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Specter opts to survive

Switching parties and boosting the Democrats

Stop the presses. Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter announced today that he's switching parties. That gives the Democrats 59 senators, which means that Al Franken's eventual ascent would give them a (theoretically) filibuster-proof tally of 60 seats. Once again, the GOP is wearing its "kick me" sign.

Specter (D-Survivor), recognizing that it's virtually impossible anymore for a moderate to live and breathe freely within the rightward GOP, stated: "I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary...Since my (first) election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans."

Why the switch? Back on March 9, I laid out all the reasons why he should (though not that he would).

And tomorrow morning, from 8 a.m. to 8:30 EST, I'm slated to elaborate on C-Span.