Don't hold your breath.
Or at lead, that's what I said about Scott Brown's candidacy five months ago.
But let's take a look at the situation here. Current Democratic Governor Deval Patrick, a close ally of President Obama, has helped run the state into the ground after Governor Romney straightened out a lot of the state government. Patrick won 55%-35% in a three-way race in 2006. Now he suffers from anemic approval ratings and in any other state would appear vulnerable.
But this is Massachusetts.
The Republicans have just chosen Charles Baker as their nominee. He is a veteran of two state administrations and is a capable business leader. He's certainly a New England Republican. He supports abortion rights and gay-marriage rights. But he's fiscally conservative and wants to roll back the excesses of the Massachusetts democrats.
Republicans only have 5 of 40 seats in the State Senate, or just 12.5%. So what are the odds of pulling this one off? I'd take a look at several factors:
- The Obama Effect could be at play if he comes to the Bay State.
- Romney could push hard-- believe it or not he still has some credibility there.
- Scott Brown will be an effective person on Baker's side. He can be the voice of reason in this very blue state.
- Now that ObamaCare is passed, Baker can run on an anti-establishment platform-- in RomneyCare land.
- The Tea Party movement may coalesce around this fiscally responsible candidate.
- Higher turnout in a regular election will result in a more-heavily Democratic electorate. Brown's election took place during a special election.
- The election is not during the ObamaCare debate-- and apart from Patrick's incompetence there is no unifying force to rally around.
- Patrick is no Coakley, at least not yet. He campaigned hard to win the Dems' nomination in 2006 and will probably do so again to retain his seat.
- Conservatives may not want to back what they consider a RINO. But what's the alternative?