With three weeks to go before voters in the Bay State vote to elect the successor to Ted Kennedy, the GOP candidate in the race, State Senator Scott Brown, is invoking another Kennedy in his first ad of the campaign. The 30-second spot begins with a black and white video of President John F. Kennedy giving a speech calling for tax cuts and merges into a video of Brown completing Kennedy's speech. The ad, entitled Different People, Same Message is running statewide on both cable and network television.
The ad references the Kennedy tax cuts but it doesn't note that the top marginal tax rate at the time was 91 percent and that Kennedy was proposing a top rate of 70 percent in an era of budget surpluses. It's a far cry from the situation we face today. If anything, irresponsible tax cuts that have only served to enrich the already fabulously wealthy while bleeding the US Treasury dry.
While Congressional Quarterly continues to rate the general election contest Safe Democratic, the GOP is devoting more resources in the hopes of stealing the seat. The Brown campaign is also circulating a fundraising letter written by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney who is now living in La Jolla, California. In the letter, Romney touts Brown's credentials as a fiscal conservative while also noting, in bold, that he would become the critical 41st Republican vote against the health care bill when it comes back to the Senate for final passage.
While Brown ran unopposed in the GOP primary, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley had to fend off challenges from three other candidates to win the Democratic nomination. Coakley did win the primary race handily, posting a nearly 20-point victory over her closest challenger, Congressman Michael Capuano. Here is her Act Blue fundraising link. This is not a seat we can afford to lose even if the possibility of such remains remotely distant.
In Massachusetts, voters went to the polls in a primary to select candidates for each party for the upcoming general election to be held in January for the seat left vacant by the death of Senator Kennedy. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick appointed Paul Kirk on an interim basis.
The polls closed at 8PM EST. No results as yet in the Democratic race but on the GOP side, the Associated Press has projected Massachusetts State Sen. Scott Brown of Wrentham as the winner. From WCVB-Boston:
Massachusetts State Sen. Scott Brown has been given the nod by Massachusetts Republicans to be their man in next month's race for the U.S. Senate seat occupied by Ted Kennedy for close to half a century.
Associated Press projected Brown the winner in the race just before 8:30 p.m., Brown garnering 9,291 votes to opponent Jack E. Robinson's 1,155 votes with 6 percent of the precincts reporting.
The Wrentham politician represents the Norfolk, Bristol, and Middlesex district in the Massachusetts Senate and previously served three terms in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Before his election to the House in 1998, Brown, 50, served as a Wrentham Selectman for three years and before that as Town Assessor for three years.
The winner of the Democratic primary is widely favored to win the general election scheduled for January 19, 2010. Turnout today was light. As of six pm this evening only 52,653 ballots had been cast in Boston, a mark that represented less than 15 percent of the city's registered voters. Officials in the Bay State expected a turnout of some 500,000 to 900,000 voters out of the 4.1 million registered voters adding that it would be closer "to the 5 than to the 9."
Update [2009-12-8 22:12:7 by Charles Lemos]: It's Martha!
With 91 percent of the Bay State precincts reporting, Massachusetts Attorney General Coakley has 47 percent of the vote and has been declared the winner. US Rep. Michael Capuano finished second with 28 percent of the vote, according to a rolling Associated Press tally. More from the Boston Herald.
In the race to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Senator Ted Kennedy, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley continues to enjoy a sizeable lead over three other opponents according to a recent Western New England College poll. She leads the field of four with support from 37 percent of registered Democrats and unenrolled voters, who are eligible to vote in the December 8th primary. Surprisingly, Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca is in second place with support from 14 percent of Democrats and unenrolled voters, with 13 percent favoring Congressman Mike Capuano and four percent backing Alan Khazei, co-founder of the public service organization City Year. Twenty-six percent said they were undecided or declined to state a preference.
The winner of the primary is likely to face Republican State Senator Scott Brown in the special election scheduled for January 19, 2010. The Western New England College poll also found that Coakley currently leads Brown by 26 points among registered and likely voters.