specter said.

The Senator’s pollster, Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies, confirmed Tuesday afternoon that his firm had resigned from Specter’s campaign.

Specter also said he was “anxious” to take on his 2004 primary opponent, former Rep. Pat Toomey (R), in the general election.

But according to some Pennsylvania Republicans, it’s far from certain Toomey will be the Republican standard-bearer now that Specter has jumped ship.

“I don’t think it’s impossible that there will be other Republicans not looking at the race now looking at it,” said John Brabender, a Republican consultant who has a long history of working for Pennsylvania candidates.

Recent public polls showed Rep. Jim Gerlach and former U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan trailing state Attorney General Tom Corbett in the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary, making both of them likely candidates to look at the Senate race. Brabender said that because Meehan is close to Specter, Gerlach would be the more likely choice.

“I would imagine that Jim Gerlach’s phone is ringing quite a bit, particularly from folks from the eastern part of the state,” Brabender said.

Senate Republican leaders blasted Specter’s move as a purely political act of self-preservation and said they look forward to defeating him in 2010, without addressing who their candidate might be.

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