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In a political surprise, U.S. Representative Joe Sestak defeated incumbent Senator Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary Tuesday.

Sestak’s opponent in Pennsylvania’s general election will be Representative Pat Toomey, who won the Republican senatorial primary over Peg Luksik.

It was the first democratic Senate campaign for Specter, a five term senator who switched from the Republican party to the Democratic party in 2009. At press time, Sestak led Specter 53 to 47 percent according to the Associated Press.

Southeast Pennsylvania coordinator for Students for Specter and College junior Colin Kavanaugh said Specter’s loss was not for lack of campaigning.

“Specter is not Martha Coakley,” he said, adding that more can be attributed to a rise in anti-incumbent feeling. “He made all of the right moves….whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, it is not a good environment to be an incumbent. We couldn’t get over the fact that Specter has been a senator for 30 years.”

Kavanaugh, a former Daily Pennsylvanian columnist and reporter, also cited the weather as an explanation of Specter’s loss. “The rain killed us. Voters didn’t turn out in Specter’s home base of Philadelphia,” he said.

In addition, Kavanaugh feels that President Barack Obama’s support, which Specter had enjoyed on the campaign trail, does not carry as much weight as previously imagined. “At the end of the day it’s not so much what Barack Obama wants, it’s what voters think Barack Obama wants,” he said.

College sophomores Emma Ellman-Golan and Ted Koutsoubas, College sophomore and presidents of Penn Democrats and Students for Sestak respectively, were unavailable for comment.

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