Monday, January 18, 2010

Mattachewsits

Lot of talk about the Massachusetts Senate race.

Coakley can't seem to keep it together, and Brown is shipping in support from out of state fast as he can.  Polling trends don't look good for Coakley, but I think those saying this is a done deal are jumping the gun (not that I blame them).  The GOTV efforts are being pwned by progressive activists.  Whether their efforts started early enough to have the desired influence will be seen.

But let's stay real about what this election means.  And what it means is that there was a special election in MA.  Period.

This isn't a referendum on health care, or a vindication of tea bagger popularity.  Coakley isn't a weak candidate, and Brown isn't a strong candidate.  Coakley waited far too long to start campaigning aggressively, and Brown has run away from the tea parties, and even being a Republican. 

The most one could read into this election is that national Democratic leadership needs to get their shit together on messaging (and having a few strong pieces of legislation that didn't take six months of pandering to Ben Nelson would make it a little easier, dontchathink?), and that Republicans running as moderate Not-Republicans can dupe voters either frustrated with lackluster Democratic accomplishments in 2009, or who believe they're voting for an independent.  As for the future of the health care bill, obviously it will be easier with Coakley's vote, but it's passing one way or another, and there is a little evidence progressive positioning could have greater influence if the bill needs to be shoved through without a traditional vote.

Even taking that away from this single election is a stretch though.  Just like NY-23, and VA a few months ago.  I don't blame people for trying, but it's endlessly annoying to hear every special election parlayed by the media as a 'statement' on this or that.  It ignores the complexities of campaigning.

Activists on both sides of the isle would do a service to themselves to remember this.

That said, I've been making calls for Coakley from "the office" all morning with the OFA tool.  You can too.

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