As the Massachusetts Senate race heads toward its final hours, candidate Martha Coakley has proved so far to be a state of the art gaffe machine. This is indisputable. Her campaign has been overwhelmed by repeated embarrassments.
Many will be inclined to blame Martha Coakley exclusively should she lose the Senate race in the Bay State. Some will rush to call the election an "aberration" caused by an inferior candidate.
Unfortunately for Democrats, blame for this Senate race does not rest entirely with Coakley. Responsibility also rests with her party.
The Democrats have developed a tin ear for politics, this coming only a year after Barack Obama ran one of the more brilliant campaigns in history. More than ever, Democrats are determined to pass a health care reform bill notwithstanding public sentiment.
According to the recent Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll, only 12% of those surveyed want President Obama to focus his attention on health care. Close to half of those questioned want him to concentrate on the economy. When it comes to Massachusetts, a Rasmussen poll revealed limited faith in the ability of tax and spend increases to improve the economy. And bear in mind that Democrat's plans for health care reform will increase both spending and taxes.
The Democrats appear to be ignoring the polls. Of late, they are focusing almost exclusively on health care at the expense of supporting sound economic policy. Even now, people are debating the effect this election will have on health care reform. No one is discussing the effect the Massachusetts election will have on economic policy.
It won’t help Democrats to argue that this election is about local and not national issues. If Coakley loses on Tuesday, it means that the power of President Obama’s personality and agenda may not extend beyond the gates of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Voters in Massachusetts may like President Obama, but maybe not enough to put his candidate in the Senate, and not enough to save his domestic priority.
The Democrats now need more than a win. They need a decisive Coakley victory to prove that the value of their president and agenda.
Christopher Coffey is a Fox News employee and veteran of several political campaigns.