April 28, 2004

Specter by a Nose

A fairly small nose.

Toomey's loss can be explained in part by how amazingly disorganized the Toomey campaign was, something that Shawn Macomber reported on yesterday-- and which the rah-rah-Toomey coverage on that other website overlooked. (Dave Weigel, in the midst of a typically sharp bit of commentary on his blog, rightly praised Shawn's work yesterday.)

Now Specter enters the general election severely bloodied. I only hope that the PA conservative base, who've now been told repeatedly that Specter is the devil incarnate, will not be so disillusioned that they stay home in November. Bush needs their votes.

Posted by John Tabin at April 28, 2004 01:08 AM

I think specter has a greater chance of winning in November than Toomey does, particlarly if Toomey endorses him. In the core issue, Specter stands with Bush for the war on terrorism and against the terrorists in Iraq. It does make one pause though to see that Santorum is popular in Pennsylvania, and perhaps Toomey could have won. I am not quite sure why Bush endosed Specter, but I suppose a president rarely disses an incumbent in his own party.


Posted by: lee tabin at April 28, 2004 07:12 AM

Here's hoping that the base does stay at home in November. When the president supports Arlen Spector -- campaigns for him, endorses him, etc. -- he is essentially saying "screw you" to social Conservatives i.e. the base.

More specifically, he's saying "Who ya gonna vote for, Kerry? Hoeffel?" Actually, Mr. Rove, we can vote for no one. In fact, if Ron Klink ran against Specter, I would vote for the Democrat without hestiation, as would most Toomey Supporters. In the end, they'll just stay home. If this is what President Bush stands for, why bother voting for him?

Posted by: Andy Oppenheim at April 28, 2004 07:57 AM

I live nowhere near Pennsylvania, but it seems clear to me that Bush endorsed Specter because Specter has a better chance of defeating Hoeffel in the general election. Since Pennsylvania is shaping up to be this year's Florida, anything that will help Bush in November he is obviously willing to do, which certainly includes "saying "screw you" to social conservatives i.e. the base."

Posted by: Anonymous at April 28, 2004 09:28 AM

Thanks for the link. I wish there were more tight races in the Mid-Atlantic, because Macomber really knows how to cover them.

Andy - Staying home because your party leader is insufficiently bullish on your pet issues is the best way of ensuring your pet issues are obliterated. Put yourself in the mindset of Joe Liberal, 1994. He's sorry he voted for Clinton. Sonovabitch voted for NAFTA! He's barely doing anything about welfare or a woman's right to choose!

If you're Joe Liberal, and you lived in Pennsylvania, you'll blow off the Wofford-Santorum Senate race out of spite. And you'll watch Rick Santorum will win a squeaker. When the GOP takes over, you realize that simply having a partisan majority was enough to move your issues forward.

There are three likely scenarios for 2004. Kerry and Hoeffel win, and conservatism is defeated. Bush and Hoeffel win, and Bush governs with either a sliver of a GOP majority or a hostile Democratic Senate (and Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy). Or Bush and Specter win, and Bush governs to the right.

Posted by: Dave Weigel at April 28, 2004 10:48 AM

Sorry, grammer was off in that post. I'm making a weak attempt at multitasking.

Posted by: Dave Weigel at April 28, 2004 10:48 AM