As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Joe Sestak Will Beat Arlen Specter In The 2010 PA Primary

There, I've said it. I'm not above making some predictions. And this one is based in some reality, for once! The fact is that Arlen Specter's standing with voters in Pennsylvania has slipped significantly a year out from any primary. His job approval rating is down to 34%, and among Democrats, only 43% believe he deserves re-election. In a head-to-head matchup, Specter only garners 33% against Sestak, who has 13%, with a whopping 48% undecided.

These are much better numbers than, for example, Ned Lamont had at a similar time, nearly a year out from his primary against Joe Lieberman. And the trends in terms of key stakeholders are moving Sestak's way as well. This Open Left piece is hilarious:

At first glance, Joe Sestak reiterating that he is a co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act while speaking at a United Steelworkers conference doesn't seem like much of a news story. As the title of this post implies, however, there is something that made it very interesting...

The catch is that Senator Arlen Specter did not speak at this event. In fact, he was disinvited.

Here is the full story, courtesy of an email exchange with Jim Savage, who is President of a Steelworkers local here in Philadelphia:

"The Senator [Arlen Specter] was invited & confirmed as the keynote speaker."

"There was quite an uproar when we found out. He was uninvited because of the rank-and-file reaction."

"Also, it's worth noting that the Senator was none too happy about it."

At that point, Sestak was then invited. Before he spoke, he was "introduced to the delegates as "our next Senator" to a rousing ovation."

The general sentiment toward Specter was "fuck'm."

I have to say, talking to local union leaders is a lot more fun than talking with communications staff.

Sestak keeps dipping his toe in the water and intimating that he'll get in the race. At some point he'll have to go ahead with a full-fledged announcement. But if, as appears likely, he does run, I think he'll win. I've certainly been wrong before, but then again, so has Larry Sabato....

...and by the way, this is exactly why Specter came out today in favor of the public option for health care reform. He will not be a problem in this fight, unlike what would have been the case if Sestak shied away from running.

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