The perfect is the enemy of the good.” –Voltaire, 1772
Republicans’ least favorite Republican, Sen. Arlen Specter, appears to be in trouble in his campaign for a sixth term. Former representative and Specter’s 2004 primary opponent, Pat Toomey, is poised for another primary challenge. Last month, I mused aloud my concerns over whether Toomey could hold Specter’s seat for the GOP in the general election. Yesterday, Jay Cost at Real Clear Politics analyzed the numbers and the odds are not in our favor. Who knows, maybe in Pennsylvania, Sen. Specter is the best we can hope to get.
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Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) voted with the Democrats to pass President Obama’s massive economic stimulus bill last month, much to the chagrin of movement conservatives. Since that vote, his poll number\’s are atrocious. The scuttlebutt from the Keystone State today is that Sen. Specter’s 2004 primary challenger, Pat Toomey–an entrepreneur, former congressman and current president of the Club for Growth–who was considering a run for the governorship in 2010 is now considering challenging Sen. Specter in the Republican primary.
Personally, I’m not sure how I feel about this development. The GOP has serious issues with moderate voters and voting out one of the party’s most prominent moderate voices doesn’t help to repair this rift with the political center. However, Sen. Specter’s filibuster-breaking vote for the stimulus bill was so destructive to Republican unity on the issue that I’m uncertain if his continued presence in the Senate’s Republican caucus is beneficial to the party and its agenda.
On a more pragmatic note, considering the leftward trend of Pennsylvania over at least the past ten years (Gore, Rendell, Casey, Obama, etc.), would Candidate Toomey be able to hold the seat for the GOP? Stay tuned.
Update: Via our new friend Chris at “Grassroots PA,” here’s Pat Toomey’s statement on his possible candidacy.
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