Report: Specter trying to change rules to make GOP Senate race an open primary

posted at 5:25 pm on March 23, 2009 by Allahpundit

Via DrewM at Ace’s site. The last time I posted about this, I thought Specter could play Joe Lieberman to Pat Toomey’s Ned Lamont by losing the GOP primary and then winning the general election as an independent. Not so; turns out Pennsylvania law prohibits independent runs by candidates who compete in and lose a primary. So he’s either got to run as a Republican and beat Toomey or duck the showdown by going indie now.

Or maybe there’s a third way.

In recent days, Specter has quietly lobbied Republicans who control the state Senate to support a proposal that would allow independents to vote in the Republican or Democratic primary. He has called individual senators and spoke before the entire caucus – on that and other subjects – earlier this week.

One senator who attended the caucus said it was tough sell.

“It was apparent that he wanted the support” of the caucus, said Sen. John H. Eichelberger, R-Blair, who supports Toomey. “I could tell from the looks in the room and the comments that were made that there wasn’t much support for it.”

So brutal are the poll numbers for Specter among Pennsylvania Republicans that I can’t see how he stands a chance against Toomey, especially considering that plenty of disaffected centrist GOPers have doubtless left the party over the past few years. He’ll have to switch; the only question is, to what? If he goes Democrat, he’ll enjoy some DNC money but also risk a voter backlash as someone who can’t be trusted. If he goes independent, he faces a three-way race — which may or may not be to his advantage, depending upon how far left the Democratic candidate is. Plus, if he wins as an indie, he’s unlikely to lose his seniority on GOP committees given how long he’s been there and how desperate the party is for influence. Exit question: What’s a well-funded RINO incumbent to do?


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Comments

What’s a well-funded RINO incumbent to do?

Short of dropping dead, quit!

SoldiersMom on March 23, 2009 at 9:22 PM

onlineanalyst on March 23, 2009 at 9:16 PM

I hope Murtha isn’t around much longer, but think of the fun if the GOP got the House back as well as the governorship when the districts are being redrawn after 2010. PA may lose a Rep after the census.

The GOP also needs to focus on 2010 state elections, especially governors and secretaries of state. OH and MN have ACORN SoS. And it showed in 2008.

Wethal on March 23, 2009 at 9:25 PM

Specter had a surprisingly tough time last time against Toomey. This time, he’s used all of whatever creds he had left over since ’04. Talked about burned bridges. Spacter’s long and fitful Senate career is about to go down in flames.

And if Arlen thinks that he can pull a reverse-Lieberman and get enough Democrat support to somehow pull it out, he’s dopier than I have ever imagines.

seanrobins on March 23, 2009 at 9:45 PM

PA may lose a Rep after the census.

Say: Is anyone thinking about the prospect of the 2010 US Census being farmed out to ACORN lackies going door-to-door? What a mess hat’s going to be.

Super-fraud, ACORN-style.

seanrobins on March 23, 2009 at 9:49 PM

What’s a well-funded RINO incumbent to do?

Become a well funded turncoat Democrat incumbent.

JellyToast on March 23, 2009 at 9:50 PM

What’s a well-funded RINO incumbent to do?

Become a well funded turncoat Democrat incumbent.

JellyToast on March 23, 2009 at 9:50 PM

That may not be an option for him if the Dems look like they are going to suffer a backlash in the mid-term election. If the economy does not turn around in the next 18 months a backlash is a VERY real possibility.

Specter may find himself in the absolutely worst possible political position. He may find the Republicans will vote him out in the primary for cooperating with the Democrats. If he switches parties he may win the Democrat primary but run into a general mood to toss the Democrats out for inept handling of the economy.

I would love nothing more than Specter finding out that he is simply unelectable in the next election.

Hawthorne on March 23, 2009 at 11:25 PM

The way I see it, the delayed runoff in georgia tells us if the HD Dems come to help win, it hinders even more.
If the election was run today, Obama couldn’t win.

seven on March 23, 2009 at 11:29 PM

This just proves that Spectre is a democrat at heart, don’t stand for anything just change the rules in order to help yourself. A loser now, a loser in 2010.

There will be a clear winner in 2010 and that will be the Republican party with one less RINO that you won’t have to worry about turning your back to.

Gohawgs on March 24, 2009 at 2:05 AM

Short of dropping dead, quit!

SoldiersMom

I second that. All those in favor, signify by saying “aye”. The aye’s have it. Motion carried.

SKYFOX on March 24, 2009 at 5:36 AM

Report: Specter trying to change rules to make GOP Senate race an open primary

Squirm, you RINO bastard, squirm.

byteshredder on March 24, 2009 at 6:53 AM

truly a dimocrat idea, wonder how he came up with it.
(just retire now, you jerk)

la.rt.wngr on March 24, 2009 at 12:49 PM