Politics & Policy

Toomey Vs. Specter

More than a dime's worth of difference.

Free market conservatives often voice frustration that in most elections voters see little ideological difference between the candidates–especially in primary races. As Kellyanne Conway of the polling company has put it, too often conservative voters are forced to choose between “vanilla and French vanilla.”

Not so in Pennsylvania’s primary election for Senate on Tuesday. Here voters have a choice between vanilla and chocolate-fudge brownie. The contrasts in the voting records of incumbent Arlen Specter and challenger Pat Toomey could hardly be more stark. To highlight those distinctions, I constructed a list below of the clarifying differences between what these two candidates stand for.

Toomey Specter
National Taxpayers

Union Rating

Grade A Grade C+
Supports School choice

for parents

Yes No
Position on Bush tax

cut

Make it much bigger Make it much smaller
Medical Malpractice

reform

Yes No
Trial Lawyer Campaign

Support

close to 0 $1.3 million
# of Votes for Higher

Taxes

0 6
Citizens Against Govt

Waste

A Rating Porker of the Year
Amer. Conservative

Union Rating

96 43
Support for Free Trade Yes Sometimes
Taxpayer funds for

abortions

No Yes
Support National Endowment

for Arts

No Yes
Voted on $530 Medicare

Drug Bill

No Yes
Private Accounts For

Social Security

Yes Depends on when he’s

asked

Farm Subsidies No Yes

In sum, fiscal conservatives finally have a race where there is no just a dime’s worth of difference, but hundreds of billions of dollars worth.

Polls show that more than 1/3rd of self-professed conservatives in Pennsylvania are leaning toward voting for Arlen Specter. This is like an oak tree voting for a chainsaw. If conservatives do vote for Specter, they may be suffering from buyer’s remorse for the next six long years.

Stephen Moore is the chairman of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity.  

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