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. Tom L

    The fact that a Republican is actually challenging a Democrat in the state of Massachusetts tells you everything you need to know.

    January 13, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. Ronald E Miller

    If the people of Massachusetts loved Senator Kennedy,they will do the right thing and vote democrat Martha Coakley in,because the good Senator was a champion of all the people al yhe time .

    January 13, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  3. Fitz in Texas

    I loved it when David Gergen asked Mr. Brown a question and referred to it as "Ted Kennedy's seat." Mr. Brown corrected David Gergen and told him it's not Ted Kennedy's seat, "it's the peoples seat." This is the type of politician this state and country needs.

    January 13, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. BILL, WI

    The House and the Senate are working on a compromise bill. The Dems have all but shut the Repubs out of the proceedings. In addition the proceedings are being held in secret. So what if a Rebub is elected in MA, his vote is not going to be heard anyway.

    January 13, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. Dave, the Truthteller

    The Peoples Republic of Massachusetts will elect another royal dictator Democrap because they simply cannot live without government handouts.

    January 13, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. Tony

    CNN you are missing the boat. Rasmussen and the PPP polls show Brown in the lead by a point or tied. There is no 15 point edge for the Dem. I am glad you are mis-reporting though since many of the loons on the left will think its an easy win and not show up. Brown has a 73% to 26% lead in independents, which is all you need to know about how the country likes this administration and this congress.

    January 13, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. Michael from Ventura

    The thought of the gop taking over Teddy's seat is beyond the pale. No way!

    January 13, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. Annie, Atlanta

    Hey ladies, and gentlemen too (because I tend to be equal opportunity for all), for an additional boost (though I don't know to what) check out Scott Brown's nude centerfold in Cosmo in 1982. Of course it's Cosmo, so you don't get to see all of his "assets."

    January 13, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  9. aneanderthal

    It is not Kennedy's seat. It is a seat alloted to the people of Massachusetts by the Constitution of the United States. This is one of the very basic problems with liberals. Entitlement or their thinking they are entitled.

    January 13, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  10. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    The Dems really, really, need to pay attention here: If a Republican even comes close to winning in the People's Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it will be a huge "No way!" on the far-Left's health care entitlement bill–and that from people who've been saddled for a while with a less-extreme State version of it and know exactly what it's like and exactly what they're voting against.

    A majority, 55%, of Americans don't want the health care bill the Left is pushing so hard; only 40% favour it. It's no wonder there's a decent chance a Republican will win in Massachusetts: people are so strongly opposed to it, even in a very Liberal state, even life-long Democrats will vote for a Republican just to stop it.

    January 13, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  11. IVOTE

    This man has posed competely nude for a magazine seen around the world and the picture is on the web now. He is in no position to judge the decisions of others. His daughter nearly lost her mind when she did not win "American Idol". It's all about the Browns.

    January 13, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. mikl


    January 13, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. Right Leaning Independent

    Coakley in her debate – "There are no terrorists left in Afghanistan" – She is the Democrat version of Sarah Palin!!

    January 13, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  14. good-bye global warming

    I'm sending you positive vibes from Texas, Scott Brown. Please stop this bloated fiasco of a bill from getting signed into law, and help to provide a solid bill that will help us all.

    January 13, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. Tony

    Vote for Brown! I know I am! Let's bring some real change to Washington.

    January 13, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  16. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Scott Brown won't have the power to send anything back other than his backside when he loses and you can take that to the bank.

    January 13, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. LacrosseMom

    One single senator........ can not "send this bill back" ...... please David Gergen, not all of us are ignorant of how our government works.

    It may be a tough fight, but in the end Massachusetts will elect, Coakley, perhaps if only to honor the Lion of the Senate!

    January 13, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. hongli

    Bostonians will never allow a nut like Scott Brown into their State . Go Martha Go! Girl Power Is GREATER than a NUT-HEAD.

    January 13, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  19. jpspec

    I just read that Martha Coakley went to Washington yesterday to attend a fund raising event. Normally I would not consider this a big deal or even news. However, it cost $10,00 to attend and most names on the program consisted of pharmaceutical, lobbyist and others who would benefit from the passage of health care.

    I sure hope that this message gets out to voters in MA and they will vote for Scott Brown. The country can not survive the current health care bills being discussed behind closed doors. If it turns out that Scott Brown is not a good senator, the voters in MA can simply vote him out in 3 years. Unfortunately, the MA voters can not vote out Obamacare.

    Go Scott Brown

    January 13, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  20. Nate

    Despite not being able to spell the name of her own state, Coakley will win.

    January 13, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  21. Em

    Not 15% anymore – it's only a 2% lead as of this week.

    Get your facts straight CNN.

    January 13, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  22. T'SAH from Virginia

    It is quoted – "No Republican has won a Senate seat in Massachusetts since 1972."

    And it won't happen in 2010..............YES WE CAN!!

    January 13, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  23. Mass. resident

    I have lived in Mass. all of my life. Never has our state been in such bad shape. Our Governor is as corrupt as they come. We have the highest tax rate of any state in america, and for what? Our city public schools are a war zone, it is easier for people to not work and receive taxpayer handouts through welfare, section 8 housing, free healthcare, the list goes on. It was easy for Kennedy to tax us all to death because he inherited billions of dollars and had no concept of money earned. Coakly is a joke, Brown will win because the people are sick of this tax and spend policy that has done nothing to improve our state. Busisnesses have left and continue to leave our state at an alarming rate because they are forced to pay insane taxes so the poor can live nicely without having to work. The people of this state our real patriots and everyone will see why come election day.

    January 13, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  24. Real American

    Relax. Massachusetts is not going to elect a right-wing tool, the embarrassing election of Mitt Romney notwithstanding. Romney mislead everyone by posing as a moderate.

    January 13, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  25. Vote for Scott Brown

    Scott Brown is a much better candidate for the senate. He's got the experience and much more....

    January 13, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
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