There are two competing interpretations of Arlen Specter's move into the Democratic party. It's not clear why
they're competing, because they're not by any means mutually exclusive. In fact, they're deeply connected. But that's how it's playing out: Either
Specter became a Democrat because the Republicans moved too far to the right or
Specter became a Democrat because he was facing a career ending primary in 2010. Strangely enough, even though Specter himself insists both factors contributed to his decision, very few people seem to have absorbed this.
One of those people is Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), who says the Republican party's hitting the sweet spot. He attributes the non-viability of the Republican party in state's like Pennsylvania to the fact that voters have fled "forced unionization" in the northeast for the safety and comfort of the southern motherland. Seriously
But don't mistake DeMint for a crank. He's actually a consummate optimist. He says "Pat Toomey, who is running in Pennsylvania, is one of the most maintream Americans I know." And surely all those diaspora northerners will repatriate Pennsylvania when they realize that the "mainstream" is on the rise and "forced unionization" will no longer beleaguer the tea-loving masses.