Tight Mass Senate Race Reveals Angry Tea Party Mood, Even in Liberal Enclave
January 15, 2010
(ChattahBox)—The Massachusetts special election for the senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy is providing plenty of drama and heartburn for Democrats, as the fledgling Republican tea party candidate has climbed from a deficit of 30 points to come within striking distance of the Democrat, in a traditional liberal New England state. Republican Scott Brown, a former Cosmo model, is nearly in a dead heat according to the most recent poll, with Democratic candidate Martha Coakley, the state attorney general. How this scenario could possibly occur in Massachusetts, the home of the Kennedy political dynasty and a dependable liberal enclave, is shocking to Democrats. And it’s due to a variety of factors, including an angry and scared electorate during a deep recession, an high unemployment rate and the lackluster “dial it in” political campaign of Martha Coakley. Whatever the results after the vote on Tuesday, this election should serve as a warning to Democrats in the upcoming 2010 mid-term elections, not to pull a “Coakley” and take their chances of winning for granted. Every single election in November is going to be a dog fight in the trenches, to overcome “incumbent-itis”
According to a recent Suffolk University poll, Brown had a slight lead of 4 points over Coakley, at the edge of the margin of error, putting the two in a dead heat.
There is a lot at stake in this election. Martha Coakley would provide the crucial 60th vote in the senate for the passage of the health care reform bill and other Obama initiatives. Brown has promised to kill the health care bill, if elected, and join fellow Republicans in a filibuster.
Coakley’s poor campaign has led Democrats to take an “all hands on deck” approach to travel to Massachusetts to save her campaign and the health care reform bill. President Obama released an online video on Thursday speaking of the urgency of the special election for Ted Kennedy’s seat. Obama also recorded an automated phone message, to make an appeal to voters over the weekend. During the call, Obama apologizes for the intrusion, but says he needed to speak out because the stakes are high. “She’ll be your voice and my ally,” said Obama.
And Kennedy’s widow, Vicki issued an email appeal to voters, raising much-needed cash for Coakley. On Friday, Vicky Kennedy released a TV ad pleading with voters to vote for Coakley, to allow her late husband’s work on health care to become a reality.
Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is now lending a land and former President Bill Clinton is making an appearance to energize Massashusetts voters for Coakley.
Coakley’s campaign has finally awakened from its slumber and she has started to air attack ads against Brown. And Coakley is finally meeting in person with voters, acknowledging their anger and discontent:
“I know that voters are angry; they are upset, they are worried about losing their jobs, they are worried about losing their homes, and they’re worried about where the economy’s going. I am, too,” Coakley said at a recent appearance at a senior center. “But I think it’s wrong for the people who caused the problem in the first place to pretend they’re the ones who will clean it up,” she said.
And that meme should have been the crux of her campaign from the get go.
Meanwhile, boatloads of outside tea party money is pouring into the state to support Brown, as they realize he definitely has a chance at a stunning upset. Why Massachusetts voters would vote for a Republican tea party candidate is a mystery, regardless of Coakley’s poor campaign. If the Democratic majority in the Senate falls below 60 members, before the mid-term elections; the obstructionist Republican Party of No will bring the dysfunctional chamber to a virtual standstill.
Source: Washington Post
Watch Vicki Kennedy’s Spot for Coakley: