Specter staying on Republican ticket
Sen. Arlen Specter yesterday tried to snuff speculation that he was preparing to bolt the Republican Party in the face of a conservative uprising that threatens his bid for a sixth term.
"To eliminate any doubt, I am a Republican, and I am running for reelection in 2010 as a Republican on the Republican ticket," Specter said in a statement released by his campaign manager.
Now, a little more than 30 days later, Specter has converted to the Democrat party.
Specter To Switch Parties
Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter will switch his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat, according to sources informed of the decision.
Specter's decision would give Democrats a 60 seat filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, assuming Democrat Al Franken is eventually sworn in as the next senator from Minnesota. (Former senator Norm Coleman is appealing Franken's victory in the state Supreme Court.)
Specter as a Democrat would also fundamentally alter the 2010 calculus in Pennsylvania, as he was expected to face a difficult primary challenge next year from former represenative Pat Toomey. The only announced Democrat in the race is former National Constitution Center head Joe Torsella, although several other candidates are looking at the race.