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Adam Schwartzbaum's Blog

Adam Schwartzbaum's Blog

The In-Specter

Union endorsement just another sign of Specter’s bedrock institutional support

The AFL-CIO’s announcement Tuesday that they are endorsing Senator Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary is just another sign that the state’s Democratic institutions are satisfied with Specter’s newly-found liberalism and believe he has the best shot of defeating Pat Toomey this November.

In all of these endorsements, Joe Sestak is coming off as little more than an afterthought. Endorsements are a way of interest groups betting on a winner, in the hope that these moves will be remembered after the election. Even the mainstream media seems to reflect the conventional wisdom that, while Sestak still has a shot at energizing the liberal base to upset Specter at the polls in May, the safe bet is on Specter facing Pat Toomey in the general election.

None of these recent endorsements are a death knell for the Sestak campaign, if they can foment the kind of populist, grassroots campaign that motivates individuals to the polls on Election Day. But with less than two months until the election, the time has come for Sestak to unleash his war chest and start hammering Specter on television and in radio.

Only with an aggressive statewide assault on Specter’s record in the next few weeks can Sestak even have a hope of winning this primary. With these kinds of headlines of institutional support for Specter dominating the storyline, Sestak needs to shake up this race now if he has any shot of winning this race.

March 30, 2010 at 4:19 pm

--Adam Schwartzbaum

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