08/13/2009 (4:16 pm)
Arlen Specter, as predicted, is heading for trouble at home. He’s up for re-election in 2010, and he just switched over to the Democratic party because he knew he was going to lose the Republican primary to Pat Toomey. The electoral numbers in PA looked to favor any Democrat over Toomey by about 55 – 43, as recently as June.
But guess what? Thanks to the Stimuluspaloser and ObamaGesundheitsfursorgevollpacken (that would be “cramming health care wherever”), the electoral numbers have changed. Pretty dramatically.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Pennsylvania voters shows 48% would vote for Toomey if the election were held today. Just 36% would vote for Specter while four percent (4%) prefer a third option, and 12% are not sure.
These figures reflect a dramatic reversal since June. At that time, before the public health care debate began, Specter led Toomey by eleven.
Just 43% now have a favorable opinion of Specter while 54% offer an unfavorable assessment of the longtime GOP senator who became a Democrat rather than face Toomey in a party primary. Those numbers have reversed since June when 53% had a favorable opinion of him.
The current figures include 15% with a Very Favorable opinion of Specter and 36% with a Very Unfavorable view.
Toomey also has a solid lead if the Democratic candidate is Congressman Joe Sestak, although not quite as large a lead. Sestak currently trails Specter in polls of Democratic primary voters by about 13 points.
Pennsylvania is somewhat of a world unto itself, but a shift this large over specific legislation usually means a similar shift elsewhere. This does not get the US out of the woods, but it looks like there’s a growing chance that at least the House could turn Republican in 2010, and the Democrats’ Senate majority should shrink. It is not unusual for the opposition party to gain in a mid-term election, but it is unusual for the gain to be showing up so early in the President’s tenure. Obama and ObamaCare are not very popular.