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Apr. 29 2009 - 7:40 am | 12 views | 0 recommendations | 15 comments

Specter Will Haunt PA Dems In General Election

Arlen Specter has long been the most liberal, pro-female senator in Pennsylvania. I can understand why he appeals to the Democrats—I’m one and he appeals to me. But the National Dem leaders have sold out the people in Pennsylvania.

In exchange for Specter’s defection to the Democratic side of the aisle, they get an almost filibuster proof voting bloc, so they can ram through whatever legislation they need. But that bloc will only be good until the general election in 2010. Specter has been trailing Toomey by 20 points—however there several liberal, experienced Democratic contenders who could have gone up against Toomey. But in putting an aging, sick Republican on the Democratic ticket instead, the Democratic National leaders are guaranteeing the election of conservative candidate Pat Toomey. Meaning we will end up with two conservative leaders—because Senator Bob Casey is a very conservative politician and is only in office because Pennsylvania Democrats needed a Dem version of Rick Santorum to unseat Santorum.

The Dem leaders may think they’ve put a nail in the Republican coffin with this move, but what they’re really killing is the loyalty of long term PA Democrats.

Specter quits GOP, will run as Democrat | Philadelphia Inquirer | 04/29/2009.


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  1. collapse expand

    There’s no way in hell Pat Toomey wins the general in PA. It’s like worrying about Palin taking on Obama in 2012. Not a chance.

  2. collapse expand

    Nora, I know you bleed cheesesteak, so I hesitate to doubt you, but 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania left the GOP to vote in the Obama-Clinton primary, and it doesn’t look like they’re going back. One would have to believe that if Toomey were able to beat Specter in 2010, it’s because the economy never recovered, and Toomey would be beating any Democrat.

  3. collapse expand

    Sorry Nora but I totally disagree with your premise and frankly your data too. Specter trails Toomey in a primary match up, not a general election match up:

    “According to the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, Specter trails former Congressman Pat Toomey in the Republican primary by 41 percent to 27 percent.

    Forty-five percent of registered voters said they had a “favorable” opinion of Specter. But among registered Republicans, 47 percent said they had an “unfavorable” opinion of the six-term Senator. Overall, 52 percent of voters approve of the job Specter is doing, the poll found.”

    The only chance a repug has of winning the state in the next senate election is if they put up a moderate, a Tom Ridge type, very unlikely to happen considering who exactly makes up the PA GOP at this time in history. Most, if not all of the moderates left the party in order to vote for either Obama or Clinton in Democratic primaries. The Dems now hold over a 1 million registered voter lead in the state. Now that Specter has crossed over he will have the full support of Rendell’s machine, and the big Democratic money from the Philadelphia area. Specter will be easily re-elected and the facts bare that out.

    • collapse expand

      Not sure I understand the point then, this was all about Specter not wanting to leave the Senate. I’m sure if he did he wouldn’t have much trouble finding a high paying gig. Also I’m really not understanding why you are so upset by all of this. As you said you’ve voted for the man. I’m not a fan of his, but find him acceptable, and as the saying goes, a bird in the hand….

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  4. collapse expand

    Who cares about Specter in 2010? The Democrats’ window is now. If they can’t get their agenda passed in 2009, it won’t get easier. Their political capital will only decrease as Obama spends it.

    Specter just needs to vote Democratic for two years. By then, who knows what the political landscape will look like? The GOP is down, but not out.

  5. collapse expand

    The Dem leaders may think they’ve put a nail in the Republican coffin with this move, but what they’re really killing is the loyalty of long term PA Democrats.

    Yeah, but that’s so 18 months away.

    They got to consider the here and now.

    Leave tomorrow for tomorrow.

  6. collapse expand

    The position makes the debate seem extreme. Like there needs to be some massive Democratic agenda plus no middle ground in terms of the voters. Obama won because he appealed to people outside of the party machines and to a group of voters who care rather than vote with a specific ticket.

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    About Me

    My parents voted for McGovern in 1972.

    I applied to the CIA in 1984.

    I always split my ticket.

    I've written for the Wall Street Journal, the Philadelphia Inquirer, MIT Press and have syndicated columns to Reuters and the Chicago Sun Times.

    My interest in women in politics began when I read about Eleanor of Aquitaine who, in the 12th century, ruled both England and France--and launched a full scale war against her husband when she caught him cheating on her.

    IMO, no one has bested that record yet.

    See my profile »
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    Contributor Since: December 2008