Research 2000. 3/8-10. Likely voters. MoE 4%, 5% for Democratic primary. (8/10-12/2009 results)
Let's start with the Senate race:
Arlen Specter (D) 51 (48)
Joe Sestak (D) 32 (33)
It's all within the margin of error, so it could be just float, but Sestak needs to do more than just tread water. Still, Specter has run the perfect primary, morphing into the most dependable Democratic vote in the Senate, and giving suspicious activists zero ammunition to use against him. Given his record, there's nothing to suggest his great voting record will remain post-primary. In fact, given his record, we could expect to see him turn hard right for the general, and then be a pain in the ass his final six years in the Senate. But it's hard to build an entire narrative along those lines, when everything he does and says is so perfectly designed to appeal favorably to Democrats. It's quite the opposite from what we're seeing from Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas. In the general:
Arlen Specter (D) 47 (45)
Pat Toomey (R) 41 (40)
Joe Sestak (D) 39 (42)
Pat Toomey (R) 42 (41)
Arlen Specter (D) 48/42/10 (52/40/8)
Joe Sestak (D) 35/23/42 (37/19/44)
Pat Toomey (R) 41/36/23 (37/34/29)
All of this is float within the margin of error. It's as if nothing happened the last seven months. As could be expected, both Dems crush Philly, dominate the Philly suburbs, and get slaughtered in the middle, Alabama part of the state. Nothing surprising there. What's a little interesting is that Specter beats Toomey by a decent 46-38 in Pittsburgh, while Sestak is deadlocked 38-37 versus Toomey in Steeler country.
Given that Specter runs about 7-10 points stronger across the board, It's hard for Sestak to make an electability argument with numbers like these. What he can do is point to the 44 percent who don't know him, and argue that he has greater upside than Specter. That argument is only valid if he starts improving on that name ID.
In the Governor's race:
Dan Oronato (D) 19
Joe Hoeffel (D) 12
Jack Wagner (D) 10
Anthony Williams (D) 3
In other words, it's one big "huh?" None of these candidates have name ID above 50 percent, and only 12 percent of people pretend to have heard of Anthony Williams, a Philly-area state senator. Oronato is Allegheny County Executive, Hoeffel is a former congressman and currently serves on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, and Wagner is Pennsylvania's Auditor General, a statewide elected office.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett, who is flying the GOP's colors in the governor's race, is also surprisingly unknown for someone twice elected to that job. But he starts with the edge in matchups:
Dan Oronato (D) 34
Tom Corbett (R) 40
Joe Hoeffel (D) 31
Tom Corbett (R) 41
Jack Wagner (D) 32
Tom Corbett (R) 41
Anthony Williams (D) 19
Tom Corbett (R) 47
Give Corbett the early lean, but it's slight at best. He's a long way to 50 percent. And if you look at the crosstabs, Republicans already support him overwhelmingly (in the 80 percent range). The Democrats, on the other hand, have only locked down 50-60 percent of Democratic support, giving them plenty of room to grow.