(Newt Gingrich) – With one week to go, who will win the special election in Massachusetts to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D) is still anybody’s guess. But before a single vote is counted, we can be sure of this: The Massachusetts race is already telling us a lot about how unhappy Americans are with the liberal, big government agenda in Washington.
On Monday, Scott Brown raised an extraordinary $1.3 million from over 16,000 donations averaging less than $80.
And a poll released earlier this week by the left-leaning polling firm Public Policy Polling shows the race between little known Republican State Senator Scott Brown and Kennedy’s anointed successor, Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley, in a dead heat.
Another poll by the Boston Globe released this week has Coakley up by 15 points.
There are reasons to trust the first poll more than the second, but the bottom line is that we don’t know what will happen in Massachusetts.
We don’t know if Scott Brown can win.
But there are some things we do know about what’s going on in Massachusetts — and they are all bad signs for President Obama and his party.
Even if Brown Doesn’t Win, the Election is a Negative Referendum on Democratic Rule in Washington
First and foremost, we know that a combination of persistent unemployment, taxes, liberal health care reform and national security fears have made this race to fill the seat of the late liberal lion of the Senate, Ted Kennedy — in a state in which Democrats outnumber Republicans by three to one — closer than anyone would have dreamed three years ago.
The very fact that this race is even close is a sign of how unhappy Americans are with Democratic rule in Washington.
Brown has run hard on the kitchen table issues that Americans care about.
He’s highlighted the ever increasing salaries being paid to growing numbers of government employees with the tax dollars of recession-battered Bay Staters.
He’s reminded Massachusetts voters of Coakley’s penchant for taking more of their money, repeating her assertion from just a few months ago that “We need to get taxes up.”
Brown has also pushed back on Coakley’s commitment that terrorists, like the would-be Christmas Day bomber, receive all the rights and privileges of criminal defendants rather than be treated as enemy combatants.
Opposition to Democratic Health Reform is Motivating Voters
But the issue that seems to be working more in Mr. Brown’s favor than any other is Democratic health care reform.
The Public Policy Polling data that shows the race in a dead heat also shows that opposition to liberal health care reform is motivating the electorate. The survey found that Massachusetts voters who are planning to vote in the Jan. 19 special election are opposed to the Obama health care plan by 47-41.
And the Washington Examiner’s Byron York reports that even in the Boston Globe poll in which Coakley is up by 15, voters cite health care as the main concern and only 43 percent of Massachusetts voters, who have had real experience with a state health plan that closely resembles the Obama plan, support Democratic health reform.
Among independents, only 33 percent favor reform with 43 percent opposed and 23 percent undecided.
And again, the intensity among voters lies with opponents of health reform. Sixty five percent of Republicans say they “strongly oppose” reform, while only 28 percent of Democrats say they “strongly support” Democratic health care reform.
A Plan to Stall Brown’s Swearing-In Until Health Reform is Passed?
There’s one more thing that the Massachusetts special election is telling us about the party in control of Washington today: That their will to power is stronger than their respect for the will of the people.
If he were to win, Scott Brown would be the deciding vote in the Senate to block Democratic health care reform.
But to be the 41st vote, Brown would have to first be sworn in as Senator. And to be seated as a Senator, he would first need to have his victory certified by the state of Massachusetts.
But the media is reporting that some Massachusetts officials are prepared to delay certification of Brown’s potential victory until after the vote is held in the Senate.
In other words, supporters of Democratic health care are willing to do anything — even defy the democratically expressed will of the people — to ram through liberal health care reform.
If you aren’t yet convinced of how strongly Americans are rejecting the liberal Democratic agenda, keep your eyes on the Massachusetts Senate race. Whoever eventually wins, it’s already told us a lot.
Tell Washington You’ve Had Enough at www.healthtransformation.net
And while we’re on the issue of health care reform, there’s an opportunity for you to tell the liberal leadership in Washington that you’ve had enough of the hypocrisy and false promises of “openness” when it comes to health care reform.
President Obama promised us an open and democratic process. What we’ve gotten has been precisely the opposite — a process full of backroom deals, secret negotiations and anti-democratic maneuvering.
Tell Washington you’ve had enough. Join the Center for Health Transformation letter writing campaign to open the House-Senate negotiations over health care reform to the American people through C-SPAN coverage.
Just go to www.healthtransformation.net and add your name to the nearly 10,000Americans who are calling on President Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership to permit C-SPAN coverage of the health care negotiations.
There’s too much at stake for you and your family not to get involved. Join us in holding Washington accountable for their past promises and their future results.
(Mr. Gingrich is a former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives)