Until last night, I had been less sanguine about Scott Brown’s chances in the Massachusetts Senate election next Tuesday than were other conservative bloggers. But, after watching him describe the office to which he aspires as “the people’s seat,” I began to wonder if all the elements were falling into place for a Republican upset in John Kerry’s home state.
While the Republican was raising $1.3 million dollars from ordinary Americans online, his Democratic opponent is collecting cash from well-healed lobbyists in Washington. While he’s praising a late member of the opposing party, whom his fellow partisans delight in excoriating, operatives for his opponent are decrying Sarah Palin’s silence. National Democrats are pouring over $1 million into a state which hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate since the president was in elementary school. The Democratic candidate rhetorically removed all terrorists from Afghanistan much as Gerald Ford so removed Soviet domination from Eastern Europe in 1976. And in a TV ad, her campaign misspelled the name of the state she seeks to represent.
Oh, and that ad was the first negative one in the race. The challenger has remained on the high ground, praising his opponent as a person while criticizing her policies. And his grassroots activists are energized.
Meanwhile Bay State voters are chewing on the shenanigans of state Democrats seeking to keep the Senate seat in their column, with state legislators revising a law they passed just five years to prevent a Republican Governor from appointing a successor to a Democratic Senator. Back then, it was okay to keep that seat vacant for a spell if the occupant might have been a Republican, but last fall, they couldn’t risk its vacancy when national Democrats needed an extra vote. Now, Democrats talk of delaying certification of the winner to allow their fellow partisans to vote on a burdensome and unpopular piece of legislation.
Things do seem to be breaking Scott Brown’s way. Polls show the race a dead heat.
Still, Brown has an uphill climb, with Democratic special interests now aware that they’ll have to fight to keep this seat and ready to activate their Get-Out-the-Vote machines. But, consider this: in most races where one side repeatedly makes errors* while the other runs a good campaign, the error-prone side loses.
And it hasn’t been Scott Brown making the mistakes.