Monday, January 12, 2009
Cable news host Chris Matthews' decision to sit out Pennsylvania's 2010 senate campaign is opening the door for other Democrats to challenge incumbent Republican Arlen Specter. It was speculated that if Matthews had run for the seat, he'd bring a national reputation and millions of dollars in finances to the table. But the MSNBC host is taking a pass, and Muhlenberg College Political Scientist Christopher Borick says that's creating an opportunity for other Democrats. He says possible candidates include Congressional representatives Patrick Murphy and Allyson Schwartz, Auditor General Jack Wagner, and outgoing Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham. He says, ”With such broad fields in both races, and finite resources, in terms of campaign contributions, there really will be a jockeying to see who can line up those big donors early in the race. For those candidates who don't, their flirtation in the race might be fairly short." Borick notes none of the potential nominees have Matthews' name-recognition, which means building a campaign war chest will be that much more important. He adds Senator Specter is a tough incumbent to run against, saying the Republican has faced several challenges from both parties over the years, but has always come out on top.