In an amazing upset that will be felt across the nation, particularly in Washington, Republican Scott Brown has defeated Democrat Martha Coakley in the election for the Massachusetts Senate seat held previously by Ted Kennedy. With nearly 80% of precincts reporting at this moment, Brown holds a decisive 7-point lead over Coakley in a race in which he was down 30 points just a few months ago.
Martha Coakley was an out-of-touch candidate who felt entitled to the seat based on her party affiliation and turned out to be a horrific campaigner. Brown, meanwhile, ran a gritty and workmanlike effort and won over Massachusetts voters on issues and a much more dynamic campaign than that of his opponent.
But blaming this loss solely on Coakley’s failures as a candidate doesn’t quite hit the mark. Brown specifically told Massachusetts voters he’d vote against the current health care plan, a plan which resembles an existing health care plan put in place by Mitt Romney with which many are unhappy. That Brown can win in Massachusetts of all places should signal to Democrats that they have overreached and that their national agenda has swung too far to the left.
They won’t listen, of course. It’ll still be full speed ahead on their agenda, and they will ignore the voices of Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Virginia at their own electoral peril. Voters are speaking out their frustration with the national agenda, and I’ll give you a clue: they’re not upset that it hasn’t gotten far enough.
Congratulations to Senator-elect Scott Brown on a hard-fought victory and running a great campaign. And kudos to Martha Coakley for conceding quickly and gracefully. Now, on to Washington.