January 13, 2010

THE PATH FROM BLUE TO RED PASSES THROUGH BROWN:

Massachusetts election has Democrats on edge (Chris Frates, 1/12/10, Politico)

[R]epublican Scott Brown has got Democrats nervous — not just for his opponent Martha Coakley but about the fact that a loss in Massachusetts would be a body blow to Democratic reform efforts in Washington.

Republicans are watching public approval of reform continue to tank while their candidates’ poll numbers rise. And they still view the bill’s Medicare cuts, tax increases and lack of transparency as key to a 2010 message that voters should bring GOP checks and balances to a Democratic-run Washington. [...]

[B]rown’s threat to health reform is in some ways larger. He’s showing how Republicans can run against reform — something sure to play out in other high-profile campaigns this fall, such as those of Reps. Frank Kratovil Jr. (D-Md.) and John Adler (D-N.J.), along with Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Voting against the bill may not be enough to inoculate Democrats from attack.

Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) said he did four town halls over the holiday recess. “That was the consistent theme: strong opposition based on talk radio talking points,” said Minnick, who voted no on the bill. He took straw polls at each event, and found “all of [the] audiences have been opposed to the president’s proposal, save one.”

“Most of my audiences are strongly opposed to it. The administration simply didn’t get through, certainly in more rural areas. The message just didn’t get through because there’s neither an understanding nor support for it in vast swaths of my district. Heck, there’s no support for it in any place.”

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 13, 2010 10:56 AM
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