GOP’s Specter Plans to Switch Parties

Posted: 2009/04/28 in Geopolitics
Tags: , , , ,

Veteran GOP Sen. Arlen Specter of PA will switch parties, confirmed his run for re-election as a Dem in 2010, w/c would increase the number of Senate seats Democrats control to 58, an almost filibuster-resistant majority. Our anti-pork GOP candidate Pat Toomey´s (from Club for Growth) winning numbers in the polls and Arlen´s support of Obama Spending Bill precipitated this. The Rasmussen poll puts Toomey ahead 51% to 30%.

Specter’s real problem started with the Democratic presidential primary in 2008. With the battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama still raging last April, hundreds of thousands of moderate Republicans in Pennsylvania switched registration to vote in the Democratic primary. Most of these people normally voted for Specter. Now they are officially Democrats. With a big primary looming on the Democratic side in 2010, probably most of them will remain Democrats to vote in the Democratic primary. Thus the center of gravity of what is left of the Pennsylvania Republican Party has moved far to the right–towards Toomey and away from Specter. Under far less favorable circumstances, Toomey came within 1.7% of beating Specter in the 2004 senatorial primary. Now with the wind at his back and Specter unpopular with the right wing of the Republican Party for his occasional roll call votes with the Democrats, Toomey has an excellent chance of winning the nomination. Unfortunately, he has almost no chance of winning the general election against any of the numerous Democrats trying for their party’s nomination. He is simply far too conservative for a state Obama carried by 11 points. Thus a Toomey win in the primary means that Pennsylvania will very likely flip and give the Democrats their 60th seat in the Senate (assuming Franken is seated by January 2011). Let us hope that this doesn´t happen and that the Tea Parties are doing smarter strategies.

The move gives Democrats control of 59 votes in the Senate, leaving them one shy of 60 needed for procedural control of the chamber. One senate seat remains unfilled, in Minnesota, where a close recount remains tied up in court. But analysts say Democrat Al Franken is favored to win that legal battle in the coming weeks, giving Democrats the majority they are seeking.

A Republican who is close to Senate GOP leadership said Republican leaders still hold a glimmer of hope to hold off Mr. Specter’s party switch. But it isn’t likely.

Mr. Specter, who provided President Barack Obama the critical vote for his $787 billion stimulus plan, faced a powerful challenge in 2010 from former Rep. Pat Toomey, who hoped to unseat Mr. Specter in a Republican primary. Vice President Joe Biden had been openly courting his old friend and colleague from the Senate Judiciary Committee, making the case that he could breeze to re-election as a Democrat.

Why have Pork loving candidates around, anyway? Time to clean up GOP. Good riddance!

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