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Ron Radosh

The Special Election in Massachusetts: The Democrats’ Desperation

January 18th, 2010 - 11:57 am

Tomorrow is the Democrat’s D-Day, and the entire nation will be watching. At present, depending on which poll you prefer, Scott Brown is anywhere from 5 points to 10 points ahead of the Democratic incumbent in the Massachusetts Senate seat, Martha Coakley. From all accounts, the momentum is with Brown. Indeed, as Mike Barnicle said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” today, Brown was even ahead in working-class Democratic Marlboro. Brown has been out driving his truck throughout the state, shaking hands, standing in the cold and missing no beat. The clueless Coakley, on the other hand, when asked why she left the state to attend a fundraiser for DC lobbyists, retorted  “what do you want me to do, stand in the cold at Fenway Park and shake hands?”  Well…..

The result might well be the once unthinkable-a win for the mainstream conservative candidate, Scott Brown. As Boston TV political analyst Jon Keller points out in an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal  “after Kennedy’s death in August, few imagined there would be any problem replacing him with another Democrat in the U.S. Senate. It’s been 16 years since Massachusetts elected a Republican to a congressional seat, 31 years since the last Republican senator left office. Gov. Patrick appointed a former Kennedy aide as the interim senator, and Democratic primary voters chose the well-regarded state Attorney General Martha Coakley as their nominee for the special election.”

But as Keller points out, independents- who outnumber Democrats in Massachusetts by a large percentage of over 51% of voters- are breaking for Brown by a three to one margin. Coakley is out of touch with the views of the electorate on issues of national security, taxation, as well as on the big one- health care reform. With nation-wide revulsion over the payoff to big Labor, who get an exemption for the Cadillac tax on high cost insurance premiums until 2018, while regular workers start paying in 2013, it is not surprising that so many voters in the Bay State are willing to give up Ted Kennedy’s old seat to a Republican.

And as everyone knows, the campaign is above all a referendum on the Obama administration’s health care bill. The American public does not like it, does not trust the Democrats’ assurances that it can pass without an increase in the deficit, without having to pay higher premiums for their insurance, while getting less secure medical care in exchange.  This is especially true in MASS, where the state already has an expensive state-wide health insurance plan.

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