Specter switches parties

    Senator Arlen Specter’s switch of political parties from Republican to Democrat is no shock to political observers.

    Senator Arlen Specter’s switch of political parties from Republican to Democrat is no shock to political observers.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090428sbswitch.mp3]

    Rutgers University Political Science Professor Ross Baker says Specter’s ideological disagreements with his former party have resulted in a battle to retain his powerful Senate position. Baker says while a stiff challenge from former Congressman Pat Toomey in the Republican primary might have pushed Specter to his decision, the groundwork had already been laid.

    Baker: I mean, he really had to crawl on bended knee to hold onto his Chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee. They wanted to purge him. He was seriously out of line on, among other things, abortion.

    Specter said at a press conference that his decision was due in part to poll numbers showing him trailing Toomey in the Republican primary.

    Specter’s opponent in the Democratic primary, Joe Torsella, said in a statement that he still intends to run for Specter’s Senate seat.

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