06 March 2009

If Specter's gonna flip, he needs to be encouraged to flip now

There's a good deal of speculation around that Arlen Specter, who is only popular among PA Republicans to the tune of about 26%, has an incentive to switch parties in order to avoid defeat in the Republican primary in 2010.

From the point of view of Democrats nationally, I think pressure should be applied to induce him to switch now, and to vote with Democrats on fiscal issues in particular, if he wants to gain support to keep his seat as a Democrat in 2010. We need his vote, but he needs Democratic support, including campaign and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee support, if he is to keep his seat. There's a good chance, and he knows it, that if he remains a Republican, he will be defeated in a primary challenge from Pat Toomey.

But if he just bides his time and waits to see what way the wind blows, meanwhile voting with the Obstructionist Republicans most of the time, I say, we should let him know he will not get help from Democrats in 2010. Let Toomey beat him, put up someone else, and win in the general election in 2010. And if he tries to switch right before the primary season, put up a well qualified Democrat and beat him in our primary. The nitty gritty message from Democrats to Specter right now needs to be: You need to get on board if you expect cooperation to help you out in 2010.

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