Friday, August 7


538 - In the first month or so after becoming a Democrat, [Arlen] Specter was voting with his new party about two-thirds of the time on contentious votes. While there are some less loyal Democrats -- say, Ben Nelson of Nebraska -- who only vote with their party about half the time, this was certainly less than what most Democratic observers were hoping for.

But since then, indeed, something has changed. Well, a couple of things have changed. On May 27th, Congressman Joe Sestak announced that he intended to challenge Specter for the Democratic nomination. And since that time, Specter has voted with his party on 28 out of 29 contentious votes, or 97 percent of the time.

Specter's overall party loyalty score since becoming a Democrat -- counting votes both before and after the primary challenge -- is 87 percent. This contrasts with the 44 percent of the time that he broke ranks to side with the Democratic on contentious votes while still a member of the Republican Party. He's basically been behaving like a mainline, liberal Democrat.


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