Today’s special election in Massachusetts to fill the seat left vacant with the death of Ted Kennedy is still considered neck-and-neck. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican, says there’s a lot a stake in this race because a win by Republican Scott Brown would eliminate the Democrats’ 60-seat supermajority.
“I wouldn’t want to say it just deals with the issue of health care, although that seems to be what everybody’s concentrating on, because (Brown) said he’d be the 41st vote,” Grassley says. “It’s quite obvious that there’d have to be some changes made in the health care bill or the health care bill would have to start over.”
Brown is facing Democrat Martha Coakley, that state’s attorney general. Grassley says polls have found people across the country are burned out on the health care debate and say more pressing issues demand attention. “Health care reform has gone way down in the concerns that people will list that congress ought to be working on,” Grassley says. “They want us working on jobs and the economy.”
Grassley says if Brown wins today’s special election in Massachusetts, a state that traditionally votes with the Democratic Party, it could be interpreted as a message to the White House. “I don’t think it’s a referendum on the person of Obama, but it would be a referendum on the policies of President Obama,” Grassley says.
“I believe people personally like President Obama. They want him to succeed but they’ve seen too much thrown at them all in the first 12 months of his term of office.” Last-minute TV ads are now airing in Massachusetts that feature President Obama voicing his support for the Democrat, Coakley.