Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

08/13/2009 (4:16 pm)

A Little Good News

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.

02/10/2009 (7:48 am)

I Think Arlen Specter's Finished

Sen. Arlen Specter (R, PA) has been a fixture in Pennsylvania politics as long as I can remember. However, his prominent role in providing President Obama with enough Senate votes to jam the Quadruple the Deficit With $800 Billion in Democratic Payback bill down the nation’s throat will probably spell the end of the Specter era in the Senate.

Specter’s reputation as a moderate has already caused him trouble in the PA Republican party. His last re-election run in 2004 was marred by a primary challenge from a pure free-market conservative named Pat Toomey. Toomey came within a hair’s width of unseating Specter, losing by a bare 2% in the primary.

Polls taken by Democratic operatives in December show that when offered the choice between Toomey and Specter today, Specter does not pull anywhere near 50% of the vote. Toomey only pulls about 28%, but 29% are undecided. The failure to pull 50% in a straw poll like this is considered the mark of vulnerability among political operatives. That was before the Make Our Grandchildren Pay For Our Liberal Fantasy bill. The outrage in the Republican party is likely to be such right now that Specter can count on a challenge from at least one solid conservative in his re-election bid in 2010, and will very likely lose. Exeo Specterus. (Is he being exSpecterated?)

Unfortunately, the same Democratic poll shows Pat Toomey losing handily to any one of a number of generic D candidates. While this might be different for a different candidate (I honestly wouldn’t mind them drafting Rick Santorum again but I think that’s unlikely,) I’m afraid the drift in Pennsylvania has been to the left, so PA’s remaining Republican seat in the US Senate could easily become a Democratic seat by 2011.

Of course, two years of Obama and a strongly Democratic Congress could very easily change the national mood dramatically, particularly if the Recreate the Great Depression On Steroids bill does what I expect it will do to us. If by 2010 it’s apparent that we’re falling off a cliff, and if the press has not managed to convince the uneducated that despite the full control of Democrats and the malfeasance of Barney Frank and Chuck Schumer, it’s Not Really Their Fault, Specter could be replaced by a real Republican — the first time that seat had been held by such a beast in my lifetime. And then about whom would the Kennedy Conspiracy Loons make their “single-bullet theory” jokes?