Cruises to Victory and Fifth Senate Term
Specter vanquished three-term Rep. Joe Hoeffel in a fractious and sometimes personal race. Through most of the campaign, Hoeffel had struggled to gain name recognition, but spurred by Sen. John Kerry's heavy campaigning in the battleground state he had managed to close the gap with Specter for a time.
Specter's victory was attributed to his ability to appeal across party lines and his seniority in the Senate.
Appears Headed for Fifth Term; Hoeffel Eyes Turnout
According to recent polls, Specter, who has outspent every other senate candidate in the nation, was likely to garner the support of up to 20 percent of those voting for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., helping give the four-term incumbent an apparently comfortable lead.
"Specter made the heavy television buys in the last two weeks and that made all the difference in the world," G. Terry Madonna, director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin and Marshall College, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
U.S. Rep. Joseph Hoeffel, who has been outspent heavily in the race, continued to struggle to gain name recognition. The same survey indicated up to one-third of likely voters could not identify the Philadelphia-area Democrat.
Hoeffel maintains that the support for Specter, hovering barely above 50 percent, meant an upset was still possible.
"Senator Specter has not put this election away," Hoeffel said. "He needs to be higher than that [50 percent] to survive what should be a Democratic wave on Tuesday with more straight-party voting than you may have seen in 25 to 30 years."
Back Specter as Third Party Candidate Gains Steam
Hoeffel Come Out Firing in First Debate
Hopes for Coattails as Specter Rakes in Endorsements
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