Specter leaving the Party to keep his seat? (symposium)

Joeseph Ashby writes:

Human Events is
reporting that Arlen Specter will announce today he's switching to the Democrat Party.

While Republicans may believe he left their party long ago, Specter has now found a way around the primary voters who want him out.

Four days ago, Real Clear Politics reported the following:

Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter (R) finds himself down 21 points to former Rep. Pat Toomey in a potential 2010 Republican primary, according to a new Rasmussen poll. Specter now has a 42%/55% favorability rating, while Toomey enjoys a 66%/19% rating.

Toomey 51
Specter 30
Someone else 9
Und 10

A large, early gap in the polls is common an unpopular incumbent. Such polls generally tighten as the election approaches. Specter, however, must think he's in real danger of losing the Republican primary.

His answer: avoid the Republican primary.

Senators don't haphazardly switch parties, they get something from the party their joining. Specter likely worked out a deal where he would secure Democrat Party funding and avoid any serious challengers in the Democrat primary. That way he could run with the natural incumbent advantage in general election without having to win among the much more conservative voters in the Republican primary.

Amazingly, Specter has found yet another way to walk all over the people who have helped him during his entire political career.

Tom Suhadolnik writes:

The New York Times reports
“Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats,” Mr. Specter said in a statement. “I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.”

Although Rush is telling me I think he is missing the full implications of this.  Specter no longer needs to temper his votes to garner support from the right in the Republican Primary.  In order to keep his seat Specter needs support from the left to win the Democratic Primary.
Take Specter’s inevitable lurch to the left and the likely event that Al Franken will prevail in the Minnesota recount, Democrats now have a filibuster proof majority in the Senate.

Big Fur Hat sends us this commentary:


Ed Lasky writes:

Well the filibuster is gone. Specter puts his own interests ahead of the party’s; the loss of Santorum a couple of years ago presaged this move by Specter. On the other hand, the Republican Party has not been wholeheartedly behind Specter (Toomey, fundraising help) and that might have nudged him towards this move.

Richard Baehr writes:

We are doomed for sure now. Will he still join filibuster on card check? Doubtful.

The facts of life are: only moderate Republicans can win in Maine, or Pennsylvania, or New York or Vermont at this point.

And it will probably get worse in the Senate races in 2010. GOP could easily lose seats it now holds in: Kentucky, New Hampshire, and Missouri, and is at risk in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina

It is worth noting that McCain campaign advisor Steve Schmidt said the other day that the GOP is already extinct in parts of the country -- the Northeast, and West Coast, and is rapidly losing ground in the Southwest. The loss in the open House race in New York 20 and this party switch will thoroughly demoralize the GOP heading into next year. I expect to see many more GOP retirements now.

We are on the verge of being a one party nation.