Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Biggest Upset in American Electoral History?

In an huge upset, Republican Scott Brown won tonight in the Massachusetts Senate special election, with 52% of the vote. Some are beginning to speculate that this may be the biggest upset in American electoral history, or at least modern electoral history.

Just a few examples:
  1. Three weeks ago, Democrat Martha Coakley was leading the polls by nearly 20 points. Tonight, she lost by 5. I can't think of an election that changed so drastically so swiftly.
  2. I subscribe to WORLD Magazine, and we received the January 16th edition of the bi-weekly magazine in the mail today. I'm not entirely sure when this would have gone to print, but on the Massachusetts election, WORLD said, "Massachusetts voters will almost certainly send... Martha Coakley to Washington after a special election [to replace Ted Kennedy]." Their article went on to further state that Coakley held a "commanding lead" over Brown.
  3. Last year, Barack Obama won Massachusetts by a margin of 61%-36%. Brown won 52%-47% - a huge 16-point swing for an unpopular party that only .
Massachusetts has had only 4 Republicans in the U.S. House since the last Republican Senator lost his reelection bid in 1978 (one GOP House member died in 1991, one lost reelection in 1982, and two lost in 1996).

So, was this the greatest upset in electoral history? I think it has to rank up there.

On a side note, Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) said this among his "Blame Bush" post-election statement: "President George W. Bush and House Republicans drove our economy into a ditch and tried to run away from the accident." This in the seat previously held by Ted Kennedy, who actually did drive his car into a pond, and left the scene of the accident, leaving his passenger (Mary Jo Kopechne) to die in the vehicle. Surely Van Hollen or someone on his staff caught the irony in his statement.

Also, it appears that the Democrats will seat Brown very soon. From Forbes.com:

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said he would notify the U.S. Senate on Wednesday that Brown had been elected. Originally, he had said he might take over two weeks to certify the results of the special election, giving Democrats a window in which to try to rush through final passage of Obama's health care plan.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., promised to seat Brown "as soon as the proper paperwork has been received."

This will almost surely signal the death of ObamaCare, as moderate Democrats facing reelection this year will become jittery over passing unpopular, radical legislation like the President's health care plan. Senators Jim Webb (D-VA) and Evan Bayh (D-IN) are already admitting that the health care plan and other Obama administration are dragging down the Democrat Party.

So, on to the midterms - there are only 286 days left!

1 comments:

LD Jackson said...

I think the Democrats are afraid to not seat Brown quickly, afraid that the electorate will be riled up even more. Truly, this is an historic moment.