President Obama and other Democratic leaders may find it more difficult to successfully pass several key pieces of legislation following the crucial loss in the Massachusetts special election Jan. 19. Republican Scott Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley by a margin of 52-47 percent to win Ted Kennedy’s vacant Senate seat in an upset that was almost unimaginable only a few weeks ago.
Brown’s victory has significant ramifications for the current administration’s agenda as he now represents the GOP’s 41st vote in the Senate, breaking the Democrats filibuster-proof majority in Washington.
Many experts believe that Obama’s healthcare reform bill and cap-and-trade environmental plan are both hanging in the balance after the upset.
"I have no interest in sugar coating what happened in Massachusetts," said Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, quoted by Fox News. "There is a lot of anxiety in the country right now."
The GOP victory in Massachusetts, a historically liberal state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 3 to 1, could signal an abrupt shift in Congressional power come the elections this November.
"When there’s trouble in Massachusetts, there’s trouble everywhere, and they know it," Brown said following the win.