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Special election day in Massachusetts

1. Voters are voting in Massachusetts! Polls in the Commonwealth are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. and conventional wisdom has gelled that state Sen. Scott Brown (R) enters election day as the slight favorite to pull an upset of massive proportions over state Attorney General Martha Coakley (D). As always in an election, there things we know and things we don't know. Here's a look at a few of the most critical knowns/unknowns. What We Know: Independents are breaking heavily for Brown. What We Don't: By how much can Coakley afford to lose independents given the state's strong Democrat leanings? 60-40? 65-35? What We Know: Democratic intensity/interest in the special election has improved considerably over the last few days. What We Don't: Does the fact that loyal Democrats are now more keen on turning out to vote make Coakley more competitive? Or are these people who would never have voted for Brown anyway? What We Know: Millions -- upon millions -- of dollars have poured into Brown's campaign account over the past 10 days. What We Don't: With television time entirely sold out, can Brown smartly spend those dollars on get out the vote efforts? Or will millions go wasted simply because the financial piece of the race broke too late? What We Know: National Democrats with a major assist from organized labor are going all out from an organizational perspective -- they have taken over every aspect of Coakley's campaign -- to save this race. What We Don't: Is everything national Democrats are doing too little, too late? Can organizational might save what has been, to put it mildly, a campaign with deep messaging problems? What We Know: The broad swath of polling released over the last few days suggests that Brown has the momentum. What We Don't: How reliable any of this polling is given that there is no historical parallel for a Senate special election in January, making it extremely difficult to figure out who will vote and who won't vote. ALSO NOTE: The Fix will be covering the heck out of the Massachusetts Senate race today so check back regularly for updates. Also, check out the Fix Twitter feed for more instantaneous updating. ALSO READ: What Massachusetts could mean for the politics of health care.

2. Win or lose today, Republicans are already moving to take advantage of the Massachusetts race in other contests across the country. "It is important to keep in mind that this contest is not an isolated incident," National Republican Congressional Committee communications director Ken Spain wrote in a memo distributed to reporters Monday. "The political environment is toxic for Democrats all across the country." The narrative of the past few months has been a difficult one for Democrats with five House Members in swing seats announcing their retirements, another conservative Democrat switching parties, Republican recruitment surging and now the potential loss of a Senate seat in the bluest state in the country. Democrats have successfully beat back (most) of the stories that suggest a wave is building but will be helpless to withstand the flood if Coakley comes up short today.

3. New polling out of Nebraska shows Sen. Ben Nelson (D) struggling in the wake of his vote late last year in favor of President Obama's health care package, data sure to make already-nervous Democrats even more fretful. Forty two percent of those polled approved of the job Nelson is doing while 48 percent were disapproving in the Omaha World-Herald poll. Other numbers in the poll were equally troubling for Nelson: more than six in ten Nebraskans disapprove of the health care bill and 44 percent said his vote for the bill would "count against him" when he stands for reelection in 2012. Even before the controversy over his health care vote -- and the so-called "Cornhusker Kickback" -- Nelson was regarded as one of the most vulnerable incumbents up for reelection next cycle. Two things potentially work in his favor, however: 1) Voters tend to have relatively short memories, meaning that while Nelson's health care vote is a huge deal today, it may be less important in two years time. 2) The most obvious Republican nominee -- popular Gov. Dave Heineman (R) -- has little interest in coming to Washington, according to those close to him. But, in announcing his reelection bid on Monday, Heineman clearly left the door open to a run. "What I am trying to be careful about is never say never to a particular race," he said. "And, in particular, this race because it's the citizens of Nebraska who are asking me to take a look at it."

4. Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter (D) is seriously considering a run for the now open House seat of retiring Rep. Vic Snyder (D-Ark.), a move that would solve two Democratic problems at once: putting a strong candidate in what will be a difficult seat for them to hold and eliminating a potentially serious primary challenge for endangered Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D). While some Democrats insisted Monday that Halter had already made up his mind to run for House, those who had spoken to him insisted no decision had been made. "I am grateful, I am listening and I am now seriously considering all options," Halter said in a statement. Polling conducted in December suggested that Halter would begin a primary against Lincoln as an underdog but that his candidacy was far from quixotic. It's not clear what the electoral forecast would be for Halter if he ran for Snyder's seat. The Little-Rock based district went for Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) in 2008 by ten points but Snyder has held it for more than a decade without any serious opposition. Former U.S. attorney Tim Griffin (R) has been in the contest for months and a poll conducted for the liberal Firedoglake blog showed him leading Snyder by 17 points.

5. Maria Comella, a longtime campaign hand, is going into governing -- taking over as communications director for New Jersey Gov.-elect Chris Christie (R). Comella spent the 2008 cycle working for the presidential campaign of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and stayed on as press adviser to Giuliani through his decision not to run for higher office in 2010 in New York. In addition to her work for Giuliani, Comella served as an adviser to Christie during his successful defeat of Gov. Jon Corzine (D) last fall. "I clearly enjoy working for former U.S. Attorneys who aren't afraid of a challenge," said Comella of her new gig.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 19, 2010; 5:55 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Next: Prediction time in Mass. Senate special election

Comments

FairlingtonBlade writes:
"Oh, goody. Birther nonsense."

Yeah, you know that you're really out there when Glenn Beck thinks your idea is the dumbest thing he's ever heard.

Posted by: mnteng | January 19, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

RE #1. Coakley will probably win this election, conventional wisdom notwithstanding and despite the snow and her campaign flubs. Voters (startled into action?) are turning out in large number, as she hoped, and more Independents lean Democrat than Republican.

But if Scott Brown does manage to upset and Wall Street rallies tomorrow, will that be some kind of confirmation that Brown is and was their water boy all along?

I look forward to a newspaper wrongly proclaiming that Brown has won (page 1, top fold) a la Truman Dewey. Just for kicks.

Posted by: Kelly14 | January 19, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I have been curious about Sarah Palin's chances to head a Tea Party or Republican party ticket in 2012. Here's latest poll:

"According to a new CBS News poll out Tuesday, 71 percent are against the former Republican vice presidential candidate launching her own bid for the White House in two years while 21 percent are in favor of a potential run."

Posted by: 12BarBlues | January 19, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Actually, 12barblues, Obama wouldn't just disappear. Nobody has the standing to sue him, so the only way to remove him from office would be impeachment.
http://www.slate.com/id/2224167/

Posted by: Blarg | January 19, 2010 1:34 PM
-----------------------------------
Maybe you are right. I'm not talking about the technicalities of how he would be GONE. I'm talking about the psychology behind the fantasy.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | January 19, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Actually, 12barblues, Obama wouldn't just disappear. Nobody has the standing to sue him, so the only way to remove him from office would be impeachment.
http://www.slate.com/id/2224167/

Posted by: Blarg | January 19, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse


Oh, goody. Birther nonsense.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 19, 2010 1:14 PM
---------------------------------------
The birther fantasy reminds me of the divorce fantasy. Anyone here ever get a divorce? Remember that time, right about the time you are looking in the yellow pages for a lawyer, when you start having these dreams "maybe he'll die in a car accident". Then I won't have to get a divorce! It will just happen, I'll be sad for a minute, but he'll just be GONE.

Birthers: Obama will just be GONE. We won't have to have elections or anything! Magic.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | January 19, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Things are sure warm for Jan in Mass. I see the Democrats are at it again, preaching hate and fear. One writer said it correctly; it has been 4 years of Democrats in congress and look where we are. Remember the 1990’s? Remember the roaring 90’s, unemployment almost not there, millionaires created everyday, wow. Was that a Democrat congress? NO. That was a true republican congress forcing a Liberal Democrat to become a moderate. We all benefited, the only problem was the Democrat did not know how to set things up for the future, so it blew up right before he left office; then GW came in and then we were hit, and the rest is history. Gas is over $1 more now that last year how about that for change, wow. Prices at grocery store are going up and many of us did not see a pay raise this year. In addition, did you hear they are going to get a “Break” under the health-care bill; they are going to be taxed on their health care, like you and I. A 100K dollar union worker won’t be taxed on his health-care but an $8 dollar hour Wal-Mart employee will? Union worker 100K vs the Walmart worker 16K a year, Union worker tax on health-care: zero, Wal-Mart worker tax on health care approximately 25% of his 16K. Sound right to you. How did that get in that bill? Corruptions at the highest level of government called the “PRESIDENT”. It is really time America’s to say enough of this, it’s time America’s revote in the only way that is acceptable; balance Congress. One party rule is wrong regardless of who it is. We end up with no checks and no balances. Got an idea, lets make the House non-elected officials, file taxes you could be a US rep, we would at least get a good “cross-section” of people and beside you neighbor could be your rep. Tell me that would not have an impact on society and create little cooperative workings. The Senate remains elected, and to the one idiot I heard the other day, saying why we have a Senate anyway. They are supposed to be the legal types to make sure that the laws passed by the House are in fact constitutional.

Posted by: jfbyers | January 19, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh, goody. Birther nonsense.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 19, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

This week in Massachusetts shows that Obama's agenda is in trouble.
.
Posted by: 37thand0street
----------------------------------------
Cuba and Venezuela are willing to accept liberal refugees.

Posted by: leapin | January 19, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

This week in Massachusetts shows that Obama's agenda is in trouble.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 19, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

leapin


That is 100% correct.


To be honest, I have no idea how or why the democrats went so far off-course -


15 or 20 years ago the democratic party was not so out of touch - or so obsessed with such wacky issues.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 19, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Coakley 50.5%
Brown 49.0%
Kennedy 1.5%
Voter fraud heavy, as the Obama Chicago machine warms up Mass and "Fixes" the race for Coakley. Democracy is DEAD folks.

Posted by: jfbyers | January 19, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Ballot

Commonwealth Of Massachusettes

Check One

Democrat
Complete takeover of the American healthcare system.
Higer taxes.
Billions for make-believe global warming.
High procedd lawyers defending Al-Qaeda terrorists.
Weak national defense.
Creepy-eyed Rham Emanuel.


Republican
NO!

Posted by: leapin | January 19, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who says "there is nothing there" is simply lying - because they don't know - they haven't seen the documents - so they have absolutely no basis to say "there is nothing there."


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 19, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Instead of the democrats being transparent and honest, and just calling for Obama to release the documents - instead they get nasty really quick and engage in name-calling.


That behavior only fuels the debate.


Obama would be well served to RELEASE ALL THE DOCUMENTS - IT IS AMAZING THAT HE IS STILL HIDING DOCUMENTS AND THE DEMOCRATS ARE APPARENTLY OK WITH THAT.

well.


Let's see what happens in Massachusetts. The people have a chance to SPEAK TODAY - most of the time the politicians in Washington are able to run wild, and they can shun what the people think.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 19, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

drivl


I think the question with Obama and his mother's marriage - was a little different - there was a question as to whether Obama's mother was old enough UNDER THE LAW AT THE TIME to have standing for Obama to gain US citizenship.

There are other questions out there.


The question is whether Obama's parents renounced his citizenship when he was living in Indonesia AND whether Obama ever had an Indonesian passport when he traveled to Pakistan as an adult.


Those are the questions out there which simply have not been addressed - including the simple act of NOT releasing documents which are in a sealed file in Hawaii - if there was no problem in those documents, why not release them ???

The question is: if Obama's parents renounced his citizenship when he was young, AND Obama ratified that decision by getting an Indonesian passport later when he was over 18 - then there you have it - there are also questions about Obama's transcripts - whether he was enrolled as a foreign student or not. Those questions are out there - and instead of simply releasing the documents, Obama spends thousands and thousands of dollars to send lawyers to Court to keep these documents secret.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 19, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

hopefully Mass. will speak for the masses

Posted by: 6191jwall | January 19, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

That Mass. Senate seat is leaving home and going Republican today! I'm not certain Brown is a real conservative, but he's certainly better than Ted Kennedy! It will force Obama & the Dems. to restructure healthcare and form a reasonable bill rather than this catastrophy they have written now.

Ben Nelson will vote liberal now and retire in 2012, with Republicans taking the Nebraska seat easily. That is my guess.

Tim Griffin will win Arkansas 2nd district. Whomever wins the R nomination will beat out Lincoln. She doesn't motivate the Democratic base, so they will hold out and conservative's are motivated against the big liberal agenda in Washington. Although, Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe will cruise to reelection, he's no Washington Democrat.

A huge winner in this Mass. special election is the NRSC & John Cornyn. His recruiting has already been great. He has great candidates to defend every one of the Democrats big targets in 2010: Richard Burr is well funded & seeking reelection here in my home state of NC. Cornyn recruited 2 great candidates in Kansas with no serious Dem. candidate. He's also recruited great candidates to defend Ohio, New Hampshire, Missouri, Kentucky & Florida. This leaves Dems. with no really great pick up chances. Their best shot is in Missouri, as everything else already looks to be slipping away. Cornyn also has recruited great candidates to try and pick up seats: Conneticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Illinois, Arkansas, North Dakota, Nevada, California, New York (against Gillibrand) & Massachusetts (election is today). This should give Cornyn momentum to pick up good candidates to also challenge in Washington & Wisconsin. That leaves Democrats fighting hard for 1 seat, while Republicans are on offense in 12 states and only are in jeapordy of losing in 1 state, Missouri. They seem to have Kansas, Kentucky, New Hampshire & North Carolina well in hand now. They have really taken the lead in Ohio as well.

Posted by: reason5 | January 19, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure I'll regret this post...

"So, even if the national democrats went up there last week - first they need at least a month to get all the data together and then a few weeks to hire everyone and get the whole operation together - ramping up organizationally in a week just seems like it would not happen the way you would imagine."

First, it doesn't take a month to get data together. MA doesn't regularly have contested general elections, but it still has plenty of politically active Democrats. The Democrats have access to donor lists from 2004 and 2008 presidential campaigns, volunteers from the 2006 gubernatorial primary and 2008 presidential primary, mailing lists from any number of liberal charities and organizations, etc.

Second, the Democrats don't need to hire anyone for GOTV. Some of my friends volunteered to work Coakley's phone banks over the weekend. I received a call asking me to volunteer. And some of the calls I received were clearly from volunteers reading a script. It only takes a few days to get volunteers together. They don't even need to be in-state.

The Republicans are the ones who will have trouble with GOTV. They don't have the same amount of in-state organization, or the same quality/quantity of voter lists. I'm sure the Brown campaign has plenty of volunteers, but they aren't organized like Coakley's.

Posted by: Blarg | January 19, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I give you Rep. Patrick Kennedy, the Sage of Providence, R.I.: “If you think there’s magic out there and things can be turned around overnight, then you would vote for someone who could promise you that, like Scott Brown. If you don’t, if you know that it takes eight years for George Bush and his cronies to put our country into this hole . . . then you know we have a lot of digging to do . . .”

“George Bush and his cronies.” Do you find that an oily political phrase, as I do? “George Bush and his cronies.” Sounds like something an undergraduate Marxist might say, rather than a mature U.S. congressman. I’m not nuts about the Obama administration — but I don’t think I’d refer to “Barack Obama and his cronies.” No, they’re just a group of likeminded people who are making decisions that I regard as poor.

Have some more Patrick Kennedy: “One thing the Democrats have done wrong? We haven’t kept the focus on this disaster [and] on the Republicans who brought it upon us. We’ve tried too hard to do the right thing, and that’s to fix it, as opposed to spend more of our time and energy pointing the finger at who got us [here] in the first place.”

They don’t teach you that sort of thing in rehab, do they?

Posted by: drivl | January 19, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I'll co-sign Mark's recognition that Obama was putting out empty promises in his Presidential campaign.


Mark seems OK with that.


Well, I am not OK with LIES - especially those that are pretty much intentional deceptions. The American people are not OK with it either.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 19, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

wow, liberals have gone off the deep end. all four of his viewers must have eaten this up:


Speaking during his “special comment” Monday night, Olbermann folded nearly all of the negative attacks Democrats have tried to pin to Brown in recent days into one scathing rant.


“You have heard Scott Brown speculating, talking out of his bare bottom, about whether or not the president of the United States was born out of wedlock,” Olbermann said of the Republican who is leading in the polls against Democrat Martha Coakley in the race to replace Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.). “You have heard Scott Brown respond to the shout from a supporter that they should stick a curling iron into Ms. Coakley's rectum with the answer, ‘We can do this.’”


“You may not have heard Scott Brown support a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, or describing two women having a child as being quote, ‘just not normal,'” he continued. “You may not have heard Scott Brown associating himself with the Tea Party movement, perhaps the saddest collection of people who don't want to admit why they really hate since the racists of the South in the sixties insisted they were really just concerned about states' rights.”


Summing up his case against Brown, Olbermann concluded, “in Scott Brown we have an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude-model, teabagging supporter of violence against woman and against politicians with whom he disagrees.”

Posted by: drivl | January 19, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

When did the democrats have a contested state-wide race in which they needed a state-wide get-out-the-vote operation - Maybe when Romney was running - so the democrats have that operation to pick up on.

The heavily democratic areas probably do not have get-out-the-vote operations on a regular basis.


I don't see the democrats getting a strong operation together on such short notice.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 19, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I'll co-sign Mark's comments regarding C-SPAN. I listened to an interview this weekend (on C-SPAN as it happens). It was a big applause line for Obama during the campaign.

Incidentally, there have been dozens of hours of debate and committee hearings on C-SPAN. Every Republican has had ample opportunity to exercise his lungs. Hopefully, the Capitol utilities have found a way to make use of all that hot air.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 19, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Chris:

I do not know how strong the get-out-the-vote operations are in Massachusetts - however as anyone can imagine, those operations are strongest in areas which experience hotly contested election on a regular basis.


Those get-out-the-vote operations need to have databases of where their voters are, and which doors to knock on - they can use that data from other elections however many campaigns do not do that if the area is not contested.

So, even if the national democrats went up there last week - first they need at least a month to get all the data together and then a few weeks to hire everyone and get the whole operation together - ramping up organizationally in a week just seems like it would not happen the way you would imagine.


Think about it.


In the areas which are heavily democratic, they really do not run get-out-the-vote operations on a regular basis because they don't have to - so who knows what data they have - and they have to get the people together.


Granted, Coakley ran a get-out-the-vote operation in the primary - but that was aimed only at her voters within the primary set of voters.


Which I supposed brings us to the TV commercials and the free media - the tv commercials appear to have been sold out - so they are probably just reminding everyone to vote -


Expanding the voters coming out is not going to help Coakley - not in this election - her only chance was less of a turn-out.


The free media broke for Scott Brown - she had a gaffe a day campaign going.

Finally, bringing in Obama - who is the problem in the campaign - just was the wrong move - how in the world could that be the right message? -


With voters so upset with Obama's agenda, Coakley brings in Obama so she can hug him.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 19, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse


Its not so much that she is a weak candidate. She ran a terrible campaign. She was basically nowhere to be found from early December through last week. It seems like she thought this race was already won.
-----------------------------------------
If Martha Coakley is a weak candidate, I would appreciate it if someone informed me why she was selected to run.

Was it because of a Democratic Party presumption that any Democrat running to fill Ted Kennedy's shoes would win?

Posted by: jjj141 | January 19, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin:


"Because it was an empty promise"

_________

That's what most of Obama's platform is looking like


Transparency


Bipartisanship


Post-racial

Empty promises - and basically Obama being a COMPLETE FRAUD TO HIS CAMPAIGN PROMISES is what today's election in Massachusetts is all about.

At this point, it looks like Obama's engaged in a bunch of intentional lies which he never thought he could fulfill.


He isn't even trying.

This is all about jamming a far-left agenda down the throats of America - jam it through quick and let's get it done early so that voters forget by the next election day.


Obama has lost all his credibility -


Obama has lost the trust of the people


It is only going to get worse for Obama from here.

Obama is a FRAUD and people see it.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 19, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

All I see anymore is the endless back and forth. I vote, but sure don't get exited about it. This nonsense about 'what Americans want' is hooey. Americans don't know what we want. I know we don't like the idea of more 'minority' influence in politics it seems. And 'independents' are doing more harm than good because their desire for a third party will never come true, so they vaccilate to and fro. If that Brown wins, back to GRIDLOCK in govt.

Posted by: leaningtoleft | January 19, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Well at least Barry now has an historical accomplishment that is actually all his own. Painting NJ and mass blue.

Posted by: Moonbat | January 19, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

elijah24:

Halter was going to primary Lincoln for the AR Senate seat up this fall. If he runs for Snyder's now open seat, Lincoln will get the D nomination for AR Senate unopposed. Lincoln is vulnerable enough already without having to go through a bruising primary against a sitting Lt. Gov., then fighting uphill against the R nominee in a R-leaning state.

Posted by: mnteng | January 19, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Mark, Is it saying she was considering a primary challenge against Halter for Governor? Maybe it's his wording, or maybe it's my dislexia causing me to be confused here.

Posted by: elijah24 | January 19, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"2018 is a "short" exemption?!"

By the time you are 90 and I am 83 it will have seemed like a short exemption. :-)

Viewed from the stance of a negotiator trying to save union support, the compromise which says "by 2018, all your CBAs will be up for renegotiation, so we are willing to accede to your demands only for the term[s] of your newest outstanding contract[s]" is cheaper to the taxpayer side than caving in. The politics of negotiations, colleague.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 19, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

"2018 is a "short" exemption?!"

Yes. The plan doesn't go into effect until 2014. So 2014 to 2018 is relatively short. The more important point, and thank you for recognizing it, is that the exemption is not permanent, as you stated earlier. It is fair to criticize the proposal for its content, which I think few would argue is perfect. I did happen to hear part of an interview with Sen Franken yesterday, in which he claimed that all of the cost-cutting proposals that healthcare economists want are included in the bill. I think that excludes the conservatives' favorite 'solution' of tort reform. I suspect that, had they negotiated in good faith, they could have gotten it in. Instead they chose the 100% opposition approach.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 19, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

The problem is it would not be negotiating on C Span. It would be a continuation of the party of NOthings hypocritical rantings, spewing their lies, distortions, fear mongering, postering in front of the cameras which they do so well.
The American people are disappointed and disgusted with a party whose goals are to destroy our president, party first, win at any cost, totally disregarding and ignoring the survival of us and our country.

Posted by: kathlenec | January 19, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"Why aren't the Congressional negotiations on C-SPAN as promised?"

Because it was an empty promise that neither BHO nor any other presidential candidate or president could deliver upon. We had the discussion [interesting to me] about executive called special legislative sessions vs. calendared sessions. I suppose the Prez could call a special session during the conference negotiations but it would have no binding effect on the negotiations.

Thus, while it is fair to harp on BHO for promising what he could not deliver or breaking his promise, depending on your point of view, it is also now, essentially, irrelevant.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 19, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

bsimon1 (and mark_in_austin):

2018 is a "short" exemption?! We'll see what the "final" bill (assuming there is one after today) says. Why aren't the Congressional negotiations on C-SPAN as promised?

Posted by: JakeD | January 19, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

elijah, you misread the AR segment. It is not Lincoln who is running for the House.

bsimon, you amplified my earlier post. Thank you. I did not make the case for postponement of effect on CBAs with later renewal dates, which you explained.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 19, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I’ve never seen the Left so unhinged, not in my whole life! The liberal quacks are so crazed over the fact that Democrats will lose “The Kennedy Seat” on Tuesday that they are lashing out at anyone and everyone they deem responsible for it.

Posted by: mock1ngb1rd | January 19, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

runmon is a typical rightwingnut crybaby whiner bleater loser. When his candidate loses, the election was rigged. When his candidate wins, it was a fair election.

You're a joke, runmon.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 19, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

"You and/or Dan Balz got this wrong, since every report I read EXEMPTS so-called "Cadillac" health insurance plans of their special interests, unions. Why not tell the WHOLE TRUTH?"


Actually, you got this wrong. The whole truth is that unions negotiated a short exemption window from the tax because they are under contract that extend past the initial date of the tax being imposed. They argued, reasonably in my view, that it was unfair to tax their plans before they had a chance to change them in order to comply with the health care reform bill's incentives to promote efficient healthcare delivery.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 19, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I really hope you're right, RandyR3 (on all your posts). If the people of Massachusetts vote in Brown, they are fools, and the entire country will suffer from their foolishness.

Posted by: jp1954 | January 19, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I would think Nelson has brought some of the discontent upon hisself. He was very full of hisself during the health care debate, and was in position to demand not what is best for our country, but for him and his gains and goals. He jumped from one issue to another, destroying Public Option. He pushed his beliefs on pro life
down the rest of our throats. He demanded concessions for his state that were not available to others.
He played very dirty politics, as many hiding behind the Bible do, but appear to have no conception of how unChristian they really are.

Posted by: kathlenec | January 19, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

FedUp1 asks
"If Martha Coakley is a weak candidate, I would appreciate it if someone informed me why she was selected to run.

Was it because of a Democratic Party presumption that any Democrat running to fill Ted Kennedy's shoes would win?"

fedup- They held a primary a couple months ago, so the voters selected Coakley. In that primary, Dems turned out 3:1 relative to voters in the GOP primary (which selected Brown). I'm not from MA, but what I understand is that Coakley is well respected in her role as AG, is a competent fundraiser & has statewide name-recognition. Those traits all tend to bump a candidate to the top in a primary election; certainly that's the case here in MN. The problem, of course, being that voters in the primary don't always select a candidate that will do well in the general - the pollsters telling us in this case that independents hold a plurality in MA (45%), which was a surprise to me, given the state's reputation for being solidly Dem.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 19, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

The Fix is ACORN, SEIU, DNC, and Obama's thugs steeling this election.

I hope Brown has poll watchers to make sure the voting machines are sealed after the polls close.

I don't trust Coakley, Obama, ACORN, SEIU, and the DNC's political machine, if the vote is close with Brown barely ahead, they will steel the election. Just like they did in the Minnesota senate race. All the votes found days later were for Al Franken.

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. President Thomas Jefferson

http://www.breitbart.tv/massachusetts-miracle-video-sets-stakes-for-tuesdays-election/

Posted by: runmon | January 19, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

We need change so badly in this country. Brown represents a reasonable opportunity to begin the process.

Posted by: gjdagis | January 19, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I just hope brown uses a gallon of bleach before he sits down in that seat that Kennedy vacated. It's gotta stink to high heavens.

Posted by: BO__Stinks | January 19, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Tom Osborne is a Republican. He represented Nebraska for a few terms in the House before retiring. I'm glad to see Dr. Tom back with the Cornhuskers (AD). Not sure about Tommy Frazier. He took a stab at coaching with Doane, but it didn't work out.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 19, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

For the shirt:

Brown 46.35%

Coakley 46.15%

Kennedy 7.5%

Speaking as a generally left-leaning independent and Obama supporter (and MA native), I think the democrats are going to (and should) lose this race. But I think it will be very, very close.

Posted by: mikem1 | January 19, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

What we know: It was Obama and congressional Democrats who bailed out their banks.

What we don't know: Why do Obama and congressional Democrats want to penalize our banks.

===

The TARP legislation was passed in 2008 under the BUSH administration. With, I might add, the vote of John SYDNEY McCain.

As to the WHY, it's pretty simple. The bailout cost X billions of dollars. The tax is due to raise Y billions of dollars, where Y >= X. I'm guessing you'd prefer it go to Wall $treet bonuses.

Incidentally, folks, CC usually has an official thread for guessing the outcome of an election, so don't forget to submit your guesses there.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | January 19, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

"BTW, polling for 2012 now is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. Nelson will be just fine by 2012 since the economy will be back in full swing and Obama will be running with 58% approval or higher."
==
You're probably right, Andy. That not withstanding, I would love to see him challenged in the primary. Anybody know if Tom Osborne or Tommy Fraizer are Democrats?

Posted by: elijah24 | January 19, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

my guess for the t-shirt is

Coakley 57.8%

Brown 31.2%

Kennedy 11.0%

Posted by: katem1 | January 19, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Coakley- 48.6%
Brown- 46.2%
Kennedy (possibly Teddy) 5.2%

on #4: am I missing something? Why is Banch running for the house? Isn't that basically a demotion? Is she weak state-wide, but strong in her district? Someone who knows, please explain.

Posted by: elijah24 | January 19, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

After the democrats lose, they will demand a recount and secretly manipulate the numbers to Coakley's advantage.

Posted by: mock1ngb1rd | January 19, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

What we know: It was Obama and congressional Democrats who bailed out their banks.

What we don't know: Why do Obama and congressional Democrats want to penalize our banks.

Posted by: rpatoh | January 19, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

as far as polls go, remember back in november 2008, all the polls had the election ALOT closer than the results? Could it possibly be because 1700 people do not reflect the voting habits of 130,000,000 voters accurately? could it be like KraziJoe says, a media driven story with CC apparently in the driver's seat?

Posted by: katem1 | January 19, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

If Martha Coakley is a weak candidate, I would appreciate it if someone informed me why she was selected to run.

Was it because of a Democratic Party presumption that any Democrat running to fill Ted Kennedy's shoes would win?

Posted by: FedUp1 | January 19, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

My guess for the shirt:

Brown: 51.1%

Coakley: 47.1%

Kennedy: 1.8%

Posted by: acronon | January 19, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

all of this is based on so-called conventional wisdom, ambiguous polls, and CC doing his GOP cheerleading. His relying on all of this to do his "analyses" does not take into consideration how pissed off at the GOP the country still is, and any so-called discontent by Dem voters isn't strong enough to want them to vote for the party that embraces the Birthers-a GOP congressman sent a letter to the WH this month demanding a copy of the Prez's birth certificate--the tea baggers with their insulting and racist signs, and saying no to unions, healthcare, womens' employment equality, the stimulus package to keep unemplyment benifits flowing, and okaying torture. It is insulting to voters to think they could be that stupid.

Posted by: katem1 | January 19, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Coakley's GOTV effort kicked into overdrive over the last week. I've received robocalls from Obama, Bill Clinton, and Vicki Kennedy. The Democrats called me 3 times this weekend to confirm my support for Coakley. One call told me where my polling place is and offered me a ride if I need one.

I don't know for sure what Brown's operation is like, but there's no way it can compete. There isn't enough Republican organization in MA. The strength of Coakley's ground game is going to make up at least a portion of her deficit in the polls.

Posted by: Blarg | January 19, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

COAKLEY IS AN ATTORNEY GENERAL. WHY DIDN'T OBAMA SAY SHE'S NEEDED IN THE SENATE TO RESTORE THE RULE OF LAW TO A COUNTRY THAT IS ENSLAVED TO A MULTI-AGENCY FEDERAL-LOCAL GESTAPO?

A secretive multi-agency "coordinated action program" vastly expanded under Bush-Cheney continues to use high-tech cellular microwave and laser weaponry to silently, invisibly torture, impair, and physiologically and neurologically entrain -- in effect, enslave -- many thousands of unjustly and unconstitutionally "targeted" Americans, right here at home.

These Americans, entire families, also are subject to relentless surveillance, financial sabotage and community watch vigilante stalking, vandalism and other acts of government-tolerated domestic terrorism.

IT'S OBAMA'S GESTAPO USA NOW. WHEN WILL TEAM OBAMA ACT?

Please read this, and demand action before it's too late:

See: Poynter.org (Journalism groups -- Reporting):

"U.S. Silently Tortures Americans with Cell Tower Microwaves" •
"Gestapo USA: Fed-Funded Vigilante Network Terrorizes America"

http://www.poynter.org/subject.asp?id=2
http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves
NowPublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america
OR NowPublic.com/scrivener (see "stories" list)

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 19, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

BTW, polling for 2012 now is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. Nelson will be just fine by 2012 since the economy will be back in full swing and Obama will be running with 58% approval or higher.

Posted by: AndyR3 | January 19, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I spoke to my brother yesterday in Massachusetts and i got the impression from him that he thought that the democrats are finally waking up and will most likely come out in full force today. The big question I think will be how many women vote today. If women come out and outnumber men(which is a very real possibility) then Coakley wins comfortably, if it is closer to a 50-50 split then I think the vote will rely on how heavy the Union vote is.

My prediction is that Brown may be getting lots of press but that the GOP's lack of any real ground game will come to seriously haunt them today. Micheal Steele should have been investing in a fifty state strategy like Howard Dean did and then they would have had a better chance to capatolize on Brown's surge.

On a side note, whoever wins today will be voted out of office in 3 years no matter what. Brown is WAY too conservative for Massachusetts and Coakley has shown she doens't have the chops to run for such a prominent position. I would expect that the powers that be will get behind Michael Capuano next election and he will take out Coakley in the primary, or Brown in the general.

My prediction for today is
Coakley-49.5%
Brown-44.5%
Kennedy-6%

Posted by: AndyR3 | January 19, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Jake, the "compromise" postpones until 2018, I think, the effect on collective bargaining agreements. It does not exempt them.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 19, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Do you work for ACORN?

Posted by: JakeD | January 19, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Or it could be the press is blowing this all out of proportion?

Posted by: Krazijoe | January 19, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

My guess for the t-shirt:

Coakley 52.9
Brown 45.4
Kennedy 1.7

Posted by: Breandan_from_Ireland | January 19, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

what you don't want to inform the reader is this:

the voter registration in massachusetts is this:

49% Independent

35% democrat

13 % republican

check out the gallup poll info.

Massachusetts registration ha been growing by leaps and bounds over the past 10 years if you had bothered to look and it is much higher than the national average of 35%.

It is the lies told in the press that gave cover to the overthrow of corruption and looting.

joke is on you and your fellow journalists.

It does not matter who wins today the democrats are going after the democrats in office and shall remove them.

( the republicans will do likewise to the republicanss)

it is over and we will restore honest goverment and bring back our economy.

Posted by: JohnAdams1 | January 19, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

"Congressional negotiators agreed last week to tax high-cost health plans, as the Senate bill proposes, rather than raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans."

You and/or Dan Balz got this wrong, since every report I read EXEMPTS so-called "Cadillac" health insurance plans of their special interests, unions. Why not tell the WHOLE TRUTH? And, why weren't these Congressional negotiators on C-SPAN as Obama promised they would be? If Pelosi is so sure there will be a final bill, then she has agreed to the Stupak Amendment? At least you got this part right:

"A new Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 44 percent of Americans support the proposed changes in the health-care system being debated in Congress, while 51 percent oppose them. Opposition is more intense than support, with 39 percent saying they strongly oppose the legislation and 22 percent saying they strongly favor it."

Posted by: JakeD | January 19, 2010 6:31 AM | Report abuse

My guess, for the "official" Fix T-shirt:

Brown 52.7%

Coakley 44.2%

Kennedy 3.1%

Posted by: JakeD | January 19, 2010 6:07 AM | Report abuse

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