Friday, January 15, 2010

Obamacare by Tuesday?

House majority leader Steny Hoyer said Friday that congressional Democrats are "very close" to a health care deal.  In recent weeks, the Democrats have made it clear that they want to pass a health care bill in time for the President to tout the achievement at the State of the Union address in early February.  However, recent polling in Massachusetts suggests that this deadline has been moved Tuesday, January 19th:
Riding a wave of opposition to Democratic health-care reform, GOP upstart Scott Brown is leading in the U.S. Senate race, raising the odds of a historic upset that would reverberate all the way to the White House, a new poll shows.

Although Brown’s 4-point lead over Democrat Martha Coakley is within the Suffolk University/7News survey’s margin of error, the underdog’s position at the top of the results stunned even pollster David Paleologos.

“It’s a Brown-out,” said Paleologos, director of Suffolk’s Political Research Center. “It’s a massive change in the political landscape.”

The poll shows Brown, a state senator from Wrentham, besting Coakley, the state’s attorney general, by 50 percent to 46 percent, the first major survey to show Brown in the lead.
There has been speculation that if Scott Brown wins the U.S. Senate seat occupied for two generations by Teddy Kennedy, the Massachusetts secretary of state would delay his certification until after the health care bill was signed into law.  This would certainly cause a firestorm of protest in Massachusetts and across the country, setting the Democrats up for even more losses at the ballot box in November.

If the President doesn't visit Massachusetts in the next few days, it will signal that the White House does not think Coakley can win.  And if that is the case, you can expect Pelosi and Reid will pull out all the stops to get this healthcare bill on the President's desk by Tuesday.

The next few days should be very interesting.

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