The Mass. Senate race… and beyond
posted at 11:45 pm on January 11, 2010 by Karl
Whatever the polls may say (and Scott Rasmussen has more on that), the fact that the DNC is sending a senior press aide to Massachusetts to help state Attorney General Martha Coakley fend off Republican challenger Scott Brown tells the world that Democrats are worried. And that was before Brown’s million-dollar money-bomb detonated on Monday.
Nevertheless, the conventional wisdom remains that Brown has an uphill battle at best, now that Bay State Dems are mobilizing to turn out more of their base vote in this special election. Moreover, if Brown wins, it would not be much of an obstacle to Congressional Dems pushing through ObamaCare. There is not even much need for them to resort to measures like delaying Brown’s swearing-in, as the House could be strong-armed into passing the Senate bill, with promises that it will be “fixed” later, perhaps through budget reconciliation.
So what does a victory — or close loss — by Brown mean in terms of the general political landscape? Lefty bloggers see green shoots for the rightroots. TPM’s Eric Kleefeld:
Regardless of whether Brown wins or loses in this Democratic state, one thing is clear: National conservative activists have been able to take a clear interest in this race, and they could mobilize themselves for a cause in a similar way to the liberal Netroots during the Bush years.
Markos Moulitsas tweets, “Scott Brown reminds me of Paul Hackett. Like Hackett, Brown will lose, but grassroots cons learning how to better organize.”
But the implications of the Brown campaign are larger than that. Paul Hackett ran (and lost) in Ohio, a swing state. Brown is running in Blue Massachusetts, for a seat held for decades by a Kennedy. Yet his showing to date is not utterly shocking, because neither the test version of Barack Obama nor ObamaCare are very popular there, just as the bills are starting to come due. The Brown campaign highlights future political problems for national Dems that will remain, regardless of the results of the Massachusetts Senate race.