Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Arlen Specter- The biggest fight of his career and no one in Pennsylvania cares.

Arlen Specter made a last ditch effort in 2009 to save his political career. After holding office as a Republican Senator for decades, Specter’s waffling Senate days look to be numbered. After he voted for Barack Obama’s stimulus plan, the Republicans in Pennsylvania were feed up with Specter’s history. Throughout his career, Specter was not afraid to vote against party lines and this was no exception. Republicans made this stimulus plan their party’s largest opposition stand. Their mantra was, “If you were not with us, you were against us.” Well, Specter was not with them and felt a backlash.

Specter felt that backlash throughout the rest of 2009. With a re-election campaign starting, this was the last thing that Specter wanted to deal with. Early polling showed a double digit lead by his Republican challenger, Pat Toomey. Specter felt that as a Republican that has gone against the grain for too long, his re-election efforts were in serious jeopardy. So in late 2009, he switched from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party.

Many in Pennsylvania feel that Specter just jumped ship solely to save his political career. When Specter switched parties he stated that he did not like the direction the Republican Party was headed. However, to Pennsylvanians, we see that it was only about self-preservation and not party line stands. As the polls have opened, it appears that this race will be too close to call. Joe Sestak, Specter’s Democratic election opponent, was trailing Specter by double digits merely a month ago, but now is going neck and neck in this primary race.

This is a very interesting battle than many Democratic Pennsylvanians do not seem to care about. Light election turnout is predicted and that may not fare well for Specter. The few passionate Democrats in Pennsylvania, that will vote, appear to be on Sestak’s side and will trudge out into the rain to seat their candidate. What it will really come done to is the perception of Specter and if he is a good example of the Democrats. Unfortunately for Specter, the reality is that he is not representative of the Democratic party and probably will not be re-elected.

Now on a rainy dreary May Election Day in Pennsylvania, his fate will be sealed. If the weather is symbolic of Specter’s night, it will not be bright and cheery at Specter’s election headquarters. As many incumbents have felt over the past year, Specter’s reigns over Washington politics will be coming to an end. 

If, by chance that Specter wins tonight, he must still face Pat Toomey in the November Election. That battle will be even tougher. Democrats of late have held many of the top elected spots in the state. Because of the economic and various political issues in the state, Democrats are going to feel this backlash and the Republicans have a good chance of taking over a mostly Democrat-run government. That will not bode well for Sestak or Specter in November.

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