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.

Comparison chart

Arlen Specter versus Pat Toomey comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartArlen SpecterPat Toomey
  • current rating is 2.29/5
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(21 ratings)
  • current rating is 2.98/5
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(96 ratings)
Place of birth Wichita, Kansas Providence, Rhode Island
Date of birth February 12, 1930 November 17, 1961
Preceded by Richard Schweiker Paul McHale
Succeeded by Richard Shelby Charlie Dent
Political party Democratic (1951-1965 , April 28, 2009-present) Republican (1966–April 28, 2009) Republican
Residence Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Zionsville, Pennsylvania
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania (B.S.) Yale Law School (J.D.) Harvard University (B.A.)
Occupation Attorney, Politician Politician
Serves on committees Appropriations, Judiciary, Veterans' Affairs, Special Committee on Aging n/a
Religion Judaism Roman Catholic
Website http://specter.senate.gov/public/ http://www.toomeyforsenate.com/
Current Position United States Senator from Pennsylvania US Politician contesting for Senator
Books authored Never Give In: Battling Cancer in the Senate The Road to Prosperity: How to Grow Our Economy and Revive the American Dream
Position on abortion Supports women's right to choose to have an abortion; as well as stem cell line research. Toomey is Pro- Life and encourages adoption over abortion.
Position on economy Supports economic stimulus but is pessimistic about the outcome. Cut taxes and decrease regulation making it easier to hire people.
Position on Iraq Supported the deployment of troops to Iraq. Strong supporter of military force authorization in Iraq.
Position on Iran Prescribes diplomatic talks with Iran to facilitate nuclear disarmament of Iran. Prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Position on Afghanistan Opposes move to send reinforcement troops to Afghanistan. Toomey feels Iran is more of a threat but supports Obama's take on sending more troops to Afghanistan.
Position on Immigration Supports comprehensive immigration reforms inclusive of increase in border patrol and detention capacity of illegal immigrants. Asserts respect for rule of law and need to secure American borders.
Position on Global Warming Pioneer in getting the bipartisan amendment passed in 2005. introduction of Low Carbon Economy Act which aims at cutting down green house emissions. Increase energy independence without harming environment.
Age 80 48

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.

Recent News

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.

Source:Wikipedia

Poll Source
Polling Date
Arlen Specter (D) Pat Toomey (R)
Rasmussen Reports (report) June 29, 2010 39%
45%
Public Policy Polling (report) June 19-21, 2010 41% 41%
Rasmussen Reports (report) June 2, 2010 38%
45%
Research 2000 (report) May 24-26, 2010
43%
40%
Rasmussen Reports (report) May 19, 2010
46%
42%
Research 2000 (report) May 14, 2010 40%
45%
Rasmussen Reports (report) May 6, 2010 40%
42%
Rasmussen Reports (report) April 14, 2010 36%
47%
Quinnipiac University (report) March 30-April 5, 2010 34%
42%
Public Policy Polling (report) March 29-April 1, 2010 36%
42%
Franklin & Marshall (report) March 15-21, 2010
29%
33%
Rasmussen Reports (report) March 15, 2010
40%
49%
Research 2000 (report) March 8-10, 2010
47%
41%
Quinnipiac University (report) February 22-28, 2010
49%
42%
Franklin & Marshall (report) February 15-21, 2010
34%
44%
Rasmussen Reports (report) February 8, 2010
38%
47%
Rasmussen Reports (report) January 18, 2010
40%
49%
Quinnipiac University (report) December 8, 2009
44%
44%
Rasmussen Reports (report) December 8, 2009
42%
46%
Rasmussen Reports (report) October 13, 2009
40%
45%
Quinnipiac University (report) September 28, 2009
42%
43%
Research 2000 (report) August 12, 2009
45%
40%
Rasmussen Reports (report) August 11, 2009
36%
48%
Quinnipiac University (report) July 19, 2009
45%
44%
Rasmussen Reports (report) June 16, 2009
50%
39%
Quinnipiac University (report) May 20, 2009
46%
37%
Research 2000 (report) May 7, 2009
55%
31%
Quinnipiac University (report) May 3, 2009
53%
33%

References

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