The Corner

It’s Pat!

Fred Snyder of WGET forced me to predict the result of the Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary between Arlen Specter and Pat Toomey. I was reluctant because all along I’ve been telling people privately that I didn’t think Specter could be defeated: He was taking Toomey seriously as early as last summer and simply wasn’t going to be caught off guard. The way to beat an incumbent in a primary, I figured, was to catch him asleep at the switch. Well, Specter’s been wide awake for months–and Toomey nevertheless has made huge progress, especially in the last two weeks. He appears to be peaking at just the right moment, which is terribly important in this business. (Example: Howard Dean peaked too soon, John Edwards too late, and John Kerry hit a bullseye.) When I interviewed Toomey last Wednesday, he told me that if the election were held that day, it would be a dead heat. Then he added, “Next week we’ll win.” Next week is tomorrow. My prediction: Toomey, by a whisker.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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