The polls close in around an hour. Assume Scott Brown wins. The spin from both sides should be pretty simple. GOP — This was a referendum on Obama. Dems — No, it wasn’t.

But just because it’s spin, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. So which side is right, or at least more right? Patrick warns Republicans not to pretend this has something to do with ObamaCare. Coakley ran a truly awful campaign, that’s why she lost.

But how do you take Obama out of the equation when Scott Brown ran his campaign as the 41st vote against ObamaCare?

Clearly, it’s hard to disentangle the factors. First of all, the economy is awful. Would a bad economy plus a bad candidate be enough to cost Democrats the seat Ted Kennedy held for 46 years, not long after Obama carried the Bay State with 62% of the vote?

My gut says there’s no way to explain the enthusiasm for Brown without looking at ObamaCare. If this were just the 56th or 57th seat for Democrats, would Republicans be seeing red? Would Democrats be pouring resources into Massachusetts? Would Obama himself gone up to campaign for Martha Coakley?

The White House clearly wants to present this as Martha Coakley’s loss, not Barack Obama’s. As MK noted, David Axelrod has already taken the unusual step of praising Brown for running a solid campaign. MK also points out that both Axelrod and Robert Gibbs have begun to sell the Massachusetts race as a reflection of the same voter frustration that brought Obama to office in November 2008.

That kind of spin is worthy of a record player.

Cross-posted at Conventional Folly

David Adesnik, TMV Guest Voice Columnist
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troosvelt_1858
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troosvelt_1858
6 years 8 months ago

Coakley camp talking vote fraud… could be bad exit polls.

everheardoftheconstituttion
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everheardoftheconstituttion
6 years 8 months ago

Death to Socialist Healthcare! There’s hope for this country after all!

Almoderate
Guest
Almoderate
6 years 8 months ago

Not necessarily death for health care reform– not yet at least. Though I doubt the Dems will get it together, they could still have the House pass the Senate bill (which already passed) with the promise of another bill to smooth out the kinks later on.

JSpencer
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JSpencer
6 years 8 months ago

Somehow I doubt your knowledge of the Constitution is any better than your spelling of it.

Bob Wheeler
Guest
6 years 8 months ago

I actually agree that this is a continuation of what brought Obama to office. People went against party to pick both McCain and Obama in the primaries. This is the voters of Massachusetts going against the party line also.

http://betabob.wordpress.com/

DLS
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DLS
6 years 8 months ago
There are two lessons here — with the Dems and the entire mainstream, and with independents. Both are worth reviewing because it’s not premature to do so at all (though far lefties will resent it). Boxer-B-Gone, ohhhhhhhhhhh, yesssssssssssssssssssssssssss… “The close race to replace Ted Kennedy, liberalism’s patron saint, shows that voters are rebelling even in the bluest of states against the last year’s unbridled pursuit of partisan liberal governance. The real message of Massachusetts is that Democrats have committed the classic political mistake of ideological overreach. The lesson of Mr. Obama’s lost first year is that an economic crisis is… Read more »
Almoderate
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Almoderate
6 years 8 months ago

ick to no delete button.

DLS
Guest
DLS
6 years 8 months ago
“Not necessarily death for health care reform– not yet at least.” Not at all. That’s because the Dems have a general strategy that should work for them, and that’s in addition to the fact (see below) that people distrust current legislation to make things better. (There is no doubt disenchantment with the Dems in the figures, but also with the kind of reform, and it must include poor views by those who want much more than what is being sought currently.) The general strategy is for the Dems to toss aside the farther-left lunacy, and effectively replay last year —… Read more »
DLS
Guest
DLS
6 years 8 months ago
There will remain dissatisfaction with health care even after expected legislation is passed. See here. The childish people moaning that it would be another generation before any prospects of change of the system, if an effort failed last year, never were right. This is not 1993-4, and people are probably much more amenable to real reform, that doesn’t threaten to make their prospects worse, now than ever before. “The survey finds that with the health care debate at a crucial stage, more people continue to generally oppose (48%) than generally favor (39%) the health care bills before Congress. Opinion about… Read more »
DLS
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DLS
6 years 8 months ago
More here. Dems need to become safe and sane, not scare independents and others away. “Given Americans’ frustrations with the health-care system, a surprising number say they are willing to live with the status quo, rather than risk something that might be worse. Nearly half of those surveyed—48%—said passing the current legislation would be a ‘step backward,’ while just 42% called it a ‘step forward.’ And more than half—53%—said they are more concerned that lawmakers will go too far and make the system worse than they are concerned that political leaders won’t do enough to make the system better.” “It’s… Read more »
kathykattenburg
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kathykattenburg
6 years 8 months ago

My gut says there’s no way to explain the enthusiasm for Brown without looking at ObamaCare.

That’s because it’s a Republican gut. :-)

DLS
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DLS
6 years 8 months ago

Course correction, Washington! Make that maneuver — make Kathy’s day.

Anna
Guest
Anna
6 years 8 months ago
the timing is just about right, the end of January, roughly a year since the Dems had all the power — that is, essentially redo most of what they already have done so badly and wrongly; or, that is, do it right, or at least do it better and hopefully well, this time. You know…I’d almost agree with you on this IF, and this is a b-i-g IF, the Republicans would actually be a party of good-faith negotiators and would participate in compromise vs. obstruction (Yes, you can be an opposition party without obstructing absolutely everything…see the Blue Dog Democrats).… Read more »
DLS
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DLS
6 years 8 months ago
“Needless to say I’m very skeptical on that.” I am, too. What if the GOP believes it has just had its role as the opposition revived? I say the Democrats should proceed and do things right this time, this year, because I believe they would remain favored by voters overall if they did this. If they provided bulletproof legislation (stimulus that’s directed at economic recovery rather than buying votes in individual districts and states; a health care reform bill that is limited to reform, perhaps some assistance that is similar in effect to what’s in the stimulus), they might even… Read more »
DLS
Guest
DLS
6 years 8 months ago

“redo most of what they already have done so badly and wrongly; or, that is, do it right, or at least do it better and hopefully well”

Note that it would show with deeds, not just words, that they learned the lesson in Massachusetts.

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