Ron Elving Ron Elving is Senior Editor and Correspondent on the Washington Desk for NPR News, where he is frequently heard as a news analyst and writes regularly for

Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) pauses as he gives his concession speech to supporters on Tuesday in Philadelphia. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

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Carolyn Kaster/AP

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) listens during a hearing on “Economic and Budget Challenges for the Short and Long Term” before the Senate Budget Committee on Capitol Hill March 3. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Alex Wong/Getty Images