At last night's debate for Pennsylvania's special election to fill John Murtha's seat, Republican candidate Tim Burns concluded his opening remarks with a push for repeal of Obamacare. His remarks, echoing his new campaign ad on repeal, could easily be the script used by Republicans across the country this fall. The choice voters face, said Burns, is sending someone to Washington who supports "Nancy Pelosi's health care bill and someone who will go to Washington and fight to repeal it."
Well, it's no Rape Mail (the closer from the politically gifted minds at Camp Coakley), but Scott Brown's counting on his calmer argument being more effective: "There's only one tax cutter in this race, and it's not Martha Coakley."
Pithy and appropriate: "I've been called a lot of things, but never, and I mean never, could anyone ever make the mistake of calling me a Yankee fan. Well, check that, if you didn’t know what the hell is going on in your own state maybe you could…."
I spoke with two pros, each of whom has seen tracking polls from last night. The data are similar. There’s a stable Brown lead at around the Suffolk/7 News public poll level (+4). Brown lost some Democrats and saw some increase in his negatives (what you’d expect, given a massive, late partisan assault), and there was some increase in Democratic intensity.
It's still undecided whether Obama will actually go to the Bay State to campaign on behalf of Martha Coakley, but he has cut a robocall for her, funded by the DNC. I kind of like the intro, here, but let's hope it has more spirit than yesterday's web ad if they want it to do any good:
The Massachusetts race has major ramifications for all seniors.
11:12 AM, Jan 15, 2010 • By
The Massachusetts Senate special election is shaping up as a referendum on the health-care debate in Washington. And its outcome may well determine whether Massachusetts seniors get to keep the Medicare benefits they currently enjoy.
Alone among the American people, Massachusetts voters will have the chance to register their formal views on the proposed health-care overhaul before Congress votes on its final version.
Just in case you had any doubt about whether Brown's line, "It's the people's seat" went over well with the people, the Coakley campaign has Kennedy's widow repeating it in the ad she cut for the lackluster Democrat: