It looks like Coakley has realized that she isn't going to be able to win this race without effort. Democrats in Washington have gotten the message, too, dispatching DNC national press secretary Hari Sevugan, a veteran of the 2008 campaign, to help Coakley make it to the finish line.
At present, the Pollster.com trend estimate on the race gives Coakley about a 10-point lead -- though there is a lot of variance in the numbers from the different surveys looking at the race. If you want to help out the Coakley campaign, too, click here to contribute.
And here's the thing to keep in mind. If Scott Brown were to pull off an upset that would end Health Care Reform, pulling Dems back to 59 seats and preventing final passage of the bill.
Not saying this is a likely scenario. But the stakes are staggering.
This projection is based on new polling released this morning by Rasmussen Reports showing Democrat Martha Coakley leading Republican Scott Brown by a surprisingly narrow 50 percent to 41 percent margin in the Massachusetts special Senate election to be held January 19.
Leaving aside Democratic complaints about Rasmussen polling and even the fact that this poll was only in the field a single day (and virtually every pollster other than Rasmussen won't release single-day numbers due to the inherent methodological concerns), is it really the case that a Brown win would kill healthcare reform?
Short answer: Not necessarily. While a Brown win would little doubt provide evidence of momentum behind the Republicans, thus inhibiting the path towards passing healthcare reform on a political level, it would not block the Democrats from being able to enact the legislation without having to once again get 60 votes in the Senate (which they would no longer have without GOP support should Brown win). Were the House to pass the exact version of healthcare reform already passed through the Senate, that bill would go to the President's desk to be signed. No need for another cloture vote in the Senate. No killing the bill just by changing the make up of the Senate.
1. Unemployment will still be high at around 8.7%. Job gains willbe sluggish at best.
2. Martha Coakley ekes out a narrow win in low turnout--the GOP will spin that as proof of the unpopularity of health care reform.
3. Health care will pass in the spring, as compromise will be harder than expected because of that special election result.
4. Immigration reform will be pushed and fail, but it will be used to drive Democratic turnout in the midterms, with mixed results.
5. GOP picks up six Senate seats--only lose Missouri, but get pickups in Nevada, Delaware, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Colorado and North Dakota.
6. Dems will lose 30-32 House seats, making continued control dependent on reapportionment in 2011-12. Most of the GOP gains will be in the South and Midwest. Terrorism will run second to the economy as top issue, and may be the tipping point in some close races.
7. Barack Obama's approval rating will be around 48-50% at the end of the year, as the country stays very polarized.
Coming on the heels of a new Suffolk poll out of the Massachusetts special senatorial election showing state Attorney General Martha Coakley leading Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca and Congressman Michael Capuano in the Democratic primary by a 44 percent to 17 percent to 16 percent margin, Speaker Nancy Pelosi today announced her endorsement of her House colleague.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is planning to endorse US Representative Michael E. Capuano on Friday, a key coup in a race against Martha Coakley, who is seeking to become the first female US senator from Massachusetts.
The endorsement in some ways is to be expected -- Capuano is an influential member of Pelosi's leadership team, and is the only congressional member in the race. But it also provides a key boost in a campaign where Coakley has energized women and has criticized a health care plan that Pelosi helped engineer.
I don't particularly mind Pelosi wading in this race -- that's certainly her prerogative -- but if the final vote on healthcare reform comes after the general election in the Massachusetts special and Capuano manages to win, it will mean that there will be one fewer supporter for the President's position in the House for a few months until another special election is held to replace Capuano. This doesn't mean that the cause of healthcare reform should take precedence over choosing the next Senator from Massachusetts, particularly considering the state's tendency to reelect its Senators once first elected. But it should be a consideration, at the least -- the possibility that the election of Capuano to the Senate could, at least to an extent, make it a little more difficult for healthcare reform to pass should the bill not emerge from conference until early next year.
A Massachusetts court has rejected a request from the state Republican Party to put a temporary hold on Sen.-designate Paul Kirk's (D-Mass.) swearing-in Friday, clearing the way for Democrats to have a 60th seat in the Senate.
Kirk was appointed to the seat by Gov. Deval Patrick (D) on Thursday, but in order to do so Patrick had to declare an emergency. Republicans said Patrick had no such legal authority and filed for an injunction before the selection was announced.
Robert Byrd's health and frequent hospital stays notwithstanding, we are now back at a partisan 60 if not an ideological 60. This is a good thing for passing some sort of health care reform, but whether or not it's a good thing for the public option, we don't know.