If you’ve been watching the Arlen Specter business, you know it’s been great fun to watch. I’m not much on selecting the Senators of other states, so I don’t comment on it much. Still, the latest breaking news from TPM is interesting:
A new poll of Pennsylvania from Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies shows that former Gov. Tom Ridge (R-PA), who is reportedly considering a bid for the Senate seat now held by Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter, would currently lead conservative candidate Pat Toomey in a 60%-23% landslide for the Republican primary.
Keep in mind that the reason Arlen Specter switched sides was because he wasn’t going to win the primary against Toomey. So, he got all indignant about the Club for Growth, whom had to that point been bending over backwards to please. So he dumps the Republican Party to try to beat Toomey as a Democrat, but Toomey may himself be beaten by the popular Tom Ridge whom TPM points out leads the Dem Specter as well as Toomey.
The question is: do Pennsylvania Republicans know their assholes from their elbows? Or are they too pissed to see straight? How much of the support for Toomey was just sound and fury against Specter? How much of the support for Ridge is just name recognition? And how much of the anti-Specter fury was – and I stress ‘was’ – just bluster that people would never have followed through on in the actual primary? Might Arlen have been better off staying put and putting up a good fight?
I damned sure don’t know. But the next year is going to be fun to watch in Pennsylvania politics.