Thursday, April 16, 2009
Pat Toomey's online announcement yesterday makes it official-Pennsylvania voters are in for a rematch of 2004's hard-fought Republican Senate primary between the conservative former congressman and longtime incumbent Arlen Specter. But this year there will be a third name on the ballot. Political observers are already saying it will be one of the most-watched races in the country next year. Political scientist Christopher Borick of Muhlenberg College says the race will be among the most interesting of the midterm elections because of its implications for the GOP. He says, “You have a long-term Republican, the most senior Republican in the US Senate on the verge of being dispatched by his own party. You have the broader issue of the Republican tent, if you will. Can moderates still survive as Republicans in this day and age?” Conservative Peg Luksik is the third Republican in the race. In the past she has focused much of her campaigning on right to life issues. She welcomes the three-way race saying, “This is what sets the United States apart from almost every other nation in the world. Participation in our election process is stimulated when voters have choices, and in America today, increased voter participation is a good thing." Borick says Specter's recent TV ads don't mean Pennsylvania voters will be in for more than a year of campaign ads. He says the candidates will spend time raising money in the coming months ad will save resources for a big push next year.