Arlen Specter (Democrat) and Pat Toomey (Republican) are contesting for the Senate seat from Pennsylvania in the 2010 senate elections. Arlen Specter is the incumbent and has retained the Pennsylvania senate seat for almost three decades.
Specter was a Democratic Party member until 1965 when he joined the Republican party for challenging the then district attorney of Philadelphia. In 2009 Specter rejoined the Democratic Party because he did not want to contest in the Republican primary for the 2010 senate election.
Pat Toomey was the member of the US House of Representatives from Pennsylvania. He represented the Republican party from the Lehigh Valley, 15th congressional district during January 1999 to January 2005.
Differences in Health Care Policy
Arlen Specter supports the Health Care Reform Bill whereas Pat Toomey does not. Pat Toomey wants to allow people to purchase their own health insurance and provide tax benefits for the same. The Health Care Reform Bill signed into law aims at increasing health insurance coverage to 83% of Americans who are currently uninsured and increase this percentage to 95% in a couple of years.
Comparison of Economic Policy
Both Arlen Specter and Pat Toomey believe that unemployment and revival of businesses are the main current concerns of the nation. Pat Toomey believes that if tax is eliminated on capital gains and tax on businesses is reduced, there would be an immediate spurt in job growth and competitiveness among US companies. Arlen Specter played a key role in the sanction of economic stimulus which led to provision of $16 billion economic recovery funds to Pennsylvania for revival of economy and jobs.
Differences in Environmental Policy
Arlen Specter is very concerned with regard to green house emissions and conservation of resources and energy. He aims at reducing American dependence on foreign oil and supports full funding to states for waste water treatment plants. He ardently supports funding for research and development in alternative sources of energy. Specter encourages making homes more energy efficient through Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. He proposes to enforce mandatory emission standards and reductions and supported the 2007 Energy Bill aimed at increasing the fuel economy standards to 35 miles per gallon by the year 2020.
Pat Toomey believes in harnessing America's natural resources without harming it. Toomey voted for drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. He also is in support of drilling for oil in the Outer Continental shelf. Toomey is against raising taxes on gas.
Comparison of Views on National Security
Arlen Specter is a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense and ensures that American troops are provided with best protection and equipment. He considers protection of Pennsylvania's military installations of prime importance due to its contributions towards national defense.
Pat Toomey believes in strengthening the country's defense and take military action guided by country's national interest. He supports increasing funding of important defense systems like the strategic missile defense program. He believes in extending support to democratic allies all over the world. He is an ardent supporter of soldiers and veterans and aims at securing their continued well being.
Early Life and Political Career
Arlen Specter was born the youngest child of Lillie Shanin and Harry Specter who were Russian emigrants. Raised as a Jew, Specter completed his education from University of Oklahoma from where he transferred to University of Pennsylvania from where he majored in International Relations. In 1956 he graduated from Yale Law School and the same year married Joan Levy. He has two children and four grand children. He worked for the Warren Commission which investigated the Kennedy assassination. In 1965 Specter ran for District Attorney as a Democrat. After being defeated in the Republican primary for US Senate, he ran for and won the Senate seat in 1980.
Pat Toomey was born to and raised by Catholic parents. Work-study and scholarships made it possible for Pat Toomey to study at the La Salle Academy and Harvard University from where he graduated in political science. He worked in Chemical Bank and Morgan, Grenfell & Co and later went on to open a Rookie's Restaurant with his two younger brothers. He was elected to Government Study Commission in 1994. In 1997, he married Kris Ann Duncan and they have two children.
Toomey vs Specter Opinion Polls
While Specter was ahead in opinion polls in 2009, Toomey's campaign seems to be gaining momentum and the race is being called a tossup by pundits.
| || ||Arlen Specter (D)||Pat Toomey (R)|
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||June 29, 2010||39%|| |
|Public Policy Polling (report)||June 19-21, 2010||41%||41%|
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||June 2, 2010||38%|| |
|Research 2000 (report)||May 24-26, 2010|| ||40%|
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||May 19, 2010|| ||42%|
|Research 2000 (report)||May 14, 2010||40%|| |
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||May 6, 2010||40%|| |
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||April 14, 2010||36%|| |
|Quinnipiac University (report)||March 30-April 5, 2010||34%|| |
|Public Policy Polling (report)||March 29-April 1, 2010||36%|| |
|Franklin & Marshall (report)||March 15-21, 2010|| || |
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||March 15, 2010|| || |
|Research 2000 (report)||March 8-10, 2010|| || |
|Quinnipiac University (report)||February 22-28, 2010|| || |
|Franklin & Marshall (report)||February 15-21, 2010|| || |
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||February 8, 2010|| || |
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||January 18, 2010|| || |
|Quinnipiac University (report)||December 8, 2009|| || |
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||December 8, 2009|| || |
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||October 13, 2009|| || |
|Quinnipiac University (report)||September 28, 2009|| || |
|Research 2000 (report)||August 12, 2009|| || |
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||August 11, 2009|| || |
|Quinnipiac University (report)||July 19, 2009|| || |
|Rasmussen Reports (report)||June 16, 2009|| || |
|Quinnipiac University (report)||May 20, 2009|| || |
|Research 2000 (report)||May 7, 2009|| || |
|Quinnipiac University (report)||May 3, 2009|| || |