Why A Scott Brown 2013 Senate Comeback Bid Would Probably Fail

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 16 2012 12:53 PM

Why A Scott Brown 2013 Senate Comeback Bid Would Probably Fail

David Catanese finally resets the conventional wisdom about John Kerry's soon-to-be-vacant U.S. Senate seat. Hey, maybe a state that has only elected one Republican to the Senate in 40 years will decide against putting Scott Brown in again! Certainly, the story that Brown's friends are telling themselves is awfully simplistic.

Brown’s team also believes their candidate was hurt significantly by Warren’s charge that his reelection would hand the GOP control of the U.S. Senate. That argument would be moot in a special election.
“It wouldn’t be a case they could make this time,” offered a Brown ally.

This assumes that voter opinions are pretty static. Consider the circumstances that helped Brown in January 2010. Democrats slowly, slowly pushing through a health care overhaul that was unpopular basically everywhere. Republicans didn't run anything in Washington, so a vote for Brown was a vote to slow down what Democrats were up to. It made sense.

Now think on the circumstances of spring and summer 2013. Republicans run the House of Representatives, and their work in that body is so unpopular in Massachusetts that a scandal-plagued Democrat, Rep. John Tierney, managed to beat a Republican candidate endorsed by the Boston Globe. Republicans are currently battling Barack Obama over a fiscal package, with the GOP defending a position -- keeping all the Bush tax rates, cutting entitlements -- that's unpopular everywhere. If a deal isn't done this month, Republicans will be debating this into the new year. If a debt limit isn't included in the deal, there'll be another messy fight over that in February or March. And then in April, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan will introduce another budget. Unless he gets conked on the head or hypnotised, he's probably going to propose another package of spending and entitlement cuts.

The special election voter will have constant reminders of why he votes against most Republicans at the federal level. Maybe Brown could run as the bipartisan fixer who, golly, doesn't agree with anything John Boehner does. But whatever he'd try, it'd be in a less ideal atmosphere for a Republican than the January 2010 Democrat fail-o-rama.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?


Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.