As PA-Dem Primary Fight Heats Up, Republican Toomey Weighs In Against Specter


Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) are officially trading blows in the opening rounds of what promises to be a bruising primary fight over Specter’s Senate seat. And now conservative Pat Toomey, the winner’s likely general-election opponent, is weighing in…against Specter.

This comes via pa2010, which concludes that Toomey “still considers Senator Arlen Specter to be his eventual general election opponent.”

That’s a perfectly plausible interpretation. But, as always, politics can be a hall of mirrors, and this is just as likely a sign that Toomey wants Specter to lose the primary, because he thinks he’d have an easier time defeating Sestak in the general.

Whatever the logic here, though, it should be perfectly clear, if it wasn’t already, that Specter will be contending with his abrupt party switch and mad dash from right to left for the duration of his candidacy.


Brian Beutler is TPM’s senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he’s led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at