Health Care Vote in Jeopardy with possible Senate Seat Loss in MASS special election

By Ric Joyner, CEBS

Many of you have watched the race in Mass which is Ted Kennedy’s old seat. Mass is a heavily democratic state. Although this is also a large registered independent state. (see insert below)

There are two people running. Scott Brown a Republican and Martha Coakley a Democrat.

Wall Street Journal: It all comes down to turnout. "The contest may come down to whether the Democratic Party’s traditional allies can overcome what appears to be a surge of local enthusiasm for the Republican candidate."

Boston Globe: Kevin Cullen writes that the black community isn’t energized for Coakley and that’s an "ominous sign" for the Democratic candidate. He came to that conclusion after visiting Blue Hill Avenue and the streets around it — "heart of the biggest minority community in the state."

USA TODAY: John Fritze writes that independents — who make up 51% of the state’s voters — are the key to the election, and polls show they are breaking for Brown.

New York Times: Democrats in Washington are working on Plan B, trying to come up with a way to pass health care with 59 votes in the Senate. One possibility is having the House approve the Senate bill without changes and send it to the President Obama. But Bart Stupak, D-Mich., says the abortion language and the "special-interest provisions for certain states" makes that impossible. He says: “House members will not vote for the Senate bill. There’s no interest in that.”

Politico: In a replay of the Virginia gubernatorial race, Politico writes that Democrats are already playing the blame game. Coakley ran a "sluggish campaign." Obama didn’t do enough "to sell the party’s agenda." The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee didn’t see this coming and didn’t do enough to stop it.

What will this mean for health care vote? Scott Brown says he will vote against the health care bill, and this fact places the 60 vote super majority of the democrats in the Senate in Jeopardy.

Coakley promises to keep the progressive agenda (more government, taxes and government regulation) and Brown espouses a conservative position (lower taxes, less government and fiscal restraint).

This race is an earthquake for the President Obama’s agenda on many fronts, and a forecast of what may happen in the fall 2010 elections.

Early this morning I was watching several news organizations and the voter turnout is high. Fox was reporting that exit interviews of voters were saying; “I am voting for Brown to send a message to Washington about the high taxes, government run health care (note, Mass has a new government run health care program which is what the Obama Care is modeled from. So they know the problems and cost associated with having a government run program) and bailouts and payoffs for voting for health care.

In watching the exit interviews at noon, Fox again was reporting the turnout is heavy, and that many democrats are voting along party lines. Remember that independents are 51% of the voters.

So this should be an interesting race to watch because it could change the entire landscape of health care.