Many people are speculating that if the Republicans get close to 50 votes in the Senate, Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson may jump ship on the Democrats and caucus with the GOP. But it could work both ways. Olympia Snowe had a strong reaction to the Delaware primary results, and she is not amused.
Visibly sad, Snowe called Castle “an outstanding public servant who was committed to the common good of his state and country.”
The longer Snowe talked about the state of the GOP and the Tea Party movement, the more riled up she got.
Can you say Jim Jeffords? Snowe is almost certain to get a challenge from her right flank the next time she is up for re-election and the Castle result shows that such a challenge is something to be afraid of. One way to attempt to safeguard herself is to switch parties now (although admittedly it didn’t work for Arlen Specter). Snowe (and fellow Maine Senator, Susan Collins) is getting further and further from the ideological center of the Republican Party. I predict this is her last term as a Republican Senator. Whether it is her last term as a Senator is less clear.