HARRISBURG Survey: Rep. favored 2-1 over Dem

HARRISBURG (AP) -- Fifteen months before the 2004 election, Republican U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter is favored nearly 2-1 over prospective Democratic challenger U.S. Rep. Joseph Hoeffel, according to poll results released today. In a hypothetical two-way race, Specter would win 53 percent of the vote and Hoeffel would get 29 percent, the survey by the Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University Polling Institute showed. Specter's approval rating dipped slightly to 57 percent, compared with 60 percent in a similar poll in February. The institute's assistant director, Clay F. Richard, dismissed the change as "the kind of ups and downs that politicians go through." The telephone poll of 1,037 registered Pennsylvania voters was conducted between July 30 and Monday. It carries a sampling error margin of plus or minus three percentage points. Specter, who is seeking his fifth six-year term, faces a challenge for the Republican nomination in the April 27 primary from conservative U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey, who faces an uphill fight to boost his name recognition. So far, Toomey has raised $1.5 million for his campaign, compared with Specter's $8.6 million. The poll did not assess the Specter-Toomey race.

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