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The Collective
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
By Steven L. Taylor

Oh, sure: leave the computer for a while and the intertubes get all clogged up with news about a party switch in the US Senate: Specter To Switch Parties While I expect a lot of conservatives to have a reaction similar to Michele Malkin’s (Michelle Malkin » Arlen Specter makes it official), it is worth wondering as to why.

There are some pretty straight-forward clues.

1) Being in the majority beats being in the minority. Ask, for example, Richard Shelby or Ben Nighthorse Campbell.1 or Jim Jeffords.

2) Even better: losing in the primary really stinks (especially for an incumbent): Election 2010: Pennsylvania Republican Senate Primary:

Incumbent Senator Arlen Specter trails former Congressman Pat Toomey by 21 points in an early look at Pennsylvania’s 2010 Republican Primary. Fifty-one percent (51%) of Republican voters statewide say they’d vote for Toomey while just 30% would support Specter.

Specter is viewed favorably by 42% of Pennsylvania Republicans and unfavorably by 55%,

3) PA is a solidly Democratic state (Obama won in 2008 55-44, Rendell won the governor’s race in 2006 60-40 and the last Republican Senate incumbent to run (Santorum) lost in 2006).

In terms of explaining his political behavior, this isn’t that hard to understand.

Sphere: Related Content

  1. Think: 1994 election aftermath []
Filed under: Elections | |
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6 Responses to “Explaining Specter’s Move in 3 Easy Steps”

  1. Max Lybbert Says:

    You mean he’s not doing this out of enlightened concern for his constituents? Instead it’s just self preservation? I’m utterly shocked!

  2. MSS Says:

    Given that his constituents are overwhelmingly Democratic, and they will have a chance to pass judgment on the switch at the next election, we have here an overlap between constituent and politician interests-as we should in a democracy.

    I thought this would happen, but maybe not just yet.

    Now what about the two in Maine? I suppose the Republican party there is too weak to provide the “push” factor that Specter faced. But the “pull” factors should be similar.

  3. Hume's Ghost Says:

    What I find more interesting is the behavior of the Democrats. This could have been an opportunity to run an actual Democrat against Toomey. Now they’ve married their fortune to supporting Specter who, as Glenn Greenwald points out, is opposing the appointment of Dawn Johnsen.

  4. Ratoe Says:

    Specter is a clown. Remember, this guy went on TV demanding a Congressional investigation of why the NFL destroyed the video evidence from the New England Patriot cheating scandal.

    Just months before, however, he defended the CIA destroying video evidence of their torture techniques.

    Its great to see where his priorities are.

  5. Hume's Ghost Says:

    That’s one of the many instances that leave me little respect for Specter. When demanding investigation of the Patriot episode, he actually equated it with the destruction of the CIA tapes, as if they’re comparable.

  6. Max Lybbert Says:

    Now what about the two in Maine?

    I personally would be willing to pay any costs associated with changing their party affiliation of record.

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