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Midterm buzz: Can Brown win?


From NBC's Ali Weinberg
Despite the focus on the Democratic candidate in the special election for late "liberal lion" Sen. Ted Kennedy's (D-MA) seat, conservative bloggers are stressing not to discount the Republican candidate, state Sen. Scott Brown (who, by the way, received the endorsement of former Red Sox pitcher and rumored Senate candidate Curt Schilling this afternoon, Politico reports). 
Conservative blogger Erick Erickson says "the odds are against Brown, but only slightly." He makes the point that Brown may not win, but that enough liberal voters are unhappy with President Obama's first-year record, including his lack of commitment to a public health insurance option, that they might use a vote for Brown as a "public rebuke to the President. (So if Democrat Martha Coakley wins, does that mean it will be a win for Obama?)

National Review Online's Jim Geraghty also picks up on the conservative sentiment that Brown's chances in Massachusetts are not as long-shot as some would believe. "A bunch of ingredients are coming together for Scott Brown. Republicans are angry and fired up, a surprising number of Democrats alternate between unenthusiastic or animosity towards the nominee, and if the independents in Massachusetts are like the ones in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, they'll shift heavily to Republicans compared to 2008." But, Geraghty warns, "The bad news is that Brown needs almost a perfect storm -- unbelievably fired-up Republicans, immensely depressed Democrats, and a heavy skew among independents -- to make up the traditional 30 percentage point deficit and win this race. 
Conservative blog GOP12 links to an email sent out by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty's political action committee, Freedom First, listing "four beneficiaries of the committee's largesse:" Minnesota Republican Representatives Erik Paulson, Michele Bachmann, and John Kline, and Ohio Senate candidate Rob Portman. The blog picks up on Minnesota Public Radio's Tom Scheck's observation that the PAC declined to mention its donation to failed Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman, who was defeated in the NY-23 special election by Democrat Bill Owens, after Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava dropped out of the race. 
Writing at the Washington Independent, Liberal blogger David Weigel calls Rep. Peter King (R-NY)'s statement that he may not run for Senate because he would have to give up his House seat and wouldn't be able to do anything for Homeland Security the "Unconvincing Quote of the Day." Writes Weigel: "Color me unconvinced that King would retire from the House in order to make the race -- that's an extremely rare move for federal candidates, who can transfer their campaign funds easily. And I'm a bit confused about how campaigning would prevent King from "doing anything for homeland security," when a lot of his role right now is to do media interviews bashing weaknesses in the Department of Homeland Security -- not the kind of thing he'd give up during a campaign."