The latest Public Policy Poll has the special election for Kennedy's Senate seat at pretty much a dead heat, with Republican Scott Brown leading Democrat Marth Coakley 48%-47%. Now, by all accounts, the Senate race in the bluest state of the Union shouldn't even be this close. Keep in mind that Public Policy Polling is hardly a non-partisan enterprise, though.
Should Brown win, his vote would strip the Democrats of their 60-seat filibuster proof majority on any number of legislative items like Cap & Trade, Card Check and 0bamacare [all three of which this blogger vehemently opposes- NANESB!].
However, interim Senator Paul Kirk and Governor Deval Patrick have both said they would delay certification of the January 19th special election results and swearing in should Brown win. And for those of you who think that's standard operating procedure, guess again:
Since the U.S. Senate doesn’t meet again in formal session until Jan. 20, Bay State voters will have made their decision before a vote on health-care reform could be held. But Kirk and Galvin’s office said Friday a victorious Brown would be left in limbo.
In contrast, Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Lowell) was sworn in at the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 18, 2007, just two days after winning a special election to replace Martin Meehan. In that case, Tsongas made it to Capitol Hill in time to override a presidential veto of the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
All I can say is that things must be pretty grim for Martha Coakley right now if Patrick, Kirk and Sec. of the Commonwealth William Galvin have been planning this far ahead for what should've been a Dem cakewalk.
Two possibilities to consider:
1) The Public Policy Polling data showing Brown overtaking Coakley could be fudged for the purpose of scaring Massachusetts Dems out of compacency and inaction.
2) The announcement by Patrick, Kirk, Galvin et al on delaying the swearing in of Brown should he win is more or less a bluff meant to affect the outcome of the election itself by keeping potential voters unhappy with 0bamacare away from the polls by announcing that a Brown win would come too late for the Senate vote on the final version of the healthcare legislation passed on Christmas Eve.