The newest poll numbers are now showing Senator Arlen Specter, the Democrat turned Republican turned Democrat, trailing his opponent in the Democrat primary. Congressman Joe Sestak, who defied the Pennsylvania Democrat machine by throwing his hat into the Senatorial primary, is leading Specter by 4 points. That may not be much of a lead but when you consider that Sestak was trailing far, far behind Specter for months, the 4 point lead this close to the primary election is worrying party bosses.
Sestak has been running a lot of ads linking Specter with George Bush and emphasizing his turncoat track record. Apparently the attack ad strategy is working. In many liberal circles, Specter is seen as a slime ball opportunist who doesn’t care what the issues are as long as he’s invited to the power lunch. I know many Democrat liberals who can’t wait to cast their vote for Sestak, especially liberal women—they still remember the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings and have never forgiven Specter for serving as the conservative pit bull. They absolutely loath him.
If Specter manages to pull out a win over Sestak, he’ll be limping into the general election against Republican, Pat Toomey. During the month of April, Specter’s campaign spent $3.6M in the dog fight against Sestak but his campaign only raised $365k.
But it’s a fight down to the primary finish. Sestak, who has a very liberal voting record and has supported all White House initiatives including Cap and Trade, is perceived as the weaker candidate in the run against Pat Toomey. With all the Tea Party activism here in Pennsylvania, it will be an interesting general election, no matter which Democrat candidate is on the ticket.