WASHINGTON-- It was meant to be a populist legislative victory that would usher Democrats straight through the 2010 midterm elections: a sweeping health care reform bill offering affordable coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans, while preventing insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
Then came Massachusetts.
BOSTON — The volunteers, journalists, and donors who entered the ballroom of the Park Plaza Hotel on Tuesday were greeted by a kind of enthusiasm uncharacteristic to Massachusetts Republican campaigns. The room was packed only an hour after the polls closed. Among the throngs were Jenny Beth Martin and Mark Meckler, leaders of Tea Party Patriots, who’d flown in from Georgia and California to watch the final stretch of Scott Brown’s U.S. Senate bid. Meckler held up a Video camera, panning it across the room to capture the Brown supporters as they chatted and lined up for food and drinks.
WRENTHAM, Mass. – Katherine Monroe started making phone calls to “soft Dems”–the term that Scott Brown’s Republican campaign for Senate uses for registered Democrats who don’t always vote the party line–in mid-December. At the time, to her surprise, they were splitting 50-50 between Brown and Martha Coakley, the Democratic state attorney general. As Brown has gained momentum for his out-of-nowhere bid, her responses have been getting more and more one-sided for Brown. At times, they’ve gotten rapturous.