In the Mother Jones article, How the Far Right Handed Dems a 60 Vote Majority, Jonathan Stein and Nick Baumann explain Spector’s political calculus that led to his party switch. Nationally, and especially locally in Pennsylvania, the GOP is getting smaller and more virulently conservative. Spector would have had to face far right opponent Pat Toomey. Specter beat Toomey in 2004, but as the GOP has shifted further right, the chances of Specter repeating that win (especially given Specter’s support of Obama’s stimulus package) would have been quite slim. Recognizing his thin chances in winning among the wingnuts was what prompted Specter’s statement: “I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania.”
The ‘Pubs could win, if they’d just get more conservative. It’s always won for them hasn’t it?