In his report from Scott Brown for Senate headquarters in Needham, Massachusetts, Cornell University Law Professor William A. Jacobson takes note of an issue on the minds of Massachuesetts voters:
There also was a lot of animosity surrounding the announcement that the Democrats would delay Brown’s certification if he won. People were calling in about that issue, and it was brought up on phone calls by the voters (the issue was not on the call script).
The attempt to delay certification has the potential to be a defining issue in the campaign because it crystallizes in voters’ minds everything that is wrong with politics.
I agree that this delay could well become a defining issue for exactly the reason Jacobson offers.
On Friday, Brian McNiff spokesman for Massachusetts’ Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, said certification “would take a while“:
Because it’s a federal election, [w]e’d have to wait 10 days for absentee and military ballots to come in.
And until that certification comes, appointed Senator Paul Kirk could vote for cloture on health care, allowing the unpopular bill (even in the Bay State) to pass. And while the Democratic official threatens to delay certification in this ace, in 2007, his office did not delay the swearing in of Niki Tsongas, elected to the U.S. House of Representatives an special election that October. She was sworn in just two days after her election. And that wasn’t a federal election?
It’s not just the delay in certification which hurts Brown’s Democratic opponent Martha Coakley. She’s heading down to Washington on Tuesday “for a lobbyist-infested fundraiser,” which Michael Barone believes is “not a good move given the anti-lobbyist feeling that’s so evident this year (and which Obama played on during the 2008 campaign).“
In short, this well-educated woman is resembling the type of special interest politician against whom Barack Obama ran against so effectively in 2008.
My sense is that these issues will help strengthen Brown’s support among independents and rally Bay State Republicans, increasing the likelihood they’ll brave the cold Massachusetts winter to vote on January 19. It’s likely even to turn off a good number of Democrats, keeping them from voting or causing them to cast a protest vote for the Republican.
But, will it be enough to secure a Republican victory in a state where registered Democrats outnumber them 3 to 1?