A Race They Could Have Won

Political pundits are still analyzing the stinging defeat of Martha Coakley in the Massachusetts senatorial race. The big question waiting to be answered is what happens to the health care bill? Pat Hernandez has more.

Republican Scott Brown captured the senate seat the late Ted Kennedy held for nearly half a century.

"Democratic Party, I don't think, put alot of energy into it until it was too late with the President and Bill Clinton arriving at the very last minute. It wasn't enough, obviously."

Dr David Brace is professor of political science at Rice University. He says it was a race the Democrats could have won if they's put a little effort into it.

"Given the thinness of their margin in the senate, you don't really want to fail to cover all your bets and cover them well. So, it was a miscalculation by both the candidate and the party, I think."

Democrats were caught flat-footed and Brown ran a good campaign.

Politcal Science professor Dr Richard Murray of the University of Houston says it'll be interesting to see how President Obama responds to his wake-up call.

"Presidencies all encounter rough spots. President Obama had a fairly tranquil first year, but he's in very troubled waters now, and questions within his own party and Republicans are strirred up and Independants have moved to be more critical of the President, so the next weeks and months are gonna be a test of his mettle and his administration's staying power."

Dr Murray says Democrats have to figure out some strategy to salvage at least parts of the health care bill.

"That's a tall order in the short run and  down the road they've got to try to reverse some of the momentum in the country, to hold the damage down in the mid term elections coming up again in about nine months."

Gerry Birnberg chairs the Harris County Democratic Party. He thinks President Obama can still craft a simple health care bill.

"Which says no pre-existing conditions exclusion, no anti-trust exception, no dropping people who get sick and no lifetime or annual limits. And I think that would please the American public and really take care of bringing about a fundamental change in health care in this country."

Pundits think President Obama should use next Wednesday's State of the Union Address to unite the country and bridge the partisdan divide.

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...