Sen. Arlen Specter's announcement that he would switch parties to pursue reelection as a Democrat drew surprise quickly from his Democratic Senate colleagues.

A one-word response characterized Democrats' response: "Wow."

Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillGOP sees fresh opening with Dems’ single payer embrace Senators blast internet subsidy program It is time to make domestic terrorism a federal crime MORE (D-Mo.) tweeted:
Specter to switch parties? Wow.


Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonDem asks airlines to cap airfares ahead of Hurricane Maria Trump encourages Rick Scott to run for Senate Overnight Regulation: House moves to block methane rule | Senators wrestle with allowing driverless trucks | EPA delays toxic waste rule MORE (D-Fla.) shortly followed up:
Whoa, Arlen Specter is switching to Democratic Party after three decades in GOP


The surprise announcement was met with shock well beyond the walls of Congress, however. Tweets from bloggers, pundits, and journalists all expressed surprise at the announcement today.