Specter to Dem Donors: Show Me the Money

Senator's election-cycle party switch creates fundraising issues
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted May 12, 2009 9:18 AM CDT
Sen. Arlen Specter discusses his conversion to the Democratic Party at the White House with President Barack Obama, April 29, 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Arlen Specter may have brought his years of experience in the Senate across the aisle with him, but that doesn’t mean all his donors will follow. And the timing—it’s 2010 campaign season—complicates matters, Jeanne Cummings notes for Politico. “He’s not the world’s most humble person, even for a US senator, and it’s going to be a humbling experience,” warns the campaign manager for another party-switcher.

Most recent party switchers have done the half-step to “independent” rather than Specter’s full Republican-to-Democrat move. By going all the way, he forfeits whatever GOP small donors he still had (not many), but can pick up some replacements among Democrats. Meanwhile, corporate and Jewish donors—both major allies regardless of party—are likely to intensify their support, if anything.