“On the issue of dealing with accused terrorists, for whom would you vote for U.S. Senate if you knew that Scott Brown believes that accused terrorists should be treated as enemy combatants and face military justice [and] Martha Coakley believes that accused terrorists should be provided constitutional rights and tried in civilian courts?” the Brown camp’s poll asked. Respondents split 61% to 29% in Brown’s favor, Newhouse said.

Newhouse said he thinks the way the terrorism issue played out in Massachusetts will draw the notice of lawmakers and political candidates nationwide. “If voters in Massachusetts are telling us that, and it’s one of the more liberal states in the country, I can only imagine where Ohio, Pennsylvania or Colorado voters might be on something like this,” the pollster said. “I think it’s got ramifications for this year’s elections.”…

Obama’s plan to buy an Illinois state prison for use as a detention facility and site for military trials of some Guantanamo prisoners will require Congress to appropriate $150 million or more. White House officials have also said they want Congress to change current law so that some prisoners could be brought to the U.S. for indefinite detention without trial, if necessary.

Some analysts said that even before Brown’s victory Obama needed the equivalent of a triple-bank-shot to get Congress to agree to such moves. Now, they said, it could be all but impossible.