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Specter Leads Matthews in Potential Matchup

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) has a double-digit lead over prospective 2010 challenger and cable TV host Chris Matthews, according to recent automated polling data, although many respondents said they were still undecided.

A Public Policy Polling survey of 1,529 likely voters in Pennsylvania gave Specter the edge over Matthews, 40 percent to 27 percent, with 33 percent undecided. The poll questioned voters from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 and had a margin of error of 2.5 points.

Of those who responded to the survey, 51 percent identified themselves as Democrats and 42 percent identified themselves as Republicans, with another 7 percent who described themselves as “other.”

Matthews is originally from the Philadelphia area, but has spent the past three decades in Washington, D.C., working as a journalist, top aide to then-Speaker Tip O’Neill (D-Mass.) and, most recently, as the host of MSNBC’s “Hardball.”

Though Matthews has not announced a bid for Specter’s seat, he has said publicly that he has always wanted to be a Senator. More recently, Matthews has sought the opinion of a select group of Pennsylvania Democrats about a potential 2010 bid.

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