So, will today finally be the day when a Democrat beats Arlen Specter in a contest for a U.S. Senate seat for Pennsylvania? And if the Democrat turned Republican turned Democrat loses, will he continue to caucus with the Democrats? Will he remain a loyal foot soldier for Obama?
Whatever the case, it does seem Specter himself may be second guessing his decision to switch parties as it’s not turning out exactly as he had hoped. Had the 5-term incumbent not supported the “so-called stimulus” (while still a Republican), he might have been able to coast to reelection. Never a man to back something out of principle, Specter (as a Republican) would have swung right, opposing Obamacare and cap ‘n trade to boost his Republican bona fides. Instead, as a Democrat, he’s been a lock-step supporter of President Obama and Harry Reid.
He’ll vote whichever way is best to save his seat. And that kind of behavior is becoming less becoming in a politician with people becoming increasingly disgusted with those old Washington ways, you know, the kind that some politician railed against so successfully in 2008.
As to the special election to fill the House seat of the late John Murtha. I actually think the Democrat Mark Critz has the edge, though I wouldn’t be surprised if Republican Tim Burns manages to pull off a victory–if his Get-Out-the-Vote (GOTV) operation is solid. Here’s why I think Critiz has the edge. There are a lot of blue-collar Democrats in the district where Murtha remained popular. Critz was a top Murtha aide who learned the district well when working for the long-serving Democrat. He is against Obamacare. He has hit Burns on the tax issue. And Democratic turnout will be up because of interest in the Sestak-Specter race. There is no similar race on the GOP side.
That said, other bloggers give Burns has the edge. I hope they’re right.