In a sense, Scott Brown has already won. Everyone now knows how amazingly weak the Democratic party is in a race that should have been a cakewalk. Now this could be an early protest vote against a radically unpopular Democratic governor, Obama pal Deval Patrick. His lone achievement, if you can call it that, has been to raise the sales tax. With his approval numbers in the low 30s, Patrick stands little chance of re-election this year. Even a visit by President Obama failed to stir enthusiasm at a Patrick fundraiser in December that was sparsely attended.
Given the anti-Washington, anti-Beacon Hill mood, a flaccid machine candidate like Coakley could lose. However, should Brown lose by a point or two, the damage will have been done anyway. In the original blue state, the message will be unmistakable. Democrats ran the last two cycles against incumbency as change agents. Now, they are the incumbents. Having offered wild spending, more taxes, and 10% unemployment, the Democrats are about to feel the pain of the electorate in a most visceral way. In head-spinning fashion, the former agents of "change" are now in danger of being changed. If the facts could be a rally cry, it might be "Change the change!"