Couldn’t wait until Wednesday to post this – so much for sticking to the letter of my New Year’s Resolution.   Am very curious to learn more about it.

The Special Election in Massachusetts to elect a successor for the Senate previously held by Teddy Kennedy takes on national significance.  If the Republican candidate, Scott Brown, should be elected, he would deny the Democrats the 60th vote in the Senate.  This could mean (but don’t hold your breath) that the health care legislation could be stalled or killed outright.  Depending upon which poll you read, Mr. Brown and his opponent, Democrat Martha Coakley are in a dead heat or Ms. Coakley is up by as much as 15 points.

Some thoughts about the upcoming January 19 election:

1.  Will donations to Brown from Republicans (and others) who want to kill ‘health care’ push him to victory?  In other words, will a Massachusetts election be decided by factors outside the state?

2.  Will influence from prominent Democrats (I understand that Barack Obama and both Hillary and Bill Clinton are already booked to show on behalf of Ms. Coakley) who want to keep the 60 seat supermajority in the Senate push Ms. Coakley to victory?  In other words, will a Massachusetts election be decided by factors outside the state?

3.  If Mr. Brown should win, will Mr. Reid stall his seating in the Senate until after he has run the health care bill through the Senate?

4.  If the race is close, how many recounts will be required and how long will it take?  Will this delay things long enough to allow the Democrats to pass health care legislation?

5.  Will a close race end up with a tainted democrat victory like Governor Chris Gregoire in Washington State (won in second recount with more votes found in absentee ballots – including something like 98% of them being democrat votes and more democrat votes than registered democrats in King County) or Senator Al Franken of Minnesota (who similarly won in recounts after trailing by over 700 votes after the election ended)?

6.  As disliked as Coakley is among Massachusetts Democrats, is it likely they will still vote for her to keep the 60th vote or will they still vote against her and hope for a real Democrat candidate in two more years?

7.  As centrist or even left leaning on many issues as Brown is, will Massachusetts Republicans still vote for him to win the 41st vote or will they still vote against him and hope for a real Republican candidate in two more years?

8.  Will all this fade in importance when Ben Nelson of Nebraska tries to revive his political future by promising his constituents to vote against the health care legislation?

I think this election has national consequence and we will see an amazing flurry of activity in the next week by both sides.  Any thoughts?

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