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Specter's Party Switch Shuts Out Conservatives and Liberals

Senator Arlen Specter's recent party switch is having a residual effect of eliminating the chances of a conservative taking over Specter's seat in the 2010 election. It's also eliminates the possibility of a progressive liberal snatching the seat as well.

Specter was facing a difficult challenge in the Republican primary up against conservative Pat Toomey. Monday's Quinnipiac poll has Toomey with a 74 percent to 18 percent over Specter. If Specter had remained a Republican he'd have surely lost in the primary to Toomey, assuming things remained unchanged.

But Specter made a bold move, one that assures that now he is a Dem0ocrat he currently is in the position to soundly defeat Toomey in the election.

A Quinnipiac University poll found Specter would defeat a conservative Republican who is in the race, Pat Toomey, if the election were held today by 53 percent to 33 percent.

This forces Toomey out of the running, and will cause the GOP to run a moderate instead of a conservative if they expect to have a chance at winning this election. Specter's party switch reduces the chance for conservative Toomey to win this seat.

If Specter had stayed in the GOP a much more liberal Democrat could have run against him and quite possibly have won.... so the party switch, now that Specter had the support of the Obama administration, effectively eliminates the possibility of a progressive gaining that senate seat.

Both conservatives and progressives are shut out under this new scenario.

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Comments (8)


There was a deal made for sure...it could go in a number of ways. I doubt Obama would have vowed to campaign for Specter without a major promise being made by Specter.

One group left to wonder for now are the voters in PA. Joe Sestak appeared ready to run and from interviews with him over the past few days he has not been clued in and is ready to run if Specter doesn't deliver


A Quinnipiac University poll found Specter would defeat a conservative Republican who is in the race, Pat Toomey, if the election were held today by 53 percent to 33 percent.

Yeah, but it isn't going to 'be held today'.

Lee Ward:

Gee - you could write a master's thesis on analysis like that.


There is some talk about Tom Ridge being the Republican nominee - at least that is what a radio talk show out of Philly has been batting around. I just can't believe though that Ridge would want it.


G-Fan, even you have to admit that Toomey has a snowball's chance in hell in a Pennsylvania general election.

I highly doubt Toomey will be the R nominee. A sane NRSC will push him aside for a more moderate guy or girl like a Tom Ridge. Even then I think Specter will end up prevailing.

I'm a liberal Democrat, and I don't like it. I think we should have let Specter lose the primary to Toomey and let Toomey get beat by a REAL Democrat.

Paul Hooson:

Good observation here, Lee. Specter is hardly an real Democrat in his voting record by any means. He's still a Republican by most standards. But his political game of switching parties proves to his short-term advantage and effectively hurts a more progressive Democrat in the primary as well as keeps the GOP from winning the state as well. Whether Specter can win with this political move remains to be seen, but the polls in his home state now look far better for him than they once did.

Specter's exit may make things difficult in the short run, but the guy was a lefty anyway. And after the horrible gaffe about cancer funding and the death of Jack Kemp, Specter is now a Democrat liability.

The election in 2010 will feature inflation as a key issue. Inflation is Obama's middle class tax increase. Because Specter voted for the Stimulus spending, inflation will be an issue that he helped create.

Republicans are not unhappy he has left. For the 'real' reasons they are glad, you can hit:

Rich Fader:

So Arlen Specter is forcing Pat Toomey out of the primary by...removing himself from the primary. Brilliant!

Oh, and I think there are probably some real Pennsylvania Democrats, and not just the other candidates, who might have something to say about whether Arlen Specter is inevitable next year. But what do I know? I'm just a stupid wing-nut, right? Go right ahead and, for example, tell those folks (of whom some probably still have their "I Believe Anita" buttons) that they absolutely have to vote for one of the guys most responsible for getting Clarence Thomas confirmed, because, hey, Harry Reid pinky-swore he'd have a clear path to win another term. I'm sure they will listen to you.

Heh. Good luck with that.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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