Arlen Specter Would Have a Real Uphill Battle In a Democratic Primary

DailyKos's new Research 2000 poll shows that 63 percent of Pennsylvania Democratic primary voters either definitely will vote against Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary, will consider voting against him, or don't know how they will vote. Those are incredibly weak numbers for a sitting senator. Indeed, you know they're weak when you consider that if you saw those kinds of primary numbers for a regular ol' senator who hadn't switched parties, and that senator had major candidates (including a sitting House member) considering a primary, the entire political Establishment would be calling that senator a political dead man walking.

Of course, most of the political Establishment in Washington, D.C. is saying the opposite - that Specter is basically unbeatable, even as major candidates like Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) and Joe Torsella are threatening a primary. As this poll shows, that pro-Specter wishful thinking is just that: wishful thinking.

Between Pennsylvania and Colorado, we could (and I stress could) have two major Democratic senate primaries on our hands that break down along ideological lines, that would be valuable movement-building vehicles, and that would help change the obstructionist dynamic in the U.S. Senate. It's pretty exciting.

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