Friday, November 6, 2009

Next Stop: Massachusetts Senate Election

Two Gubernatorial victories, two congressional defeats, and Republican gains across the Nation, all lead up to the special United States Senate election in the deep blue state of Massachusetts. While the Massachusetts legislature just had to replace Kennedy in the United States Senate immediately, in violation of a law previously passed which required a special election to fill a Senate seat if one we're to be vacated, a Senate election will take place within the next few months.

While the Democrat candidates are the front runners in this election, special elections can cause results no-one ever expected, such as the special congressional election in Massachusetts's 5th congressional district in 2007, when the Republican was able to secure 45% of the vote, something that has not been accomplished by a Republican running for over a decade.

With this in mind, it deserves some thought as to a possible campaign that could result in the Republican candidate coming "close" to possibly having a shot at claiming victory, though unlikely. According to Republican State Senator Scott Brown's campaign website, Brown is a fiscal conservative who believes in the free market, opposes cap & trade, supports the second amendment, believes in the death penalty, and believes in a private health care system.

While Mr.Brown should receive at least 30% support in his campaign for the United States Senate, it is expected Mr.Brown will be running on the fact the economy is not getting better, that one party rule in Washington is not good for the Nation, and with the delegation already filled with Massachusetts Democrats who are pushing legislation which is not working, perhaps a fiscal conservative in Congress pushing "positive" change will help. These talking points could resonate with Independents.

Press releases like the following could also help his campaign...

“With unemployment shooting into double digits, it’s time to acknowledge the failure of the stimulus to stop job loss and move our economy forward. In spite of this failure, my Democratic opponents are open to yet another budget-busting stimulus bill. To lift the economy, my advice is simple - cut taxes on businesses and families so they have more money to spend. That is the best way to restore prosperity for all Americans.”

While running in Massachusetts as a Republican is near political suicide, with the momentum of the Nation trending towards fiscal conservatism, the fact special elections are non-predictable (NY 23 & CA 10 anyone?), and his message of anti-one party rule could resonate with Independent voters, it is worth investing time and money into this election.

Also, one issue to run on against one of the Democratic candidates....

Out on the campaign trail, Congressman Capuano has often pointed to his legislative record and work in Washington as the best evidence of the impact he could have in the Senate. It's been a strong asset to his campaign, and one that his opponents can't really compete with.

The flip side, of course, is that some days he has to make difficult decisions and cast unpopular votes, which can always come back to haunt him. Today might be one of those days.

At 1:05 p.m., while his Senate opponents were campaigning in Massachusetts, Mike Capuano was down in Washington casting a vote that could make or break his candidacy:

He voted "yea" on a resolution congratulating the New York Yankees on winning the World Series.

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