Critical Mass

Democrats and Republicans have ramped up their efforts to secure votes for a seat in the Senate which will be critical to passing, or not passing, Obama’s health care reform bill.

"Democrats and Republicans ramped up election eve get-out-the-vote efforts in their close battle for a Massachusetts Senate seat that could decide the fate of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and the rest of his agenda at the opening of the 2010 midterm campaign season. Obama needs newly embattled Martha Coakley to win Tuesday's special election for the late Edward Kennedy's Senate seat and deny Republicans the ability to block his initiatives with a 41st filibuster-sustaining GOP vote. The president campaigned here Sunday with Coakley, who has seen the double-digit lead she had two weeks ago evaporate under a strong challenge by Republican state Sen. Scott Brown. Voter turnout is normally low in special elections, but even in staunchly Democratic Massachusetts, apprehension about Obama's health care overhaul is fueling a huge wave of populist support for Brown. Polls show that independents, who make up 51 percent of the state's electorate, have responded enthusiastically to Brown. His campaign is targeting them as well Republicans, who are outnumbered by Democrats 3-to-1 in the Bay State."

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