I AM COMPELLED to respectfully highlight part of Stu Bykofsky's article that has unfortunately been thoughtlessly and incorrectly repeated
by the press since the election on Tuesday. The idea that an "anti-incumbent" mood swept Mr. Specter out of office has no factual basis.
He lost because he was running in a Democratic primary for the first time in decades and most people who vote in Democratic primaries, especially in Pennsylvania, since it's closed, are hard-core Democrats who have been voting against Arlen for years. Similarly, Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas didn't win in the first round because she doesn't vote with the Democrats much of the time. In Tennessee, Rand Paul won because he's supported by the tea party. These elections could be generalized as having outcomes unfavorable to incumbents, but the voters' intentions were completely unrelated.
Most Philly voters who voted for Sestak, like myself, also enthusiastically voted for Chaka Fattah and Bob Brady (the only ones on the ballot), which has to be one of the most pro-incumbent things one could do. So, the bottom line is that, at least in Pennsylvania, most people did not get swept up in some mysterious wave of anti-incumbency in which Philly and Allegheny County voters were miraculously in tune with voters in Arkansas (of all places!). Most, in fact, just did the same thing they've been doing in elections for a very long time: vote for anyone but Arlen Specter.
Ben Katz, Center City