Obama’s Massachusetts gamble

President Barack Obama is visiting Massachusetts in an attempt to prevent the unthinkable prospect of the Democratic Party candidate Martha Coakley losing the Senate seat of Edward Kennedy.

Polls show that the little-known republican candidate Scott Brown is running neck-and-neck with, or ahead of, his Democratic opponent, state attorney general Coakley, who looked like a certain winner a few days ago.

An unexpectedly strong performance by the Republican candidate in one of the safest Democratic seats in the Senate would be viewed as a serious setback for Obama, who is staking his personal reputation in visiting Massachusetts.

A victory would not only give the Republicans their 41st seat in the Senate – enough to block the healthcare bill. It would be a sign of things to come in the mid-term elections for the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate in November 2010. President Obama’s legislative program would face strong challenges and the Massachusetts defeat could prove to be a fatal blow against his own re-election hopes in 2012.

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