Low Turnout in Philly Bodes Ill for Specter

The rain has stopped, but it's still cold, gloomy, and damp here in Philadelphia's Center City district. I'm at a polling place—the 15th Division of the 8th Ward of the City of Philadelphia—and the turnout is very light. Of the approximately 1,000 voters registered to vote at the old Sidney Hillman Clinic on Chestnut Street, only 71 had done so by 4 p.m. "It's very slow," said a poll worker stationed by one of the new electronic voting machines in the auditorium. "Maybe it'll pick up."

Sen. Arlen Specter had better hope so. If he is going to hold off the hard-charging Rep. Joe Sestak, Specter is going to need a decent city turnout of traditional (older, Jewish, black, and academia) voters. So far today, he isn't getting it.

All of the big-city wiseguys who met for lunch with a close friend of mine are saying, "Arlen by one." Not exactly a strong vote of confidence.