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Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Specter beats Toomey in PA Republican Primary 

Arlen Specter, four-term Pennsylvania senator, edged out challenger Patrick Toomey in Pennsylvania's Republican primary. Specter carried 50.8% of the primary vote to Toomey's 49.2%. The primary result represents a victory for Specter's relative centrism over Toomey's far-right conservatism.

What effect will Specter's nomination have on the outcome of the Presidential election in PA? Although Toomey has called for his supporters to rally behind Specter and Bush this fall, that fact remains that hardcore social and fiscal conservatives are disappointed with Bush's performance.

Specter's stumping for Bush will certainly appeal to Pennsylvania's swing voters, but Toomey's defeat will upset the state's hard-core conservatives. What is the size of Pennsylvania's far-right voter population relative to its swing voter population? Are those far-right voters sufficiently disappointed with Bush that they will stay home in November?
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