January 20, 2010
Well, the impossible happened. A Republican won the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy for almost half a century.
Scott Brown's stunning upset is the latest tidal wave to hit the Democratic Party in the last couple of months. First, the GOP took back the governor's mansion in Virginia — a swing state — and then threw Gov. Jon Corzine out in New Jersey — a Democratic stronghold.
Now a majority of voters in perhaps the most unabashedly liberal state in the Union, except for maybe Vermont, has replaced their liberal icon with a conservative.
Again, as I said yesterday, if they can win in Massachusetts, they can win anywhere. Things aren't looking good for a couple Democratic All-Stars in November. (Beware, I'm a poll junkie.)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid trails one Republican opponent, Danny Tarkanian, by 10 points.
Three-Term incumbent Barbara Boxer of California is nursing a slight lead over her prospective competition.
The national Dems are blaming Coakley for Tuesday's defeat. It's true that she ran an uninspiring campaign. The Boston Globe's Kevin Cullen captures that well in this column.
Coakley often seemed disinterested in campaigning, a big mistake. She also made the infamous comment that former Red Sox ace Curt Schilling was a "Yankee fan."
But you can't blame Coakley for everything. There's clearly a national backlash to the Democratic leadership that played a significant role in the race.