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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Tom Ridge May Run To Take Specter's Senate Seat

News from Wapo:

Former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge (R) is seriously considering a 2010 bid for the Senate seat held by Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter and will make his decision in the next two weeks, according to several sources familiar with his thinking.

Ridge is perhaps the state's most decorated Republican, having held a House seat for more than a decade, spent eight years as governor and served as the first secretary of homeland security under President George W. Bush. He was also mentioned as a possible vice presidential pick for Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) in 2008.

If Ridge does decide to run, the initial numbers, with him not even in the race yet, look decent, according to a new Pennsylvania poll.

In an automated poll of 1,019 households of registered voters taken at the end of last week, announced PBC President and CEO David W. Patti, “PEG PAC found that if the election for US Senate were held today, Tom Ridge could defeat Arlen Specter by a margin of 39 percent to 38 percent. The poll also shows Specter would defeat Pat Toomey by a margin of 42 percent to 36 percent.” The number of undecided voters in the survey is over 20 percent cautioned Patti, and the margin of error is +/- 2.8 percent, so the association leader said the results are not conclusive.

Also telling is that no matter what party Specter runs as (he was trailing badly behind Toomey before he switched parties) he doesn't top 50 percent:

“What jumps out at me,” said Patti “is that Senator Specter doesn’t get over 50 percent against either candidate. That’s not good for a long-term incumbent no matter what political party he affiliates with.”

Patti said he finds the area break-downs in the survey “most useful and instructive.” “Governor Tom Ridge – despite not having campaigned or worked in the state for several years – is a viable opponent to Arlen Specter in every area of the state except the City of Philadelphia,” said Patti. “In the Philadelphia suburbs, Tom Ridge matches Arlen Specter. Across the state, Tom Ridge pulls more votes from Democrats and Independents, than Pat Toomey,” reported Patti.

Tom Ridge needs to be encouraged to run.