Polls released by Rasmussen Reports this week demonstrate that – at least within the Republican Party – sitting incumbents who vote for increased government, taxes and federal bailouts risk voter backlash in the next election.
Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., for example, is one of only three Republicans in Congress to vote for President Obama's $787 billion stimulus plan. According to a Rasmussen poll released this morning, the 28-year senator now trails his 2004 GOP primary rival Pat Toomey in the polls by 21 points: 51 percent of Pennsylvania Republicans say they'd vote for Toomey in a 2010 primary, while just 30 percent would support Specter.
A separate Rasmussen poll demonstrated that 58 percent of Specter's Republican constituents cited his support of the stimulus package as reason for their waning support.
I have long wondered why any Republican would think that trying to play the middle of the road would ever win an election. I knew that John McCain would never win. Why? Because many Republicans would never vote for him because of his perceived compromises on important issues to conservatives. And, on the other side of the aisle, most liberals liked McCain until they found someone more liberal. He didn't stand a chance. It doesn't seem like rocket science to me; I wonder why guys like Specter don't get it.