I heard both John Zogby and Scott Rasmussen claim yesterday that Arlen Specter (D-PA) will now easily win re-election in 2010. These are people who are paid to analyze these things, and have been doing it for years. They know a lot more than me. So, you should listen to them.
However, in my opinion, they’re wrong. Of course, I thought that Barack Obama (D-USA) could not win his party nomination or the presidency. Shows what I know.
I’ll be blunt. For Specter to win in 2010, he has to move to the left. Hard left. And fast. For those of you keeping score, that would be a disaster for the GOP (and for America, in my opinion, but that’s another topic). Anyone who is claiming that this is good for the GOP is fooling themselves.
Let's be honest with ourselves. He made this switch out of concern for his own political future. He wants to be re-elected in 2010. Period. There's no other reason behind it. He can claim that the Republicans went to the right during his tenure, but that’s nonsense and he knows it.
Ok, let’s look at history. In 2004, his Democrat opponent got 43% of the vote. These 43% aren't likely to be very enthusiastic about Specter. Let's say the teacher's union was against him in '04 (I don't know if they were). They're unlikely to change their position in '10. Without a movement to the left, his support from the left is going to be tepid at best.
Also, he needs to generate money, and fast. Toomey's bringing in lots of cash. Specter's already in a hole because he's going to actually have to give back some of what he's taken in. And who's going to donate to him? Campaign contributors tend to be among your most partisan constituents. Is he going to get much money from his former contributors? Unlikely. How about from the left? Again, unlikely, unless he moves to the left.
Yes, the DSCC will pump some money into this campaign, probably quite a bit of it. They would have in any case, to defeat Toomey. But, so will the NRSC, so that's unlikely to help much.
Prediction? Toomey outspends Specter by a hefty margin and this election is much closer than our so called experts are predicting at the moment.If re-elected, Specter probably moves back towards the center, but until next November, he’s going to move left and stay there.