Six weeks ago we were planning to do a poll on what Pennsylvanians would think about Arlen Specter switching parties and how he would fare as a Democrat at the polls.
Then he pretty unequivocally said he wasn't going to change parties so we didn't do it.
Sure wish we had that data today!
Right now almost all of the polling we're doing is speculative since there are very few things we definitely know about how the races will stack up in 2010. This particular 'flip flop' though is perhaps a reminder that sometimes we should just poll to see how things stack up regardless of what the principals involved have said about their plans.
We actually did sort of take that attitude with the Illinois poll we're releasing tomorrow, testing Lisa Madigan as a Senate candidate even though she hasn't shown any interest in the seat.
The only polling we have on Specter does speak pretty positively of his prospects though. We tested him against Chris Matthews back in November and found him trailing only 35-30 in the Democratic vote, a pretty exceptional showing. I know he says he's still going to oppose card check but I really haven't seen a ton of indication that issue resonates strongly with the Democratic rank and file- it's more of an inside the Beltway thing- so I don't think Specter should have too much trouble getting the party behind him.