Watching the returns the other night from Massachusetts reminded The Hound of the famous Adlai Stevenson quote after the 1952 election: "A funny thing happened to me on the way to the White House..." A funny thing happened on the way to health-care reform: Massachusetts voters.
Surprisingly, Democrats aren't in shock after what happened in the Bay State with Republican Scott Brown now a senator-elect for a seat held by the Kennedy clan for decades. In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 3-1 margin, couldn't the party have scrapped up some voters for Democrat Martha Coakley? This wasn't just a defeat of a Democrat, this was a humiliation for the president. Heck, Coakley didn't even carry the Kennedy stomping grounds of Hyannisport. It was a Mass-acre.
While national Democrats paint the election as lost by Coakley's poor campaign style, exit polls tell the true tale of the tape: Fifty-two percent of Massachusetts voters surveyed as polls closed told pollsters they opposed health-care reform. This in a state that was the lone bastion of support for George McGovern during the Nixon landslide of 1972.
Despite this defeat, or because of it, congressional Democrats appear to be full-speed ahead to pass health-care reform with or without Sen.-elect Brown's 41st filabuster-making vote. If The Hound were a Democratic strategist, that's the worse thing they could do, putting entire states in jeopardy come November.
That includes Illinois. So get ready Land of Lincoln for the Beantown bounce in the second-bluest state in the nation. It's coming.