January 13th, 2010
11:50 AM ET
8 years ago

Race for Kennedy's seat may affect health care reform


Republican Scott Brown and Democrat Martha Coakley debate in Boston, Massachusetts, on Monday.

Washington (CNN) - A contentious special election to fill late Sen. Ted Kennedy's Senate seat could have an effect on the cause he championed - health care.

Republican candidate Scott Brown, a state senator, is facing off against Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. Election Day is January 19.

Recent polls suggest the race may be closer than expected in its final days, though the Democrat still holds a 15-point advantage in the overwhelmingly Democratic state.

No Republican has won a Senate seat in Massachusetts since 1972.

CNN political analyst David Gergen, who moderated a debate between Brown and Coakley Monday night, said part of the closeness of the race is tied to the health care reform bill in Congress.

"And his campaign has gotten a lot of traction suddenly, unexpectedly in the last few weeks by exactly that campaign pledge: 'I will send this bill back,'" Gergen said.

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Filed under: Health care • Massachusetts • Senate
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. chris

    Martha Coakley is unqualified for the position. David Gergen is nothing but a drooling lap dog for the democrat party.

    January 13, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. Larry

    Go Martha!

    January 13, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. Mike in MN

    This woman is clearly a nut case. In the debate she said there were no more terrorists in Afganistan. Huh?!
    But she will most likely win in very Democratic Mass.
    This article says she is ahead by 15 points, but there are at least two polls that show the race in a dead heat. Still would be a huge suprise if a Republican could win in Mass., even against a total nut case.

    January 13, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. Ex-G.O.P.

    Giving power back to the Republics is like giving the car keys to America back to a serial drunk driver.

    January 13, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. Should I believe a billionaire on am radio

    I bet Brown is filling his bag with healthcare company laundered money.He has truely hit the jackpot,a guy at the right place at the right time,but im sure its just a coincidence.Sure it is.

    January 13, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  6. Kevin in Ohio

    Scott Brown is America's last hope to avert a total disaster.

    Please, people of Massachusetts, wake up!

    Democrats got to 60 by cheating their way toward the Senate seat in Minnesota and then this temporary seat in Massachusetts (which legally should not have been filled until now).and then by bribing Senators in nebraska and Louisiana to vote for cloture.

    The 41st vote is all that is needed to stop absolute and irreversible corruption.

    January 13, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. mjm

    Rasmussen has Brown down by 1 point on 1/11......slightly less than 15 points reported by CNN.

    January 13, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. stevegee

    Scott Brown will provide the Check & Balance that our country needs.

    The liberal Democrats are out of control, and must be stopped before they ruin our country. Massachusetts is going to send a message next Tuesday by electing Brown.

    This is just the beginning of a conservative movement the likes this country hasn't seen since Reagan. Go Scott go!

    January 13, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. Fair is Fair

    Scott Brown raised $1.3 million online in a 24-hour span. Average donation – $77.

    Martha Coakley goes to Washington and has a fundraiser with DC insiders and lobbyists. Average donation – $3400.

    For those who believe the democrats are for the little people – you're sadly mistaken.

    Astroturf THAT, Nancy Pelosi.

    January 13, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. Kevin in Ohio

    Its amazing how quick his response has been considering he stayed in Hawaii on his vacation following the terrorist attack on Northwest Airlines. And how he stayed silent after the terrorist shootings in Texas. Even more amazing how this president's priorities are not with mainstream America.

    January 13, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  11. Damon Harris

    Scott Brown is Awesome!!!!!!! unlike Ted ,Browns not a Murderer!

    January 13, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. mark

    We need change, vote for Brown!

    January 13, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. Sarah

    This statement is what will make Brown the loser........this is a Democrat state, they still hold Ted Kennedy in high esteem and remember that the Health Care Reform was Kennedy's dream and what he worked so hard for, so that all people and not just the privilaged have Medical Insurance. Republicans will put out a lot of lies as they usually do in the last weeks to try and get the votes he needs to win.......but as we know this is the motto of the GOP "LIE LIE LIE UNTIL YOU TURN ENOUGH IN THEIR FAVOR" but Massachusett voters are not easily fooled by the tactics of the GOP

    January 13, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  14. hello!

    Go Brown!

    January 13, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  15. John independent from NY

    Go Brown Go

    January 13, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. hello!

    Coakley campaign in the last 48 hours:

    Misspells "Massachusettes" in her own ad.
    Claims no terrorists in Afghanistan on televised debate.
    Her companion in DC knocks down a Weekly Standard reporter on the street right in front of Coakley – she walks away.
    When asked to clarify her Afghanistan comments, she looks away from the question and asks if there is anyone else with a question.
    Runs to DC to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars from Lobbyists.

    Wow, what an appealing candidate she is....

    GO BROWN!!!!!

    January 13, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. Mike Syracuse, NY

    CNN, Rasmussin poll completed yesterday has this as a virtual dead heat, with Brown actually ahead by one point. Other polls in the last few days have it a 1-2 point race. Why do you keep referencing a single week old poll from a liberal Boston paper that is a Democratic mouthpiece? It's the only one among at least 4 statewide polls that shows a 15 point advantage?

    January 13, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. lila

    why does it matter in Massachusetts? In Massachusetts they have all the negatives of this bill with none of the positives of it. With this bill they only gain. Of all states, Massachusetts has nothing to lose. In fact, one the bill passes then their will be a great deal of focus on bringing cost of medical cost down because we will all be in the same boat. Health insurance companies are getting ripped off by uncontrolled medical cost. People who buy health insurance are getting ripped off from uncontrolled medical cost. I went to the hospital for 3 hours on 12-26-09 for kidney stones. I passed one. They took an x-ray and have me some pain killers and tested my urine for blood. That's it. They said i passed a kidney stone and to drink more water. My hospital bill came out to $19,000. That's not counting the Doctor or emergency transportation bill. $19,000! WTH? My insurance paid $18,000. I think they were ripped off and I refuse to pay the $1000 the hospital want from me in addition because I think what they did was not worth more than $3000 total at max... and they got that plus a lot more from my insurance. We as a nation have to get medical cost under control and we need serious legislation to do it. This bill that is about to be passed has to only be the beginning.

    January 13, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. dan smith

    Can't wait till Claire Mccaskill comes up for re election in Missouri so we can through her out on her backside.

    January 13, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  20. Peter s

    Running on a republic ticket is like running on a stinking toilet basin!

    January 13, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  21. Sea.gem

    ooohhhh....get those lies and scare tactics going Dems...she even claimed that it was an even match with an 18 point lead!...the House of Cards that is the Democratic party is collapsing on its foundation of lies!

    January 13, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  22. revolution

    Between ACRON and the DEM party there is no way Brown will win. Once again the will of the people will not be heard or carried out. They will lie, cheat and steal this election from the people. Because that is what Obama told them to do.

    January 13, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  23. Glenn Koons

    The fact that Obama is today meeting with just 13 Dems in trying to write, yes, keep writing this Monstrous socialist bill, shows the hypocrisy of his 8 promises to show the debate on CSPAN. Brown punctured Coakley as just another insurance co. and lobbying clone. She raised dough from all those lobbyists that Obama promised would be stopped by his Hope and Change Admin. He lied, again. She is just another flacker. If Mass. wants to stop this bill and to have a guy who actually has national security cred, at age 71, with who knows how much time I have to live in this marvelous nation, I ask the voters of Mass. to elect Scott Brown. Do the nation and your own state a great favor.

    January 13, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  24. Texas Slim

    As long as Mass. public have finally woken up to vote the Kennedy influence out of the Politics of the nation who cares about the health care pkg. of Obama & Reid. Or you might say reid's bill for Obama would have to have a brain to make up anything.

    January 13, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. Obama = WORST president EVER

    We can only hope.

    Coakley is a waste of space. Anyone who has lived in Massachusetts for more than 5 minutes will vote against an airhead, Kool-Aid drinking, DNC talking point spokesperson like Coakley.

    End the same old politics in Mass – VOTE SCOTT BROWN.

    January 13, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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