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Two weeks ago, I wrote, “Democrats losing Ted Kennedy’s seat would be a massive political earthquake.” Well, yesterday, the once-unthinkable happened, and the deep blue state of Massachusetts elected its first Republican senator since 1972.
Today, politicians and pundits on both sides of the aisle will be spinning, assigning blame, and taking credit.
Here’s my not-at-all-scientific breakdown of the factors I think went into Scott Brown’s victory over Democrat Martha Coakley:
- 30% - Opposition to high taxes and out-of-control government spending
- 25% - Backlash at the political hijinks of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid’s “get it done at all costs” tactics
- 20% - Rejection of ObamaCare specifically
- 15% - Martha Coakley being a bad candidate
- 5% - Scott Brown being a charismatic candidate
- 5% - Disappointment in President Obama’s first year
- 0% - Repudiation of Ted Kennedy’s legacy
By this measure, it’s hard to say that President Obama had nothing to do with the defeat, but in my view, his party shares more of the blame than he does personally.