The Campaign Spot

Depression? Or Depressing News for Specter?

Sen. Arlen Specter says the country is on “the brink of a depression.”

David Weigel looks at Specter’s chances in a primary fight with Pat Toomey and finds evidence that this dire outlook may be projection:

“These moderate republicans are gone,” said Jim Lee, the president of Susquehanna Polling and Research, in a Monday interview. “They’re just gone. That’s made matters very difficult for Arlen Specter.”
Lee’s polling firm, based in Harrisburg, Penn., has been the source of some of the worst news for Specter — some of the news that has Toomey’s supporters brimming with confidence. Its latest survey, conducted from February 23 to 29, found what Lee called “topsy turvy” numbers for Specter. While 38 percent of all voters said they’d vote to re-elect the senator, only 26 percent of Republicans agreed. Most Democrats and most voters in Philadelphia supported Specter, but in traditional Republican strongholds his support had cratered — 35 percent in rural southwest Pennsylvania, and less than 30 percent in central Pennsylvania. Majorities of self-identified liberals and moderates supported Specter. Only 26 percent of conservatives would say the same.

Maybe the “depression” talk is tied to the fact that Specter suddenly finds himself in danger of losing his job.

UPDATE: One cannot help but wonder if the possible Toomey challenge is one of the reasons Specter is iffy on card check.


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