Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter seems confident Pennsylvania voters will follow him on Election Day. But will the political money move, too?
He has a lot of work ahead of him. He’s raised about $9 million for his reelection campaign next year and has about $7 million in the bank.
Given the cost of recent Keystone State Senate races, he’ll need at least another $10 million and more if he winds up with a Democratic primary challenger, said Jennifer Duffy, an expert on Senate races at the Cook Political Report.
Most modern party switchers have managed to fill the void left by disenfranchised donors. Last week, Specter landed Democratic fundraiser Fran Katz Watson, who helped Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman raise cash fast after he lost the 2006 Democratic primary and ran for reelection in the general election as an independent.
But Specter’s shift could produce some unexpected challenges for two reasons: He’s done a full party switch rather than taking a half-step and becoming an independent, and he did it in the midst of the campaign season.
The rise of partisanship in Washington and among party activists has made high-profile, full-party flips less common. They are far more jarring to the political system than independent soft-shoes, the steps chosen by Lieberman and by then-Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords, who was a Republican, in 2001.
This from the first commenter, Scalfi:
20 Million dollars for a frikkin' senate seat?
This is why we need to repeal the 17th amendment.... put the selection of senators back in the hands of the state legislatures. Make the senate the more pragmatic and deliberative body our founding fathers intended it to be.
Repealing the 17th amendment would remove the "money influence" from the senate.
Here in Montana... where we have under 1 million voters... Max Baucus spent 6 million.... this just kills me.
Comment: Repealing the 17th might not totally fix human nature, but it would put a check and balance back into the US Senate that has been missing since 1913, not to mention the removal of a large amount of money from the process. How naysayers can believe that there was more corruption before 1913 miffs me to no end...