Sen. Arlen Specter must be wondering whether his decision to switch parties last spring was the right one. Not only have the GOP’s prospects improved, but he finds himself locked in a nasty primary with Rep. Joe Sestak. And, even if he secures the nomination, Specter’s prospects in the general election have dimmed in recent weeks.

Sestak is finding support among Democrats who are suspicious of Specter’s party switch, but he still has a long way to go to build his statewide name identification and raise the kind of money he will need to level the financial playing field with Specter. As of December 31, Sestak had $5.1 million in the bank compared to $8.7 million for Specter. To say that Sestak is mounting an aggressive challenge is almost an understatement; he is critical of just about every move Specter makes. On the flipside, though, some Democratic strategists argue that Sestak has made Specter a more reliable vote by pushing him left. In fact, vote studies suggest that Specter votes with Democrats more than he voted with Republicans when he

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