Democrat Martha Coakley, Massachusetts’ attorney general, kicked off a series of stops with a morning speech at a Boston union hall, receiving a response more polite than enthusiastic.
Coakley and Vicki Kennedy, the widow of the late senator, both addressed a crowd of about 100 electrical workers but it fell to a state representative from nearby Dorchester to deliver the closing remarks aimed at firing up the Democrats.
“I see there is some excitement in this room but there is not enough excitement in this room,” Martin Walsh said, as the heavily male, Carhartt-and-jeans crowd stood with hands in pockets.
There was no need for such an exhortation on Cape Cod as state Sen. Scott Brown, the Republican nominee, was enveloped by a couple hundred, sign-waving supporters as he attempted to walk into a local pub where another hundred voters waited for an afternoon rally.
“People’s seat, people’s seat!” the Hyannis crowd chanted, aping the retort Brown gave at a debate Monday when asked about “the Kennedy seat.”
Brown has highlighted the anger at Washington in how things are being run under the control of the Democrats and he is favored by Independents by a large majority.
While Massachusetts shows more Democrats, demographically, than Republicans, the state has a high number of Independents that will decide this race and even Coakley's internal polling shows Brown ahead.
The New York Times reports that Democratic Senator Evan Bayh, hits the nail on the head with how the Democrats have over reached and caused the discontent themselves:
Senator Evan Bayh, Democrat of Indiana, said the atmosphere was a serious threat to Democrats. “I do think there’s a chance that Congressional elites mistook their mandate,” Mr. Bayh said. “I don’t think the American people last year voted for higher taxes, higher deficits and a more intrusive government. But there’s a perception that that is what they are getting.”
What does this Mass. election mean for Obamacare?
Well, whether Brown or Coakley wins, Republican lawyers have been going through the rules of the Senate after Senator Paul Kirk insisted that even if Brown won, he would cast the 60th vote for Obamacare before Brown could be sworn in and the GOP lawyers have found that Kirk cannot vote after the election is over.
But in the days after the election, it is Kirk’s status that matters, not Brown’s. Massachusetts law says that an appointed senator remains in office “until election and qualification of the person duly elected to fill the vacancy.” The vacancy occurred when Senator Edward Kennedy died in August. Kirk was picked as interim senator by Governor Deval Patrick.
Democrats in Massachusetts have talked about delaying Brown’s “certification,” should he defeat Democrat Martha Coakley on Tuesday. Their aim would be to allow Kirk to remain in the Senate and vote the health care bill.
But based on Massachusetts law, Senate precedent, and the U.S. Constitution, Republican attorneys said Kirk will no longer be a senator after election day, period. Brown meets the age, citizenship, and residency requirements in the Constitution to qualify for the Senate. “Qualification” does not require state “certification,” the lawyers said.
Two days to go until the special election takes place and Brown is riding a wave of enthusiasm and may be the beneficiary of the anger being shown towards Washington to the hard swing to the left Obama brought about with his election.
With his approval ratings hitting new lows and his disapproval hitting new highs, his little trip to Mass. to help Coakley, might just do her more harm than good.