Friday, January 15, 2010

Blumenthal foes must be encouraged by Massachusetts race

Everyone saw the poll numbers released yesterday showing Attorney General Richard Blumenthal absolutely trouncing potential Republican nominees Rob Simmons, Linda McMahon and Peter Schiff in the race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd.
Why not just give up now, some pundits have said, or in the case of Simmons, who doesn't have the personal wealth of McMahon, consider switching to the race for governor?
One development that could be keeping both in the race and optimistic is what's happening in our even-more-liberal, even-more-Democratic-Party-dominated neighbor, Massachusetts.
The special election to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat has a lot of parallels.
Kennedy and Dodd served in the Senate FOREVER. They were ideological peas in a pod, and sailing buddies. And Dodd very publicly took up the health care reform mantle after Kennedy's death.
Both seats are up for grabs after decades of dominance by a single family.
And the Democratic nominee in Massachusetts and presumed nominee in Connecticut both happen to be the respective state's sitting attorney general.
And the Republican nominee in both states (regardless of whether Schiff, Simmons or McMahon wins in Connecticut) will be from the moderate-to-liberal wing of the GOP.
Connecticut Republicans have to be encouraged by the latest from Massachusetts, where Coakley's once crushing lead in the polls is at break-even now to slightly behind state Sen. Scott Brown.
Brown has focused almost completely on Democrats' push for a health care bill that would carry huge tax increases. Instead, he argues, the Obama administration and Congress should be focusing on cutting taxes, stimulating the economy and creating jobs.
If Brown wins or comes anywhere close to winning a Massachusetts seat that no Republican has any business winning, "Sen. Blumenthal" come November is no safe bet.

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