PA-SEN: Sestak and Specter Tied

Yesterday morning, Marc Ambinder Tweeted, "Senior Dem Politico in DC thinks Sestak will beat Specter. WH puts odds at 50-50." Now we know why.

In the latest Muhlenberg College/Morning Call poll of the PA-SEN Democratic primary, retired Admiral Rep. Joe Sestak is tied with incumbent Arlen Specter. Both candidates are polling at 43% with N = 410 LVs, a 5% MOE, live interviewers, and a time frame of May 3-6. In Muhlenberg's previous poll, conducted May 2-5, Specter led 45-40. Prior to that, it was 49-40 for Specter. While a tie is certainly within the MOE, you can't deny that these polls show a trend and that it's not good news for Specter. RCP shows an average of Specter up 3.4, but since they only include the latest poll from each firm, their numbers don't reflect the last week's trend. Also in the latest poll, Specter's favorable rating remains slightly higher than Sestak's, but his unfavorables are much higher - 54-34 Specter and 48-13 Sestak.

It's been a rough few weeks for Specter. He mused aloud that maybe he should have stayed a Republican, and Sestak has taken the opportunity to hit him hard for the party switch with a tough new ad:

Hey Arlen, still think it's a good idea to smear our vets for their service? That may work for Repubs, but you keep forgetting - you're a Democrat now, and we don't stand for that kind of anti-American bull.

Elsewhere in new polling, Dems continue to cruise toward victory in AZ-GOV against all candidates, including the pro-profiling incumbent Jan Brewer, and two separate polls show Sen. Patty Murray finally finding her footing against Repub Dino Rossi in WA-SEN.

PA-SEN: Sestak and Specter Tied

Yesterday morning, Marc Ambinder Tweeted, "Senior Dem Politico in DC thinks Sestak will beat Specter. WH puts odds at 50-50." Now we know why.

In the latest Muhlenberg College/Morning Call poll of the PA-SEN Democratic primary, retired Admiral Rep. Joe Sestak is tied with incumbent Arlen Specter. Both candidates are polling at 43% with N = 410 LVs, a 5% MOE, live interviewers, and a time frame of May 3-6. In Muhlenberg's previous poll, conducted May 2-5, Specter led 45-40. Prior to that, it was 49-40 for Specter. While a tie is certainly within the MOE, you can't deny that these polls show a trend and that it's not good news for Specter. RCP shows an average of Specter up 3.4, but since they only include the latest poll from each firm, their numbers don't reflect the last week's trend. Also in the latest poll, Specter's favorable rating remains slightly higher than Sestak's, but his unfavorables are much higher - 54-34 Specter and 48-13 Sestak.

It's been a rough few weeks for Specter. He mused aloud that maybe he should have stayed a Republican, and Sestak has taken the opportunity to hit him hard for the party switch with a tough new ad:

Hey Arlen, still think it's a good idea to smear our vets for their service? That may work for Repubs, but you keep forgetting - you're a Democrat now, and we don't stand for that kind of anti-American bull.

Elsewhere in new polling, Dems continue to cruise toward victory in AZ-GOV against all candidates, including the pro-profiling incumbent Jan Brewer, and two separate polls show Sen. Patty Murray finally finding her footing against Repub Dino Rossi in WA-SEN.

PA-Sen Outrage: Specter Swift Boats Sestak's Military Career

I've never written much about PA-Sen because, unlike most of the Netroots, I've been inclined to support Arlen Specter. No more.

Specter has added his name to those of Johnny Isaakson and the Swift Boat Veterans for "Truth." He went lower than low this week, airing a new ad that attacks primary opponent Rep. Joe Sestak's service as a retired three-star Admiral.

Like many veterans, Dr. Sestak (he's also got a PhD) is too modest to list his decorations on either his Congressional webpage or his campaign biography, but per Wikipedia he has earned the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, two Legion of Merit awards, two Meritorious Service Medals, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, three Navy Commendation Medals, and the Navy Achievement Medal. According to Specter, however, the only thing you need to know about Sestak's Naval career is that he was removed from one of his assignments for creating a "poor command climate." That claim only gets a couple seconds' mention in Specter's new ad, but it's also the very first thing in the ad and is accompanied by your stock grainy photo, ripped headline, and spooky voice. I'm not going to dignify the disgraceful spot by posting it here, but you can watch it on YouTube.

I am shocked that Specter would be stupid enough to think he could get away with this kind of unpatriotic smear campaign in a Democratic primary. I was supporting Specter, but now I'm going to donate $20 to Admiral Sestak's campaign.

Credit to Vote Vets for bringing this shameful attack on a dedicated American serviceman to my attention via a press release posted on their Facebook page.

The largest progressive group of veterans in America with over 100,000 members, VoteVets.org PAC, today slammed Arlen Specter for his latest ad attacking Congressman Joseph Sestak's service to America in the Navy, and called on Specter to prove his charges, or pull the ad.

Jon Soltz, Iraq War veteran, graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, and Chairman of VoteVets.org said, "This ad is even beneath Snarlin' Arlen Specter, and he should be ashamed of himself for attacking a man who spent most of his adult life in military service.  It's the kind of low, slimy swift-boat tactics used by the extreme right-wing against veterans, and it's shameful that Specter would adopt those right-wing tactics." 

"This ad makes charges about Sestak's service based on unattributed hearsay contained in a single article, that offers no evidence in support of the charge. Baselessly attacking a veteran's service has no place in our politics, or our nation. Specter should pull this ad immediately," he added.

The Specter and the Bachmann

Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) recently tangled with one of the most interruptive members of Congress, Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) on a Philadelphia talk radio show.  There's a broad agreement there.

Bachmann consistently overtalked and interrupted Specter, then he told her to act lady-like and to let him have his chance to speak.  Fox News, Sean Hannity, and company have tried to use the opportunity to spin Americorps conspiracy theorist, Michelle Bachmann as a "victim" of a sexist comment. The contention is a very far reach at best, then again, when dealing with Michelle Bachmann... it's quite obvious she'll do anything for attention. 

The last time I checked, Specter is correct that its not very lady like or gentlemanly (ladies and gentlemen... get it?) for that matter to interrupt and drown out an intelligible debate, a favorite obnoxious tactic of Bachmann and others which we saw during the healthcare debate.  It comes down to being called manners, or lack there of in Michelle's case... not sexism.

However, to have a closer look at just who supports sexist acts... the Lilly Leadbetter Act of 2009 provides a no greater example.  Specter voted to make sure that women have the dignity that they deserve by voting YES on S. 181, assuring equal pay for women that do the same job as men.  Bachmann insulted women everywhere by opposing the interests and dignity of women on the job... by voting against HR. 11, the House version of the Lilly Leadbetter fair wage bill. 

Where was Fox News outrage then?  Specter is on a roll, recently confronting defeatist obstructionist Sen. Jim DeMint on Fox, and now Michelle Bachmann has found out that her bullying tactics do not work on Arlen Specter, our newest and probably toughest Democrat to tangle with. 

If you can, please go to to help us get rid of Michelle Bachmann in 2010:

http://www.actblue.com/page/defeatbachmann

If Bachmann thought her bullying would work on Arlen Specter... she thought wrong!

Sestak Goads Specter Into Supporting Dawn Johnsen

Competitive primaries can have positive effects.

Nominees for the U.S. Department of Justice are rarely high-profile enough to warrant attention in an election. Not so in this year's Democratic Senate primary in Pennsylvania.

Rep. Joe Sestak, who is challenging Sen. Arlen Specter for the Democratic nomination, sent an e-mail to supporters today about Dawn Johnsen. Johnsen, an Indiana University at Bloomington law professor, is President Barack Obama’s pick to head the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, and last year Specter helped delay Johnsen’s nomination. Specter was the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time.

[...]

Republicans, including Specter at the time, have criticized Johnsen for her writings about abortion and civil liberties, and her stalled nomination has become a leading cause for advocates of abortion rights. Johnsen’s supporters say they might have enough votes for confirmation if the Senate’s Democratic leaders decide to take the time to break the GOP filibuster.

Just a few hours after being challenged by Congressman Sestak, his opponent in the Democratic Senate primary in Pennsylvania, Republican-turned-Democratic Senator Arlen Specter responded:

A statement from Specter's office: “After voting 'pass' (which means no position) in the Judiciary Committee, I had a second extensive meeting with Ms. Johnsen and have been prepared to support her nomination when it reaches the Senate floor.”

With Republican Richard Lugar, Johnsen's home state Senator, already committed to backing her nomination (update: and confirming his support), it appears that Johnsen should now have sufficient support to make it through the Senate (even with conservative Democratic Senator Ben Nelson in opposition). The special election in Massachusetts could potentially alter this math, but if the Democratic caucus remains at 60, and both Lugar and Ben Nelson vote as expected, a filibuster could not be sustained.

Indeed, once her nomination hits the 60-vote mark, I would expect it to get more support than that on a cloture vote as Senators like Judd Gregg, Lamar Alexander and Orrin Hatch -- Republicans who tend to vote for cloture on nominees even if they eventually vote no on the final vote (as they did in the case of the nomination of Harold Koh as legal advisor to the State Department) -- jump on board.

Diaries

Advertise Blogads