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Massachusetts race a bellwether?

Next week's special election to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy looks closer than anybody expected and concerns more than Massachusetts, with Democrat Martha Coakley promising to be the 60th vote for health care reform and Republican Scott Brown (in photo) supporting a GOP filibuster. Despite polls suggesting Attorney General Coakley could finish strong, the race has been a warning for vulnerable Democrats facing re-election in November. As Time magazine observed, "this is Massachusetts, after all, where both senators, the governor, all 10 congressional members and a large majority of the state legislature are Democrats. It doesn't get much bluer than the Pilgrim State. In other words, whatever happens, the big takeaway from the race will be: If Teddy's seat isn't safe, no one's is."

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