SPECTER vs LLOYD: Fourth term in D.C. likely for Specter SPECTER vs LLOYD: Fourth term in D.C. likely for SpecterThe incumbent has a broad support base. On July 24, the AFL-CIO -- Pennsylvania's largest organized-labor group -- endorsed Republican U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter in his bid for a fourth term over Democrat Bill Lloyd, a state representative from Southwestern Pennsylvania. It was the first AFL-CIO endorsement of a Republican candidate for statewide office since 1982. But it was hardly the first time Lloyd picked out his ideological ground, only to find Specter firmly ensconced ahead of him. The campaign has come down to this: Lloyd suffers from an acute shortage of cash and a popular opponent who shares, at least publicly, many of his campaign positions. "[Lloyd] hasn't raised any issues that would attract people who feel passionately about them," Penn Political Science Professor Jack Nagel said. And since 77 percent of respondents to a recent poll don't know who Lloyd is -- with only 6 percent saying they can't identify Specter -- Election Day holds little suspense. Lloyd has remained unknown for one simple reason -- money. Specter has raised more than $7 million to support his reelection efforts, and still had $2.3 million in his war chest as of September 30. Lloyd's receipts totaled a mere $100,000 at the end of September, half of it drawn from his own retirement savings. As of the last filing, only $2,200 remained in the campaign's coffers. But money only gets candidates on television and into the living room. Then the content becomes important. And Specter has harped on one indisputable theme throughout: his ranking seat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, a position which allows him to steer numerous big-ticket projects to the state and city. The Philadelphia resident and Penn alumnus has saturated the airwaves with that message, brought home in a series of ads about Specter's more spectacular funding successes: $20 million for a Constitution Center on Independence Mall; $50 million to bring Norwegian shipbuilder Kvaerner to Philadelphia's old naval shipyard; and $23 million for new locks and dams on the Monongahela River. Lloyd has been left to watch, making his only television appearance in a quiet October 10 debate. Widely-respected for his knowledge of parliamentary intricacies, Lloyd has struggled to delineate clear positions on major issues. He is against a flat-tax proposal that Specter supports. He is pro-life, while Specter is pro-choice except for partial-birth abortions. But on other issues, the differences are less apparent. Both want to protect consumers with new managed-care legislation designed to allow malpractice suits against health-maintenance organizations. Both oppose school vouchers and support charter schools. Both think Social Security should be saved by using the current budget surplus. It wasn't supposed to be like this. Heading into the election season, Specter was thought to be vulnerable and Lloyd was considered to be the just the type of guy to take him on. Pundits have long said that no one could beat Specter in Pennsylvania by running to the left of him. So Lloyd, a socially conservative man who is a true believer in government subsidies of all kinds, figured to do well in a state described by James Carville as "two big cities with Alabama in between." Thus far, he hasn't. And Tuesday, experts say he is unlikely to pull in more than 30 to 35 percent of the vote, if that. Susan Roach, a Lloyd spokesperson, insists that "if he had any money, he'd be winning." Then, reality sets in: "The chances of his winning are close to zero now."Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.