Experts Expound

Experts Expound

“Is Scott Brown’s election in Massachusetts an anomaly, or is it a harbinger of things to come in California and elsewhere?”

It’s a “no confidence” vote against Obama….nothing more.

If voters are angry in Massachusetts, they’re angry everywhere. Boxer is a much, much better candidate than Coakley, but this is now the new political landscape – even in California. It is a harbinger. Time to bag the state cars, junkets with special interests and the dumb bills … at least until 2011. Hunker down time.

I think there are many intervening variables in the Mass election.  Bad candidate for the Dems, bad campaign and voter fear of many issues, namely jobs and health care costs. 

When you are afraid for your life, you don’t like to add more debt.  Dems took it for granted that they would win until 10 days ago.  Too soon to tell if it is a harbinger of things to come in California.  Dems should not underestimate the Tea Party folks.  Obama is still at 56 percent here.  Economic recovery in the 2nd quarter could make things different here.

When an angry God sent locusts, diseases, pestilence, and plague upon the Egyptians he was only sending half the sign he sent the Democrats Tuesday night in Massachusetts.
The Dems want everyone to believe that Coakley was a bad candidate – but she’s won multiple elections in Mass… Is Scott Brown’s election a harbinger of things to come? If the right-wing whackos can be controlled and the moderate minds, or the conservative non-theological minds can be allowed to work, then this is a sea change back to reality and could really mean something.

Both, depending on how Democrats respond. Brown touched a raw nerve in Massachusetts, a nerve that also runs through California. But Boxer is no Coakley. Nor do California Republicans bear any resemblance to their East Coast bretheren. Still, California Democrats need to do a better job reminding voters that the nation — and state’s — current fiscal mess is a direct result of GOP policies. Obama, et al, was unable to do that in Massachusetts.

It certainly changes the seats in play for the Legislature and Congress.  Suddenly seats like Lungren, Knight, Cook, Pugno, and Gorrell are much less in play. We are now going to be talking about McNerney, Gillmore’s seat, Denham’s seat, and Manual Perez.

There were unique local dynamics at play in that race that have been underreported, such as Martha Coakley’s perceived alliance with wildly unpopular Governor Deval Patrick.  Still, this is a wake-up call for every Democrat AND every incumbent.  Unlike 1994, the Brown upset gives Democrats and the White House a 10-month grace period to course correct.  Obviously, candidates anywhere not running in a full sprint against DC and Sacramento do so at their peril.  But let’s be honest: Barbara Boxer is no Martha Coakley and Chuck DeVore is no Scott Brown.

The Massachusetts result does not guarantee statewide GOP victories  in California.  But it will boost party morale and make it easier for the senatorial and gubernatorial candidates to raise funds.  Until now, they have met with reluctance from those who did want to give money to a longshot. Now they can all say, “If Scott Brown can win in Massachusetts, then I can win in California.”

No Anomaly — this week’s political shot from Massachusetts is likely to be heard and repeated in many parts of the country in the months to come. And not just against Democrats, but possibly Republican incumbents as well. We should be watching closely unknown candidates driving pick-up trucks.
The home state of the Kennedys going Republican is akin to Willie Brown winning the governorship of Texas. Those doors you hear being slammed are signs Obama will move to the right.

When Democrats don’t play all-out offense, and fail to stay tenaciously on the attack against the great harm Republicans always cause, this happens.  At the very least, it’s a stern wake-up call.

Andrew Acosta, A.G. Block, Mark Bogetich, Barry Brokaw, Morgan Crinklaw, J Dale Debber, Peter DeMarco, Jim Evans, Kathy Fairbanks, Jeff Fuller, Rex Frazier, Ken Gibson, Evan Goldberg, Deborah Gonzalez, Sandy Harrison, Bob Hertzberg, Jason Kinney, Greg Lucas, Mike Madrid, Nicole Mahrt, Steve Maviglio,  Adam Mendelsohn, Barbara O’Connor, Bill Packer, Kassy Perry, Jack Pitney, Adam Probolsky, Tony Quinn, Matt Rexroad, Matt Ross, Roger Salazar, Dan Schnur, Will Shuck, Ralph Simoni, Sam Sorich, Ray Sotero, Garry South, Kevin Spillane, Angie Wei, Rich Zeiger.

Want to see more stories like this? Sign up for The Roundup, the free daily newsletter about California politics from the editors of Capitol Weekly. Stay up to date on the news you need to know.

Sign up below, then look for a confirmation email in your inbox.


Support for Capitol Weekly is Provided by: