Republican Scott Brown has defeated Democrat Martha Coakley to win the MA senate seat held for many years by Ted Kennedy. With 87% of the vote in, Brown leads Coakley 52 to 47%. Even before the election results, it was clear that Scott Brown was doing many things right in his campaign.
From Fox News, January 19, 2010.
“Brown Campaign Could Provide Blueprint for Future GOP Success”
“For GOP candidate Scott Brown to surge in Massachusetts, a state that hasn’t sent a Republican to the Senate since 1972 and is represented entirely by Democrats in Congress, he must have done something right.
And the Republican Party should be taking notes, analysts say, to try to replicate his strategy in races across the country in a year when GOP candidates are thought to be starting out with the upper hand.
Win or lose, the Massachusetts state senator proved that a Republican can be competitive in the bluest of states or districts.
“Every Republican long shot in America — for House seats, Senate seats, gubernatorial contests, is going to shout in unison – Remember Scott Brown,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics.”
“But Brown practiced a certain practical conservatism in his campaign which appealed to voters, not unlike Chris Christie in the race for New Jersey governor and Bob McDonnell in the race for Virginia governor.
By concentrating on fiscal issues and focusing his criticism on the national Obama administration agenda, Republicans said, Brown brought himself to the verge of an upset.
“The lesson I take away from Massachusetts, win or lose, and New Jersey and Virginia prior to that, is there is no penalty to be paid for opposing the Obama agenda,” said GOPAC Chairman Frank Donatelli. “All three of these elections were nationalized.”
He said GOP candidates have to stand for something and they can’t just present themselves as the anti-Obama candidate. But he said Brown achieved this balance — noting that Brown, an Army reservist and seasoned state legislator, hardly came out of nowhere.”
“He said Brown did well by not presenting himself as a Washington Republican. Driving around the state in his pickup truck, Brown referred to himself as a “Scott Brown Republican” in what appeared to be an appeal to independents. Instead of dragging out the party brass to support him, Brown enlisted figures like former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and actor John Ratzenberger.
“People don’t want lockstep,” Feehery said. “They want independent thought and somebody who’s going to be an independent check on Obama.””