Chris Matthews Meets With PA Dems to Discuss Anti-Specter Senate Campaign

The Los Angeles Times reports that MSNBC host Chris Matthews met with Pennsylvania Democrats about running against Sen. Arlen Specter in 2010. The newspaper made no allusion to how the Republicans will have an enormous video trail of sloppy Matthews soundbites to consider:

The Northeast's dwindling cast of Senate Republicans has Democrats circling Arlen Specter's seat in Pennsylvania, convinced the party is well-positioned to make a competitive race out of the 2010 election.

Leading the pack of prospects -- at least in celebrity -- is Chris Matthews, the MSNBC "Hardball" host and a former Capitol Hill Democratic staffer. The Philadelphia native has been toying with a run for months, and this week he sat down with state Democrats to discuss the prospect of taking on the five-term GOP senator....

Matthews, 62, who didn't respond to a request for comment, has dismissed questions about a run in recent months as he lays the groundwork behind the scenes. His contract with MSNBC expires in June.

Sadly for Matthews, the Pittsburgh Business Times reports he'd have an uphill climb against Specter in the polls (and the liberal GOPer has a big campaign treasury):

A new poll released Wednesday finds not enough Pennsylvania voters know who Chris Matthews is, and that he would be at a distinct disadvantage in a race against incumbent U.S. Senator Arlen Specter.

Matthews, best known as host of the MSNBC political commentary show "Hardball" has not officially announced he is seeking the Democratic nomination to run against five-term Republican Specter. But he might find such a matchup tough going, according to the results of a Quinnipiac University poll.

Specter leads Matthews among likely Republican voters by a margin of 72 percent to 9 percent. Overall, Specter leads 45 percent to 33 percent; among independent voters, Specter leads 45 percent to 27 percent.

One bright spot for Matthews is among likely Democratic voters, where he leads Specter 55 percent to 25 percent.

Sixty percent of those polled said they didn't know enough about Matthews to form an opinion of him, while Specter has a 62 percent approval rating.

"Who says the Republicans are dead?" Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute said in a statement. Specter has the highest job approval rating of any major Pennsylvania politician, Richards added. "(He) would knock off Chris Matthews by 12 points if the Hardball host decides to run against him."

Hamden, Conn.-based Quinnipiac surveyed 1,487 Pennsylvania voters between Nov. 19 through Nov. 24.

The blog TV Newser reminded readers:

TVNewser first reported on the possibility back in January, during the New Hampshire primary when Matthews was overheard telling a local politician, "Nothing will get done in Washington until there is a large enough majority in the Senate - maybe I'll run for Senate." Well, that democratic majority in the Senate has grown, and could increase even more in the coming weeks depending on the outcomes of races in Georgia and Minnesota.

In February, Matthews told TVNewser, "I've always dreamed of being a senator from Pennsylvania and everybody I know knows it. But, I also have the greatest and most perfect job for a guy like me and I have no plans to change that."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis