At his press conference just now, Arlen Specter said bluntly that he was switching parties because of the serious prospect of losing his primary and he also said he will not be voting for cloture on the Employee Free Choice Act.
Specter said he supported the stimulus bill because he did not want to risk another 1929-style depression. And afterwards, he said he travelled his state — and looked at poll data with his campaign staff — finding that his chances in the GOP primary were “bleak.”
“I’m not prepared to have my 29-year record in the United States Senate decided by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate,” said Specter, “not prepared to have that record decided by that jury.”
And he stressed his personal independence. “I note that some of the news stories since my statement was released this morning are taking a look at the 60th vote — and I will not be an automatic 60th vote,” said Specter. “And I would illustrate that by my position on employee’s choice, also known as card check. I think it is a bad bill, and I’m opposed to it and would not vote to invoke cloture.”
Late Update: Here’s Specter discussing EFCA: