I believe Scott Brown has a chance, albeit a slight one, to shock the political world on January 19th. Call this assessment one part innate republican optimism and one part observations from Ward 2, Newburyport on primary day.

For starters, the lack of intensity by democrats yesterday was simply stunning. MA hasn’t had a Senate vacancy since 1984 and turnout was pathetic. What’s behind the apathy? One theory expressed to the Daily News “I think it’s because people aren’t particularly excited about this race. They don’t see a big difference in the candidates. They seem pleased with them all,” Erickson said.” I agree with the first part of this statement and think the second part is dead wrong. There wasn’t a dimes worth of difference seperating the 4 democratic candidates on the major issues of this campaign and that’s the problem.

If people are excited about a candidate they are going to express it by volunteering or at least showing up to the polls to vote. Yesterday, the only campaign that had folks holding signs was Scott Brown’s. Admittedly, it was a bit chilly out there yesterday, but it wasn’t unseasonably cold, it is December after all. This lack of excitement is the canary in the coal mine moment for the democrats and they ignore it at their peril.

The US Senate is currently debating legislation on: health care, energy, a potential second (jobs bill) stimulus and a promise/threat of taking up “immigration reform”. If enacted these bills will transfer unprecedented power to the Federal government and registered democrats responded to this by staying home. If the majority of democrats in MA were excited by this agenda they would have voted in large numbers. The truth is that this agenda is only popular with the far left of the democratic party, even here in deep blue MA and independents are scared to death by it.

Some completely anecdotal, unscientific examples from yesterday. An independent voter approached me to tell me that he had voted for Scott. He also told me the guy at the desk told him he was requesting the “wrong ballot”, just part of the joy of living in MA. Another told me he works for a small plumbing supply company and if the health care bill passes they will be forced to cut their employees from 55 down to 49. They don’t want to do this, they simply can’t afford to pay the mandates that will be imposed by this legislation.

So, how does all this help Scott? Martha Coakley will be campaigning on issues that only appeal to a small percentage of voters. If Scott Brown and this is a big if, can convince the independens that are a majority of voters in this state to cast a ballot for a republican, probably for the first time in their lives he has a fighting chance.

To give Scott a fighting chance the republicans in the US Senate need to stand up and fight instead of playing nice guy. This election needs to be fought on big issues. The principal one being a victory by Scott Brown denies the democrats 60 votes for the federal takeover of health care.  

About Paul Breau


  1. of things stand in the way of a Scott Brown victory, one that would shock the political world and (almost make Scott a future presidential candidate if he were to pull it off — that’s how big it would be).

    I have this feeling that liberal Democrats stayed home because they would have been happy with any of the boilerplate candidates. What were the differences between the candidates, assuming that Pags was sincere in his political beliefs and not just a johnny-come-lately? The differences were minimal and that allowed the Democrats to choose on second order preferences  — characteristics such as gender. So my guess is that Democrats who stayed home yesterday will come out in force in January partly because they cannot dismiss Scott Brown’s candidacy. There will be debates. There will be negative advertising; Mass Equality will take a few shots. Make no mistake, Scott Brown will morph into Dick Cheney when all the opposition research and negative advertising by out-of-state interests take hold.

    The other reason is that there is  no counterweight on the GOP side in Massachusetts to the shock troops of the SEIU and public sector unions. It’s hard to imagine independents breaking for Coakley but she’ll get a few.

    A Senator Coakley will be a big letdown in Washington.  

  2. It is a special, so anything can happen. But realistically Brown has no shot (and I think he knows it). He is not really raising much money – that is a problem. He will get no help from the national party – since they do not want to make it seem like this is a viable race, and then end up losing (they know it is not viable).

    And in the singular issue of this current campaign – healthcare, Brown is indistinguishable from Democrats. He will have a very difficult time in a debate on healthcare, since he is an unabashed supporter of the MA plan which put us on the road to government control. His biggest knock on the proposed national plan is that it will hurt MA – which “already has a good plan in place”. He cannot argue against the merits. That is a monumental problem which he cannot overcome.  

  3. There is an energy out there, but it’s only amongst maybe 30% of those voting. There was no Stephen Lynch in the race where the Brown campaign can pick off  his voters in the primary. My guess is Coakley wins 60-40. Republicans need to face the facts here. Even IF ,and that’s a big IF, Brown were to poll within 12%, you can count on more than just a simple Clinton Robo-Call on the other side. The Clintons will come out. Obama will come out. The unions and liberal special interest groups will flood the race with money and manpower. That won’t happen with our side and rightfully so. I don’t want the NRC to waste money on a campaign designed to set himself up for a future run for Treasurer or Governor. The negative campaigning will come out. Let’s not forget his ill-advised meltdown at King Philip High School 2-3 years ago. I think he was right in what he did defending his family, but the negative ad’s from the Democrats and Boston Globe won’t. They will spin that story like you won’t believe. The King Philip fiasco is still siting back and waiting, ready for the right time to bite him in the ass.

    Plain and simple, if this becomes a close race in an early poll, it soon thereafter won’t be.    

  4. If the election were held today I would say it would probably be about Coakley 57% to Brown 43%.  That’s about midway between Mitt Romney and Kerry Healey’s percentages.  However, in six week’s, Obama will probably be down to the mid-40’s in approval.  Coupled with Deval’s continued missteps, that will be toxic for the Dems.  

    So yes, a Brown win is definitely possible.

  5. He must start asking the questions: Where was Martha during all the corruption on Beacon Hill – HE has to ask it-the State GOP cannot and will not get any traction with it.

    Scott has to ask some hard hitting questions about the Fells Acre Case she was involved with – that could be the ace in the hole.

    If Scott doesn’t come out hard, I realize it is not his character, he will never dent the armor and rile her up-that’s what HAS to happen. That will force her off the edge because they won’t expect it.

    Scott is clean so where can they go ??

  6. How is supporting a state program (a very expensive one at that) at a state level synonymous with supporting it at the federal level?  

    I’ve heard Brown speak on this numerous times.  He agrees in principle, but points out that the state addressed coverage but not costs (big mistake)…and that must part of the answer.  

    But his position was and has been that if states want this type of program let them do it themselves.  That is nowhere near the position of Coakley who supports a HUGE federal program, with a public option, and is so pro-choice she threatened to not support a bill that had language similar to the Stupak amendment.  I see that as a big difference.  

    What they choose to do in Florida or Montana has no effect on federal taxes (not directly anyway), the deficit, the amount of government involvement in my life, or the exploding national debt.  It also does not raise the constitutional issue of whether the federal government can require you to purchase something….which will….MARK MY WORDS….end up before a federal court if there is an individual mandate, and stands a fair chance of being struck down.

    Brown differs on Cap-and-Trade and immigration as well.

    I agree he’s the underdog here, but he is definitely NOT the same on Healthcare as the DEMS.

  7. Of course he is not as extreme as Coakley on healthcare. She supports a public option, he doesn’t. But he DOES support a government mandate for insurance – which is at the heart of the current proposed plan. He says he cares about costs – but all a mandate does is cause costs to rise. He has boxed himself in on this one. Coakley is savvy enough to nail the coffin. He will say she is in favor of a public option and he isn’t – but she will simply respond that he is at least in favor of a government run program (which is what we have in Massachusetts). He’ll complain about the costs and say it could be better. And she’ll come back with that nothing is perfect, but in essence he is on board. He’s toast.  

  8. I can’t speak for him, so maybe we can get clarification, but I don’t think he supports a federal program in ANY form.

    His position has consistently been that STATES that wish to have universal can do so on their own, and the federal government should not be involved. He’s been pretty clear on that from my recollection.  He’s already said he would not support any of the current or recent proposals in Congress.

    It’s a distinction with a difference….more of a federalist/states rights issue….and I agree, uncle SAM should not be involved.

    I agree, the mandates that go along with everything just cause costs to rise.  But having a mandate in and of itself does not cause prices to rise….it’s when the government (in this case the state of MA) dictates what must be covered.  Those individual mandates about the specifics of what and who must be covered really drive up costs, not just that everyone is required to have it.

  9. Its not automatic. Yes Obama and the national mood may help.  But Scott needs to up his game. He needs to inspire people with his campaign speeches and I’m not talking about the base. He needs to think outside the box.  Reach out to women groups. He needs to launch a muti-front attack without insulting fence sitting women. But if he plays it safe because he wants the AG job in the end he will loose both

  10. What is Obama’s approval rating in MA? It’s definitely higher than the national rating. It was close to 60% in this state back in early october. I remember seeing a poll that showed that MA was 1 of 2 states where more than 50% were in favor of the public option.

  11. definitely higher than the national rating.  As of 12/9 he’s at 48.9 nationally on RCP.  On 10/9 he was at 52.3.  He’s probably at about 55% approval in MA right now.

    This poll had Obama at 60 % among registered voters in MA.

    Obama polls worse among likely voters.  

  12. But then again, I live in Brown’s district and voters here typically lean more to the right than in many other towns.  I’m really surprised they haven’t try to sell us off to the highest bidder :)

  13. I agree, Martha is highly vulnerable anything regarding Fells Acre. The Brown campaign needs to attack on that and perhaps a series of smaller missteps such when Coakley failed to look into the family during the Louis Woodward case (name is escaping me) when there were allegations of past injuries to their baby before the nanny arrived. The Father Gagen stuff that just came out as well. Im sure there’s more. The Brown campaign won’t attack. They don’t have the money. Right now they can probably only put out 2 different ads on limited play. They are not going to waste one on a negative ad. The fundraising has been really disappointing for them.

    Scott isn’t all that clean. If he attacks they will bring out the King Philip high school issue from 3 years ago. Look it up, it’s something that could derail him if he gets close and hurt his sterling image.

  14. Just found this link :

    Brown needs to attack now and if they do it just via press release, he WILL get coverage because he is attacking -Martha !! FREE TOO !!!!

    If they do it right, it will work and put “reasonable doubt” into the minds of the unwashed masses.

  15. Good piece by Coulter. I really do hope Brown goes after her on this. Brown is is just way too soft at times to actually make a go of this. He is always too cautious, planning his next move (always kept higher office in mind since 2004). They can do a press release and its free, but my bet is they won’t. The Romney aides running the show will be too cautious as usual, trying to keep Scott unscathed for a future run at another office. If they did, Coakley would be smart and not comment and the all too loyal local press won’t cover it. There’s going to be a media blackout when Brown goes on the offensive.

  16. I think Scott is a awesome candidate, but I find him much more engaging when he speaks extemporaneously as he often does on wtkk or wbz.  When he gives a canned speak, I’m hearing the same talking points recycled often.  I think he may need a little more than “Hey I’m different than Martha” who is promoting herself as the reincarnation of Ted Kennedy.

    For as long as Kennedy was in office,  I most often heard him spoken of with great reverence.  But I’ve met an awlful lot of of people who disagree on fundamental issues with Kennedy’s usual positions.  Those are the people that need to be reached.

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