Thursday, May 7, 2009

Composition of the Democratic electorate in PA

Our most recent national poll showed 29% of Democrats nationally identifying as liberals, with 50% moderates, and 21% conservatives.

That fact had me wondering how much of a real shot there was for a candidate from the left to take out Arlen Specter in the primary next year in Pennsylvania.

The exit poll from the primary there last year showed 49% of voters identifying themselves as liberals, 40% as moderates, and only 10% as conservatives.

You have to think Specter would be in pretty solid standing with those conservative Democrats, but it's really not a particularly significant swath of the electorate. And a much larger portion of folks in the party think of themselves as liberals in Pennsylvania than do on a national basis.

It's going to come down to how attractive a more progressive candidate could be recruited and whether that person could get the resources they needed to be competitive with much of the party establishment committed to Specter, but I think the numbers shape up to make it possible, if still unlikely. Should be interesting to watch.

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