the moderate republican announced today that he was leaving the grand ole party to caucus with the dems and run as a democrat next year in his pennsylvania senate race.
assuming al franken wraps up the ongoing senate battle in minnesota, specter's defection would give the blue party a 60-member, filibuster-proof majority in the senate.
i'm sure much of this decision comes from specter's internal polling which shows him in a rather unfavorable position with most conservatives. his support of obama's stimulus alone could cost him his seat.
in a news conference today, specter said:
I know I'm disappointing many of my colleagues. The disappointment runs in both directions....I'm putting principle at the top of the list.specter added "the decision has been reached as i have traveled the state in the last several months. specifically, i got my home poll results last friday...and consulted with my campaign managers and had a long discussion."
i think in an ever-bluing new england, he saw the writing on the wall and wants to do all he can to reach his sixth term.
his statement reads:
Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right."welcome to the party, arlen.
Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.