Will Moderate Republicans Defect?
Over at Rolling Stone, Tim speculates:
I wouldn't be surprised to see at least one Republican defection in the Senate in the coming months. If you're Northeastern Republican this election ought to be writing on the wall. Especially in Pennsylvania, where four House seats dominoed to the Democrats, and Rick Santorum the idological standard bearer for the Republican party was rudely given his walking papers.
At the same time the Democratic party is clearly becoming a bigger ideological tent. If the devoutly pro-life Bob Casey is a Democrat why isn't the pro-choice Arlen Specter?
If Jim Webb is a Democrat. Why isn't Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins of Maine?
The Republican party is redefining itself as a regional party, and the region isn't the Northeast. Specter nearly lost his seat in 2004. If he'd been running as a Republican this year, he'd be preparing for a lobbying career right about now.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid, meanwhile has zero wiggle room and a fickle Bush smoocher in Joe Lieberman on whom the whole game depends.
Reid's a very pragmatic guy. He's got powerful committee chairmanships to offer. Again, it's just a feeling I've got. The Democrats' majority is going to grow between now and 2008.