Joe Sestak breaks on through to the other side
With the Pennsylvania primary election for U.S. Senate just a month away, the news is all good for challenger Rep. Joe Sestak (D) and all bad for incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter (
First, Lil Ricky Santorum sucker punched Arlen by declaring that he had endorsed him over Toomey in 2004 because he made a deal with the then Republican Specter:
"The reason I endorsed Arlen Specter is because we were going to have two Supreme Court nominees coming up. I got a commitment from Arlen Specter that no matter who George W. Bush would nominate, he would support that nominee."Specter, of course, denied this and Sestak pounced on the news:
"Rick Santorum’s stunning confirmation that Arlen Specter sold his influence as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee for a political endorsement should be extremely troubling to Pennsylvanians," the Democratic challenger said. "There are few people in this nation who have a greater impact on the lives of the American people than the men and women who serve lifetime appointments on the Supreme Court.
"For Arlen Specter to take his marching orders from Rick Santorum and George W. Bush and pledge to support any nominee — no matter how partisan, no matter how unqualified — in order to win an election is a stunning betrayal of his duty as a public servant," he continued. "This is one of the most glaring of the many red flags in Specter’s record that he is willing to put his own political survival over his principles and his duty to the people."
Next, WAPO's The Fix listed the reasons why the conventional wisdom that Arlen has the race all tied up could be wrong. Theses include Sestak's sizable war chest, a campaign strategy that calls for a blitz in the last month, and the belief that Specter has peaked and Sestak has plenty of room to grow.
And just in, via PA2010, a new poll has Sestak catching up to Specter:
The Rasmussen survey of likely Democratic primary voters showed Sestak trailing Specter by a statistically insignificant two points, 44 percent to 42 percent. Ten percent of voters are still undecided, according to the poll.So is Arlen feeling the heat? Well, he did just start broadcasting a series of three TV ads which focus on blue collar workers. You can view them here.
At first glance, the survey appears to be something of a statistical outlier. A Rasmussen poll with a similar sample just one month ago found Sestak down 11 points, and little has transpired since then that would account for such a change. Neither candidate had aired TV ads when the poll was conducted. However, the telephone survey was taken on Monday, just as former Senator Rick Santorum’s accusation that he endorsed Specter in 2004 because Specter promised to back Bush administration judicial nominees was at its peak in the news cycle.