Should Arlen Specter Have Switched to Independent Instead of Democrat?

Arlen Specter is a sitting U.S. Senator who, last year, switched from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party after polls showed him trailing his primary opponent. Now polls show him trailing his Democratic primary opponent. Slate recently published an interesting article concerning whether it would have been better for Specter to run as an Independent.

Thanks to Richard Winger of Ballot Access News for bringing this story to our attention and for his interesting comments on the subject:

Ironically, in 1997, Specter tried to make Pennsylvania ballot access far more difficult. He used his influence with Pennsylvania Republican legislators (who were in the majority in both houses) to get a bill through the legislature, quadrupling the number of signatures for independent and minor party candidates. The bill passed, but fortunately Governor Tom Ridge vetoed it.

The reason Specter tried to make ballot access for independents and minor parties more difficult back in 1997 is because he was up for re-election as a Republican in 1998, and he hoped to prevent the Constitution Party from getting a candidate on the ballot against him. Specter has always been pro-choice, and he had seen how well the Constitution Party had polled in the 1994 Pennsylvania governor’s race, when the Republican Party nominee for Governor had also been pro-choice. As things turned out, Specter was overwhelmingly re-elected as a Republican in 1998. Although the Constitution Party did get on the ballot against him, it only polled 68,377 votes.

Interestingly, the Constitution Party’s gubernatorial candidate, Peg Luksik, from that 1994 race is in the 2010 Senate race also, as a Republican this time. The 1998 Constitution Party Senate candidate was Dean Snyder. In 2004, however, Specter faced another Constitution Party Senate candidate who scored over 220,000 votes, or roughly 4%. That candidate’s name was Jim Clymer, who is now the National Chairman of the Constitution Party.

16 thoughts on “Should Arlen Specter Have Switched to Independent Instead of Democrat?

  1. NewFederalist

    Arlen Specter should just retire and enjoy the remaining days left to him. He has battled serious illness long enough and has certainly attained any reasonable retirement age. Let it go, senator.

  2. Trent Hill Post author

    Toomey will get his revenge this time, if Sestak doesn’t first. Specter is definitely going to lose.

  3. NewFederalist

    The problem with Toomey is that he is just another Santorum. Who really needs that? Either way there isn’t much choice for Pennsylvanians since neither the LP nor the CP have any realistic chance of winning.

  4. Oh come on .......... Lake

    Trent Hill // May 12, 2010:
    “Toomey will get his revenge this time, if Sestak doesn’t first. Specter is definitely going to lose.”

    [Lake: having contacted ‘do nothing / safe district’ Arlin Spector on the unconstitutional aspects of the 1950 ‘Feres Doctrine’ earlier this century I find him ‘just another Dem / GOP politician’.

    Arlin Baby publicly supported the anti Feres Doctrine folks (lip service only) only to deal with them only at arms length and to sabotage any real effort at progress.

    Royal puke! Even with out the anti patriot ballot blockage ……..

    But vulnerable to LP or CP ????????? Not any time soon. ]

  5. Oh come on .......... Lake

    Trent Hill = Cory Quirk

    Trent Hill = Cory Quirk

    Trent Hill = Corty Quirk

    Did Hill also (yelling and screaming
    at the top of his lungs) also swear
    that Chuck (Party Killer) Baldwin
    would be the one and only top of
    the ballot ticket for the non existent
    California California Party ??????

    Hill asks why Don Lake considers
    him a liar, at the same moment he
    continues to ‘make it up as he goes
    along’ ……..

  6. Mik Robertson

    The other candidate on the ballot against Specter in 2004 was Libertarian Betsy Summers.

  7. Jim Duensing

    Specter should have investigated the murder of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Instead he created the magic bullet theory. He would lose on any ticket. You can’t fool all he people all the time.

    At least, he’s smart enough to run away from his record.

    And, Arlen Specter no more belongs in the Green Party than Bob Barr belongs in the Libertarian Party.

  8. Danny S

    Lately I have been barraged with messages about Arlen Specter’s involvement with the ‘magic bullet’ theory on the JFK assassination.

    Looking practically, how is that an issue that will gain traction and change an election? It makes no real policy change, it gets you bogged down in a polarizing argument, and just goes nowhere.

    Why not attack Specter on one of his innumerable other problems?

  9. paulie

    Specter may still join the Green Party and run as their candidate….

    Arlen Spector, Green Party…

    ROFL. Where do you come up with this silliness?

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