Just a few days from now Massachusetts voters will trudge out of the cold and into the election booth to elect a Senator in Tuesday's special election.
If you had asked me just a few months ago who was going to win I would have answered Coakley without giving it the slightest bit of thought. Honestly I thought for certain a Kennedy (one related to the late Senator) would enter the race and that would be that. When that didn't happen it seemed that Coakley had both the statewide name recognition and a campaign already running in top gear, and honestly once you win the Democratic primary your as good as elected right?
A few months ago I had no idea who Scott Brown and never bothered to find out. Why? It's this simple the Massachusetts Republican Party has perfected the fronting of the 'token candidate' who can never win election. However as Coakley won her primary bid, Scott Brown won his. I still wasn't paying attention until another local blog decided to do a little mudslinging and in my opinion take some cheap shots at the Republican candidate and suddenly I'm wondering who is Scott Brown? To my surprise I found that Brown was an honest to goodness candidate, one with some credibility! Here was a guy who's views were moderate enough to appeal to independents and conservative Democrats.
Brown describes himself as “fiscally conservative and socially conscious”, which is pretty close to how I describe myself, so fantastic here is a Republican candidate I can actually support, but he can't win.
It seems that the race everyone thought was a given has suddenly gotten very very close. It seems that after Team Coakley trashed the competition in the Democratic primary, Martha has set things on cruise control, while the underdog Scott Brown has hauled himself all over the state meeting people and shaking hands. And as Scott has gone from town to town to speak to the issues and discuss his platform his message is resonating.
People I never thought would vote for Scott Brown are telling me they're strongly considering it because like Scott they believe everyone deserves health care coverage but share his concern for the Health Care legislation that congress is considering. They share his belief that we need to lower taxes so people have more money to spend and businesses more money to invest. They tell me they have concerns about Coakley and tell me a Republican senator will be more accountable because re-election won't be considered a given.
Maybe part of it is Scott has worked to gain the support of independents and conservative Democrats while Martha seems to have focused on just the Democratic base, whatever the reason we actually have a choice on election day and it's anybody's race.