The second pro-Clarence Thomas senator goes before voters next Tuesday. He is Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican. Democratic Sen. Alan Dixon of Illinois faced the voters last month; he was upset by a little-known woman candidate, Carol Moseley Braun, who won in large part because of Senator Dixon's "yes" vote on the nomination. She got the "Anita Hill vote."
If there really is such a vote. Pennsylvania's Republican primary could help confirm it. It is one thing for Democratic women to vote against a pro-Thomas senator, as apparently most of them did in Illinois. It would be another thing for Republican women to vote heavily against one. Some Republican women crossed over to vote against Senator Dixon in the Democratic primary in Illinois, but not a large number. Pennsylvania's primaries are closed. So if there is a heavy vote by women against him, that will really shake the GOP.
Most of the women likely to be "Anita Hill" voters are also pro-choice. This complicates the voter decision-making in the Republican primary. Senator Specter is also pro-choice. His opponent is a state legislator, Rep. Stephen Freind, the leader in the effort to enact a restrictive abortion law in the state. That law's constitutionality is to be debated in the Supreme Court today, perhaps giving the issue extra impact on primary day.