Politics

What If Arlen Specter Loses Tomorrow?

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It happened to Bob Bennett in Utah and it could certainly happen to the multi-term, just turned Dem Senator from Pennsylvania.

Because, apparently, the White House is backing away from Arlen…

If this is true, it’s significant: CBS chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer is now saying that he has it on good authority that the White House is privately bracing for Arlen Specter to lose tomorrow.

Schieffer, to my knowledge, has not said this on national TV yet. But he made the claim in an interview with the local CBS affiliate in Philadelphia. “I have been told on background that the White House is preparing for a Specter loss here, and that the president doesn’t want to be associated with that,” Schieffer said.

I’ve also learned that Veep Joe Biden will not be doing any campaign events for Specter in the final stretch, though it’s not immediately clear how significant this is. Last week, Biden said he’d be doing events for Specter “as needed.”

But a Biden aide confirms for me that no campaign events are scheduled, even though Biden will be in Pennsylvania tonight speaking at his daughter’s graduation. Biden has done radio interviews on Specter’s behalf.

And here’s the Quinnipiac poll…which has Joe Sestak leading…

The Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary goes down to the wire with U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak taking 42 percent of likely primary voters to Sen. Arlen Specter’s 41 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted through Sunday night and released today.

With 16 percent undecided and 25 percent of those who do back a candidate saying they might change their mind, the race is too close to call.

So, are Dem primary voters shooting themselves in the foot if they nominate Sestak? After all, Arlen has toed the Dem line pretty consistently ever since he switched parties and he has always been known as a moderate. Will Pennsylvania go for somebody that could be painted as left wing?

Or, are we seeing a lot of anti-incumbent sentiment with these primaries? After all, Congressional Dems and Repus alike share very low approval ratings across the board. “Throw the bums out” seems to be a rallying cry nationwide.

We shall see…