Coakley concedes: 46%
Brown wins: 53%
Well, here it is: Our first preview of the November elections, our first chance to see how voters are responding to the Democratic agenda. Quite frankly, it’s not looking very good. At best, Martha Coakley will win in a squeaker; at worst, she’ll lose in a landslide.
Yes, every race is its own animal, and yes, there are complaints about how Coakley ran her campaign, but come on. This is one of the bluest states in the country, and her opponent is a dishonest slimeball who lied about his tea party connections and joked about President Obama being illegitimate. She should have been able to kick Brown’s ass with Bob Shrum tied behind her back.
But she hasn’t. And the surprisingly negative poll results for Snyder and Dreihaus suggest that this isn’t just some isolated fluke that can be chalked up to a bad candidate, it’s more like a warning sign that there’s an awful lot of dissatisfaction with the Democrats right now.
The good news is that Obama and the Democrats have 9 months to get their act together; the bad news is that they have to resist all the Villagers and Liebermans (not to mention their inner and outer Rahms) telling them that Coakley’s struggles are due to backlash against Liberal Overreach, and they must therefore be more bipartisan and centrist to have any hope of surviving the current storm.
Personally, I’m having a hard time following the argument that not delivering the change and reform agenda that Obama was overwhelmingly voted in on somehow constitutes overreach, but I guess that’s why I’m not making the big pundit bucks.
Whether Obama is a pragmatist, a marshmallow, or a corporatist, the bottom line is that the Democratic base is feeling betrayed while the rest of America is still waiting to see results. They want to see a health care reform bill that doesn’t suck, they want to see financial reform with real teeth, they want to see employment on the rise.
Obama has 9 months; he’d better deliver.