Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — Arlen Specter is anything but a shoe-in in the race for the Pennsylvania senate seat that he has held for the last 30 years. There appears a strong possibility that the coveted Pennsylvania senate seat could fall to either Democratic candidate Joe Sestak or Republican candidate Pat Toomey. Here is a look at the Pennsylvania senate race and my personal opinion on whom I would like to see win the Pennsylvania senate seat.
Changing Mood of Republican Party & Arlen Specter’s Party Switch
Barack Obama’s win in the 2008 Presidential election affected the tone of the Republican Party like no other event. Obama’s win, coupled with the debate surrounding health care reform, has moved the Republican Party further to the right. Because of this change in the Republican Party, Republican moderates like Specter, who is considered a “Centrist”, found their position in the Republican Party in jeopardy. Last year, polls showed Specter trailing Toomey for the Republican nomination. In an attempt to hang on to his senate seat, Arlen Specter switched parties and became a Democrat.
May 18, 2010, Democrat Primary – Candidates in a Dead Heat
The latest polls show Specter and Sestak in a dead heat for the Democratic nomination. According to the latest poll from Rasmussen Reports, Joe Sestak leads Specter in the Democrat primary with 47% of the votes versus Specter’s 42%. While Arlen Specter has endorsements from Democrat bigwigs including Barack Obama and Massachusetts Senator, John Kerry, it does not appear that Pennsylvania’s mainstream democratic voters are rallying around their new party member.
Which Candidate Stands the Best Chance of Beating Toomey?
This is the big question for many Democrats. Rasmussen reports that the polls show Arlen Specter trailing Pat Toomey for the senate seat. The polls show Pat Toomey with 50% of the votes and Specter with 38% of votes (the remaining 13% of voting for other candidates or undecided). The polls paint a rosier picture for the Democrats if Joe Sestak were to become the Democrats nominee for senate. The polls then show Toomey and Sestak in a dead heat, Sestak with 42% and Sestak with 40% of the votes (remaining 19% are for other candidates or undecided). The Democrats are still in a vulnerable position to lose the seat to the Republican candidate, but with Sestak, their position is much less vulnerable.
Whom I Will Be Voting for and Why
The three likely candidates to win the Pennsylvania senate seat are centrist, Arlen Specter, libertarian leaning conservative, Pat Toomey and moderate liberal Joe Sestak. I will be voting tomorrow in the Democrat primary and have been waffling between Sestak and Specter. I have never had issues with Arlen Specter’s voting record in the past. I agree with many of his past voting decisions, and appreciate his position in the Republican Party. Up until recently, I had not been familiar with Joe Sestak, but after doing some research on his stances on many of the volatile issues of the time, I am ok with most of his positions. Sestak may end up getting my vote, if only for the reason, that it appears that he may have the best shot of beating Pat Toomey. Pat Toomey, who reminds me in many ways of former Pennsylvania senator, Rick Santorum, with his hard right wing stance, is definitely not someone I would like to see represent Pennsylvania in the US senate.