People Might LIKE Haggis, But They Don’t Want to Eat It

Normally, I leave the off-season Senate race tracking to the Senate Guru. But he points to a wacky poll on Arlen "Scottish Haggis" Specter that I thought worth sharing.

Pennsylvania voters approve 56 – 30 percent of the job Sen. Arlen Specter is doing, with Democratic approval at 62 – 26 percent, higher than the Republican support of 55 – 33 percent and 49 – 35 percent backing from independent voters.

But by a narrow 43 – 40 percent margin, voters say Sen. Specter does not deserve to be reelected. Republicans split 42 – 42 percent, as do Democrats 41 – 42 percent, while independent voters say no 45 – 36 percent.

"Pennsylvania voters are sharply divided over whether Sen. Arlen Specter should be reelected next year, with Republicans almost as negative as Democrats, probably because the GOP Senator is one of only three from the party supporting President Barack Obama’s Stimulus Package," Richards said.

"But Specter always has been politically controversial and has needed votes from both parties to stay in office."

So Pennsylvanians like their "offal" Senator (I just know I’m going to catch heat from my PA relatives for that), but they don’t necessarily want him re-elected. Specifically, Democrats approve of Specter, as do Republicans (but much less so).

Most interesting, though, this archetypal representative of the mushy middle really doesn’t excite Independents–precisely the group that such mushy middle-dom is supposed to entice. 

What would David Broder say?

12 replies
  1. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Well… my guess is that David Broder would say Specter’s bipartisanship – when compared to Santorium – merits reelection. And that judgment is based on an assumption that eggs boil best in tepid water left sitting out first for ten days.


  2. chetnolian says:

    Hey Marcy, be as nasty as you like to Specter but stop being beastly to my National dish! I fed it to 40 people (not fellow Scots by and large)the other night and either they are either really good liars or they enjoyed it. Not that you get the real stuff. If anyone tries to take it into the USA the border gestapo read the label and bin it!

    • emptywheel says:

      Oh, I ate it with much gusto when I was in Scotland last spring. I like it!

      Maybe the problem is people don’t like to admit they like it.

      FTR, I like scrapple too, which is closer to Scottish Haggis’ heart.

  3. JimWhite says:

    I think the Pennsylvania voters are just channeling Snarlin Arlen. They really, really like what he’s doing and they don’t hesitate to praise him. They just won’t vote for him. Kinda like Arlen does on most Democratic proposals before the stimulus bill…

  4. skdadl says:

    Oh, good — it’s safe to say that I like haggis too. We actually have a couple of Scots butchers in Toronto who do pretty good versions, and I know my haggis from Stirling and points north in Perthshire. Very good with a sharp fruit chutney as well as the neeps and tatties.

  5. joejoejoe says:

    Specter has Lincoln Chafee’s problem. Voters are ultimately rational and as much as it warms the cockles of DC to have Specter fence-sit, voters in PA would rather he just went ahead consistently voted like Sen. Casey and saved everybody the bipartisan mama drama. Voters liked Chafee AND booted him out of office. People can like Specter and still want to give him his gold watch and show him the door.

  6. drational says:

    I think Arlen is a bag of hot wind. But at the same time, he is a friend to health research, which is my special interest. I am a liberal democrat otherwise, but I would support Specter over anyone else not as committed to the NIH. His support for NIH translates into big support for U Penn and Philadelphia, and Philadelphia pharma suburbs. The only way he will be displaced is death by lymphoma or primary challenge by the cro-magnon wing of the GOP. In short, Marcy will be writing haggis posts for a long time.

  7. freepatriot says:

    specter is crashing in Pensylvania

    gregg is already packing his bags in New Hampshire

    and diaper boy vitter is facing a challenge from a morally superior porn star

    did I ever mention Nate Silver’s article about the repuglitards’ death spiral ???

    Nate nails the repuglitards’ problems:

    the majority of the country hates the repuglitards’ partisan bullshit, but the repuglitard base rejects anybody who objects to their partisan bullshit

    this leaves the repuglitards locked into appealing to an ever shrinking group of voters

    you could say the repuglitards hit a ”Critical Mass” of hatred

    so there’s that …

  8. BillE says:

    The last time Arlen went up for reelection 2004, he had an ugly primary with Toomey. It was a year when the Dem side was pretty transparent and not many showed up on primary day. It cost my township a new high school. With only tax cutting Club for Grow types out and about they defeat the propostion to build a new school and instead are doing a 6 year rebuild of the old high school ( in place while students attend ) the wacko’s also took over the school board that election and funneled all the rework construction to cronies.

    Pat Murphy would be a good Dem to beat him along with Sestak. But, the wild west of PA is a huge question mark for Specter. I think he would be fair game in a primary with Toomey again. Disclaimer, I volunteered with Murphs campaing ( along with BO )

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