Can a Republican win in Massachusetts? Sure—Scott Brown did it. He also enjoyed an unusual confluence of events: a complacent Democratic Party; a notably weak and gaffe-prone campaigner in Coakley; a special election that came at the height of backlash to the Obama agenda. Despite the fervent beliefs of some progressives that Elizabeth Warren would have walked away with the presidency this year, she’s an unproven campaigner, and she actually ran behind Obama in 2012. But Brown was an incumbent, and Warren has likely improved on the stump. Brown was also able to position himself as a moderate, but Schilling shows no interest in that, meaning he’d have a tough row to hoe in the bluest state in the nation. It’s tough to win statewide office opposing gay marriage in the first state to legalize it.