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definition - United_States_Senate_election_in_Pennsylvania,_2010

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United States Senate election in Pennsylvania, 2010

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The 2010 United States Senate election in Pennsylvania will take place on November 2, 2010 along other elections to the United States Senate in other states as well as elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections. Incumbent Senator Arlen Specter has announced that he plans to seek another term as Pennsylvania's Senior Senator in 2010. He has held the seat since 1980, and will be 80 years old in 2010. He reiterated his intent on April 16, 2008, but also revealed that his Hodgkin's disease had returned.[1] He announced his switch from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party on April 28, 2009.

Pennsylvania tends to lean Democratic on the national level having voted for the Democratic nominee in each of the last five presidential elections. Republicans however have been competitive in local elections. Prior to Specter's change of party, the political blog FiveThirtyEight.com rated Specter's Senate seat as more likely to change partisan control by November 2010 than any other whose incumbent was not retiring. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report and Rothenberg Political Report rate the race as a toss-up.[2]


Republican Primary (May 18)


Senator Specter will be running for a sixth term as a Democrat, leaving the field open on the GOP side.

Former Congressman and Club for Growth President Pat Toomey, who challenged Specter in the Republican primary in 2004, was believed to be a potential primary challenger.[3] However, he opted instead for a possible run for Governor.[4] Due to Specter's support of the Stimulus Bill, Toomey decided to reconsider a rematch,[5][6] announcing that he will run.[7] Peg Luksik, a political activist and former candidate, has announced she has formed an exploratory committee to challenge Specter[8] Glen Meakem, an entrepreneur and conservative talk radio host, has suggested that he will play an unknown role in a primary challenge.[9]

In April 2009, Specter began running state-wide television advertisements denouncing Pat Toomey's support for deregulation and attempts to privatize Social Security. The ads were notable because they aired a full year before the primary campaign and before Toomey had officially declared his candidacy.[10]

Though there had been speculation that Specter would switch to the Democratic primary, Governor Ed Rendell, a friend of Specter's, said in March that he, Senator Bob Casey and Vice President Joe Biden had spoken with Specter about that possibility, but Specter was determined to stay in the Republican party.[11] However, Casey, through a spokesperson, denied speaking to Specter about switching parties.[12] Soon thereafter, Specter denied that he would run as a Democrat, but acknowledged the possibility that he could run as an independent.[13] One month later, he announced that he would be leaving the Republican Party and would run for re-election as a Democrat in 2010.[14] There had been speculation as to whether former Governor and former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge would run. Ridge was very popular during his tenure as Governor. He has said that he does not plan on running.

List of candidates

U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey addresses the Philadelphia Tea Party on April 18, 2009.





Poll SourceDates AdministeredArlen Specter*Pat ToomeyTom Ridge*Jim Gerlach*Peg Luksik
QuinnipiacJuly 19, 2009-47%--6%
QuinnipiacMay 28, 2009-38%-10%3%
Research 2000May 7, 2009-41%33%--
Public OpinionMay 5, 2009-23%60%--
POSMay 3, 2009-22%62%-2%
RasmussenApril 21, 200930%51%---
QunnipiacMarch 19, 200927%41%---
Franklin/MarshallMarch 17, 200933%18%--2%
Research 2000December 8, 200843%28%---
  • Declined to run for Republican nomination

Democratic Primary (May 18)

Congressman Joe Sestak
Arlen Specter campaigning in Pennsylvania.


Senator Specter announced on April 28, 2009 that he will switch allegiance to the Democratic Party. On August 4, 2009, Pennsylvania congressman Joe Sestak declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination.

Chris Matthews, the host of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, appeared to be interested in challenging Specter for the seat. On December 7, 2008, Matthews announced he is renewing his contract with MSNBC,[20] and later stated definitively that he will not run.[21]

At an NAACP gala on October 9, 2009, former Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania Judge Doris Smith-Ribner announced her intent to run for the Democratic nomination.[22]

List of candidates





As Sestak has criticized Specter for his party switch, Specter responded that Sestak was a "flagrant hypocrite," as Sestak was a registered independent while serving in the military from 1971 until 2005, prior to his run for Congress in 2006.[34] Sestak responded that he was a registered independent because "military officers should be nonpartisan."[34]


Poll SourceDates AdministeredSpecter *Sestak
Rasmussen ReportsJanuary 18, 201053%32%
Quinnipiac UDecember 8, 200953%30%
Rasmussen ReportsDecember 8, 200948%35%
Rasmussen ReportsOctober 13, 200946%42%
QuinnipiacSeptember 28, 200944%25%
Research 2000August 12, 200948%33%
Rasmussen ReportsAugust 11, 200947%34%
QuinnipiacJuly 19, 200955%23%
Franklin/MarshallJune 25, 200933%13%
Rasmussen ReportsJune 17, 200951%32%
QuinnipiacMay 28, 200950%21%
Research 2000May 4, 200956%11%
POSMay 3, 200962%24%

* Switched parties

General election polling

Specter's approval rating

Approval rating of Senator Arlen Specter after the party switch

Poll SourceDates AdministeredApprovalDisapproval
QuinnipiacOctober 13, 200947%45%
QuinnipiacSeptember 28, 200944%48%
QuinnipiacJuly 19, 200947%46%
QuinnipiacMay 20, 200951%39%

Specter vs. Toomey

Poll SourceDates AdministeredArlen Specter (D)Pat Toomey (R)
Franklin, Marshall CollegeJanuary 26, 201031%45%
YouGovPolitmetrixJanuary 6-11, 201039%40%
Rasmussen ReportsJanuary 18, 201040%49%
QuinnipiacDecember 8, 200944%44%
Rasmussen ReportsDecember 8, 200942%46%
Rasmussen ReportsOctober 13, 200940%45%
SusquehannaOctober 7, 200942%41%
GrassrootsPAOctober 7, 200946%43%
QuinnipiacSeptember 28, 200942%43%
Franklin, Marshall CollegeAugust 31, 200937%29%
Research 2000August 12, 200945%40%
Rasmussen ReportsAugust 11, 200936%48%
QuinnipiacJuly 19, 200945%44%
Rasmussen ReportsJune 16, 200950%39%
SusquehannaMay 26, 200946%37%
QuinnipiacMay 20, 200946%37%
Research 2000May 7, 200955%31%
POSMay 4, 200951%42%
QuinnipiacMay 3, 200953%33%
SusquehannaApril 30, 200942%36%

Sestak vs. Toomey

Poll SourceDates AdministeredSestak (D)Toomey (R)
YouGovPolitmetrixJanuary 6-11, 201033%37%
Rasmussen ReportsJanuary 18, 201035%43%
QuinnipiacDecember 8, 200935%40%
Rasmussen ReportsDecember 8, 200938%44%
Rasmussen ReportsOctober 13, 200938%37%
Grassroots PAOctober 7, 200943%38%
QuinnipiacSeptember 28, 200935%38%
Franklin, Marshall CollegeAugust 31, 200922%26%
Research 2000August 12, 200942%41%
Rasmussen ReportsAugust 11, 200935%43%
QuinnipiacJuly 19, 200935%39%
Rasmussen ReportsJune 16, 200941%35%
QuinnipiacMay 28, 200937%35%
Research 2000May 7, 200937%32%


  1. ^ "Specter looks past cancer recurrence to 2010 elections". Philadelphia Inquirer. April 16, 2008. http://www.philly.com/philly/news/homepage/20080416_Specter_plans_noon_press_conference_to_discuss_cancer_recurrence.html. Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  2. ^ Nate Silver (April 10, 2009). "Senate Rankings, April 2009". Fivethirtyeight.com. http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/04/senate-rankings-april-2009-edition.html. 
  3. ^ http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/toomey-specter-faces-tougher-road-in-2010-2008-12-01.html
  4. ^ http://blogs.mcall.com/capitol_ideas/2009/01/toomey-in-for-governor.html
  5. ^ Mark Murray (March 2, 2009). "A Specter-Tommey Rematch?". MSNBC.com. http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/03/02/1817076.aspx. 
  6. ^ KIMBERLY HEFLING (03/02/2009). "Toomey weighs 2010 primary challenge to Specter". AP. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jCDmhHdqQ0q5YjETAszRJsLCZY0AD96M5EOO1. 
  7. ^ a b Josh Drobnyk (March 9, 2009). "Toomey tells friends Senate run is on". The Morning Call. http://blogs.mcall.com/penn_ave/2009/03/toomey-tells-friends-senate-run-is-on.html. 
  8. ^ a b Mike Faher (March 9, 2009). "Luksik to oppose Specter". The Tribune-Democrat. http://www.tribdem.com/local/local_story_068232130.html. 
  9. ^ a b "Angered by stimulus plan vote, Republican vows to oust Specter". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09042/948258-84.stm. 
  10. ^ http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/specter-already-hitting-toomey-in-cable-ads-2009-04-02.html
  11. ^ Eric Kleefeld (March 16, 2009). "Rendell: I've tried to get Specter to switch... And so has Joe Biden". TPM Election Central (Talking Points Memo). http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/03/rendell-ive-tried-to-get-specter-to-switch----and-so-has-joe-biden.php?ref=fp1. 
  12. ^ Eric Kleefeld (March 16, 2009). "Casey Spokesman: He Has Not Talked To Specter About Switching Parties". TPM Election Central (Talking Points Memo). http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/03/casey-spokesman-he-has-not-talked-to-specter-about-switching-parties.php. 
  13. ^ Aaron Blake (March 17, 2009). "Specter won’t rule out run as an Independent". The Hill. http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/specter-wont-rule-out-run-as-an-independent-2009-03-17.html. 
  14. ^ http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/28/specter.party.switch/index.html
  15. ^ http://www.sharonherald.com/local/local_story_059223214.html
  16. ^ http://votecommonsense.us
  17. ^ http://politicalwire.com/archives/2009/05/07/ridge_not_running.html
  18. ^ http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/06/gop-rep-gerlach-wont-run-for-senate-in-pennsylvania.php
  19. ^ http://www.politico.com/blogs/scorecard/0709/NRSC_endorsing_Toomey.html?showall
  20. ^ Mike Allen (December 7, 2008). "44 days to Inauguration -- BREAKING : John King succeeding Wolf Blitzer on 'Late Edition,' Chris Matthews signing new 'Hardball' contract". Politico.com. http://www.politico.com/playbook/1208/playbook516.html. Retrieved 2008-12-07. 
  21. ^ a b http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-matthews8-2009jan08,0,7493169.story
  22. ^ a b Hirschhorn, Dan (October 9, 2009). "Retired state judge to run for Senate (Updated)". pa2010.com. http://www.pa2010.com/2009/10/breaking-news-retired-state-judge-to-run-for-senate/. 
  23. ^ http://www.specter2010.com/news6.html
  24. ^ http://www.wayneindependent.com/news/x135734452/Congressman-tells-TWI-he-will-run-against-Specter
  25. ^ http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20301644&BRD=1282&PAG=461&dept_id=182121&rfi=6
  26. ^ http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/mostread/s_610439.html
  27. ^ a b http://blogs.mcall.com/penn_ave/2009/01/matthews-to-dem.html
  28. ^ http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/12/12/11452/840/334/671921/
  29. ^ Roarty, Alex (December 4, 2008). "P. Murphy reportedly also considering Senate run". PolitickerPA (The New York Observer). http://www.politicker.com/pennsylvania/21499/p-murphy-reportedly-also-considering-senate-run. 
  30. ^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/11/AR2009011102730_2.html
  31. ^ http://www.politicspa.com/Shapiro.htm
  32. ^ http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/04/28/1913455.aspx
  33. ^ http://www.politico.com/blogs/scorecard/0509/Torsella_dropping_out_of_Pa_Senate_race.html#comments
  34. ^ a b Lauren Kornreich (July 9, 2009). "Specter: Sestak a 'flagrant hypocrite'". CNN.com. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/07/09/specter-sestak-a-flagrant-hypocrite/. 

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