Hope and Change from Massachusetts?

by Sal on January 4, 2010

in Election 2010,Health Care,Politics

There is a chance to send shock waves through the Obama administration, and it comes from, of all places, my home state, the People’s Republic of Massachusetts.  State Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) is facing off against Attorney General Martha Coakley (D-MA) to replace Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Senate on January 19, 2010.  While there have been no official polls released, there has been a lot of recent national buzz surrounding Brown’s candidacy, causing some to think that the race is winnable.  Several anecdotal factors lead to this conclusion:

  • Brown is a popular Republican state senator in a state that prides itself on being made up of a majority of independents (even though those independents usually end up voting Democrat).
  • Republicans do have a history of winning statewide elections in the state (the Weld-Cellucci-Romney string of GOP governors is evidence of that).
  • Special elections have a history of producing interesting results, and Democrats are somewhat apathetic right now while Republicans are fired up.
  • The b***h factor.  It is a New England phenomenon that Republicans often win elections due to b**chy female Democrats.  This was the case with Romney vs. Shannon O’Brien, as well as both Lincoln Almond and Don Carcieri of neighboring Rhode Island, both of whom faced off against Democrat Mirth York.
  • The stupid factor.  Much of the Democrat base is not very politically aware, and votes rather knee-jerk for the Democrat due to JFK.  On the ballot on January 19 is an Independent libertarian named Joseph Kennedy.  There may be enough knee-jerk voters that vote for Kennedy to take votes away from Martha Coakley.

Now, this is not to say that Scott Brown will win.  In fact, it is more likely that he will not.  But it does present the first time in more than a decade that a GOP candidate is being talked about as having a shot at a Massachusetts’ Senate seat.  If the margin of victory is even in the single digits, it will be a blow  to Democrats and a bellwether of 2010.  If Brown eeks out a victory, he will be a crucial 41st vote against ObamaCare, and it will send shock waves to the rest of the Democrat caucus.  Brown may not be a perfect conservative, and there are many issues I disagree with him on, but he is about the best one can get out of Massachusetts, and his victory would be both a symbolic blow to the Obama administration and a practical blow in regards to getting the Obama agenda passed.

On a side note, the Republican apparatus fails again.  While the NRCC saw fit to pump $1M into liberal Dede Scozzofava’s campaign in NY-23, the NRSC cannot be bothered with Scott Brown’s campaign, only contributing $50,000.  Way to go, GOP.

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Scott Brown Within Single Digits of Coakley | Axis of Right
January 5, 2010 at 1:54 pm

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Mike January 4, 2010 at 10:28 am

Points three and four provide reason for hope, but the others provide little comfort.

Scott Brown may be popular in his district but there is little evidence that he is well-known statewide. Although partisan states will often elect governors from the other party, that doesn’t translate to the Senate races as frequently. The stupid factor will be minor.

I wonder why there hasn’t been a single poll on this race. Surely, the Herald or Globe-Democrat will have one soon.


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