Former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter dead at age 82

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Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Arlen Specter is remembered as one of Congress' best-known moderates and was a member of both major parties during his career. Now, two years after he was voted out of office, his death coincides with a finding by political scientists that Congress is more polarized than ever.

Specter, who died Sunday, served in the Senate for 30 years.

In 2009, Specter was one of three Republicans to vote for President Barack Obama's stimulus bill. Republican fury drove Specter to the Democratic Party, where he lost the 2010 primary.

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge says he thinks a serious third party could emerge on the national stage in 2016 without bipartisan agreement on major issues. Sen. Bob Casey says he believes moderates can still bring people together, although it'll take work.

(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press)

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