Political Eyes on Massachusetts for Jan 19th Election

The possibility of Republican Scott Brown winning Ted Kennedy’s former Senate seat in Massachusetts was unheard of just a month ago, however, fast-forward to today and we have a real race on our hands. Democrat Martha Coakley has run a weak campaign up to this point, presumably because she assumed it would be a gimme that she would stroll into the seat in dark-blue Massachusetts.

This is my new favorite political clip from the last Brown/Coakley debate a few days ago:

BusinessWeek put out an interesting article on the Massachusetts Senate race:

Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) — Republicans may lose next week’s U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts and still win election- year political points.

The race to fill the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s seat, once considered a foregone conclusion in a heavily Democratic state, is taking on national significance as some polls show Republican state Senator Scott Brown trailing Democratic state Attorney General Martha Coakley by as few as 2 percentage points, and after Brown raised $1.3 million in 24 hours over the Internet.

The surge in opinion polls by a state legislator who trailed by more than 30 points in November set off a last-minute Democratic push to turn out voters for Coakley on Jan. 19.

“He’s going to worry her from here until then,” said Richard Parker, a former consultant to Democrats, including Kennedy. Parker said “neither campaign is running like a Swiss railroad, and there could be problems in actually getting people out.”

If Brown wins, Democrats would lose the 60-vote Senate majority needed to overcome Republican filibusters on priorities such as health-care legislation. In Massachusetts, even coming close would help Republicans make the case that Democrats are in danger of losing congressional majorities in the November elections.

“Anything in the single digits and Republicans get to crow a little bit,” said Jeffrey Berry, a political science professor at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.

Most analysis are stating that anything within a 10-point race in the end means some kind of victory for Republicans showing the political momentum in 2010 is heading their direction. A victory in Massachusetts would be a tsunami of positive news for Republicans in 2010. I remain cautiously optimistic though I know the likelihood of Brown’s victory lies with independent voters and the turnout game.

The election will hedge on turnout among Coakley supporters. Clearly Republican and independent-leaning voters are energized to vote against President Obama’s socialized health care and should turn out in droves.

Admittedly most polls show Coakley leading from anywhere between 2 points to 10 points. Public Policy Polling’s latest, as of right now, is the only one showing Brown leading by 1 among likely voters. Check out all the polls on this race from Real Clear Politics.

The Massachusetts special election is January 19th, 2010.

  • Bill Hedges

    “Brown raised $1.3 million in 24 hours over the Internet” is a clear sign health care issue is the big play in this election.

    Democrat Martha Coakley fund raiser was held in Washington DC. Her contribitors were of a different sort.

    “Coakley in trouble? Pharma and HMO lobbyists to the rescue”

    By: Timothy P. Carney

    “With Democrat Martha Coakley in trouble in the Massachusetts special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat, Democrats could lose vote No. 60 for President Obama’s health-care bill. response, an army of lobbyists for drug companies, health insurance companies, and hospitals has teamed up to throw a high-dollar Capitol Hill fundraiser for Coakley next Tuesday night. The invitation is here.”

    “Of the 22 names on the host committee–meaning they raised $10,000 or more for Coakley–17 are federally registered lobbyists, 15 of whom have health-care clients. Of the other five hosts, one is married to a lobbyist, one was a lobbyist in Pennsylvania, another is a lawyer at a lobbying firm, and another is a corporate CEO. Oh, and of course, there’s also the political action commitee for Boston Scientific Corporation.”

    “All the leading drug companies have lobbyists on Coakley’s host committee: Pfizer, Merck, Amgen, Sanofi-Aventis, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Astra-Zeneca, and more. On the insurance side of things, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, HealthSouth, and United Health all are represented on the host committee.”

    “Those HMOs (like Aetna) or drug companies who don’t have lobbyists in Coakley’s top tier of fundraisers? They’re covered, because the host committee includes four lobbyists representing the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), two representing America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), and one representing the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)”

    “So think of these top donors to health-care reform’s 60th vote next time President Obama claims that he’s battling the special interests in this battle. The army listed below is on Obama’s side, and these clients will all benefit from “reform.”

    “Here are some of Coakley fundraiser hosts with some of their current health care clients:”

    “Thomas Boggs, Patton Boggs: Bristol-Myers Squibb.”

    “Chuck Brain, Capitol Hill Strategies: Amgen, BIO, Merck, PhRMA”

    “Susan Brophy, Glover Park Group: Blue Cross, Pfizer”

    “Steven Champlin, Duberstein Group: AHIP, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis”

    “Licy Do Canto, Raben Group: Amgen”

    “Gerald Cassidy, Cassidy & Associates: U. Mass Memorial Health Care”

    “David Castagnetti, Mehlman, Vogel, Castagnetti: Abbot Labs, AHIP, Astra-Zenaca, General Electric, Humana, Merck, PhRMA.”

    “Steven Elmendorf, Elmendorf Strategies: Medicines Company, PhRMA, United Health”

    “Shannon Finley, Capitol Counsel: Amgen, Astra-Zeneca, Blue Cross, GE, PhRMA, Sanofi-Aventis.”

    “Heather Podesta, Heather Podesta & Partners: Cigna, Eli Lilly, HealthSouth”

    “Tony Podesta, Podesta Group: Amgen, GE, Merck, Novartis.”

    “Robert Raben, Raben Group: Amgen, GE.”

    “If Coakley pulls it out, this is the crowd that will have brought her here. If health-care reform passes, this is the crew that will have won.”

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Coakley-in-trouble-Pharma-and-HMO-lobbyists-to-the-rescue-81067542.html

    I say Massachusetts can end Obama’s Presidency. Ok, he will still be President of the United States. A figure head. A lame duck President so to speak because of this loss if it occurs. Even if close. Seen but not heard. To paraphrase & change meaning, a West African proverb: “I speak softly and carry a small pencil; I’m done.”

    In the Senate, I can not think of a seat more blue and more liberal than the one Teddy Kennedy sat in for 47 years. What a upset if a Republican sat in that chair. To insult that throne and be the deciding vote aginst health care bill would be a blow of epic proportions for liberals. After all Teddy is credited as architect of this so called health care reform.

    Such a great health care bill that votes must be bought. Doesn’t go into effect for years. Charges begin immediately. Special exceptions to Democrat friendly groups such as unions. Steals from Medicare. Adds to roles of Medicad. Does not cover all Americans. Where is the transparacy and CSPAN coverage ?

    Scott Brown is a more iminate threat to obama than Sarah Palin. What dirty trickery will we see before election. After, if elected.

    Dare Democrats delay sitting Scott (if elected) until after health bill is voted on ? Could be Congressional vote that sunk the Democrat party if they did. At least for the perpetrators of such a dastardly deed. Appearance alone of impropriety would be devastating for Democrats.

  • Bill Hedges

    Obama, on provided video link, says Democrat Martha Coakley will help stop health care abuse. Will she correct the health care bill now in Congress ?

    Check my first comment to see health care groups that are supporting her. Seems to conflict with obama’s claims. But then I am a conservative.

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2010/01/obama-tapes-robocall-for-coakley-in-ma.html

  • Bill Hedges

    “If Scott Brown wins, it’ll kill the health bill”

    Barney Frank, D-Mass

    Barney should know, he killed our economy…

  • Babs

    Nate, I thought it was great when in an interview recently – when this seat was referred to as “Sen. Ted Kennedy’s seat” by the reporter – Brown replied (and I’m paraphrasing) – it’s not Ted Kennedy’s seat, it’s not the republican’s seat, it’s the people’s seat. Maybe if the voters of Mass. can hold onto that thought, we may see the results we’d like from this election.

  • Babs! Great to see your name here again.

    All the polling analysis I keep reading shows bad news for Coakley and fantastic news for Brown. Coakley’s support has crumbled while Brown’s is solidifying, especially amongst independent-leaning voters.

    My fingers are crossed and I know people will be energized to turnout and vote for Brown given Coakley’s abysmal demeanor and campaigning.

    Could “Ted Kennedy’s seat” be reclaimed? I’m hoping so, it would be a serious game-changer for 2010. In fact, though, this race has already changed 2010 as the Democrats have poured millions of dollars in resources into a race they would have deemed a “lock” just a few weeks ago. Never in their wildest dreams (or mine) would they think that they’d have a Republican tied or barely winning in the polls for the “Kennedy seat” in bluest of blue Massachusetts.

    Go Brown!