Public Opinion Shift Demonstrated in Pennsylvania Senate Race by Gregory Hilton

Angry crowd jeers Specter By Luis Fabregas, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Friday, August 14, 2009
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/valleynewsdispatch/s_638276.html”

A major change is happening throughout the nation. As the article above notes, “About 1,500 people waited for hours under the beating sun for the town hall meeting on health care reform. The 200 or so allowed into the hall greeted the Republican-turned-Democrat with rounds of thundering jeers reminiscent of a Jerry Springer show. Some stood up and applauded, and so began a 90-minute showdown marked by passionate pleas for action, interruptions from angry hecklers and incessant chants that drowned out Specter’s call for civility. ‘Read the bill!’ the crowd roared. ‘We will be taxed!’
Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) is now trailing his GOP opponent by 12 points after having a huge lead a few months ago. The electorate is energized and the center is moving to the right. Unlike many of his colleagues, Senator Specter does deserve credit for showing up at town hall meetings during the August recess.
Specter has always had difficult re-election battles and he is a diligent campaigner. This powerful message goes way beyond the Specter campaign. The grassroots left was energized last year, and now the grassroots right has awakened. They may go back to sleep after cap and trade and the health care public option bite the dust. I am surprised this has happened so early in the Obama administration.
I hope Specter wins his primary. He switched parties but he is continuing his opposition to the union card check legislation. His primary opponent, Rep. Joseph Sestak (D-PA) is a retired Admiral. Obama is keeping the Pentagon budget constant without any increases. Sestak wants to make significant cuts in DoD spending and because he was a flag officer he will receive prominent attention from the news media.
The feedback for the town hall meetings demonstration that people are concerned about a deficit which has increased ten times from two years ago. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says they are “un-American,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid calls them “evil mongers,” and Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) says they are similar to the Nazi’s. One reason these lawmakers are angry is because independent voters are now siding 2-1 with opponents of the public option, the stimulus and cap and trade.

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