For the first time in the tumultuous race for Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, Republican Scott Brown has pulled ahead in a major poll, beating Martha Coakley 50% to 46%. While Brown's lead in the Suffolk’s Political Research Center poll is still within the margin of error, it's a stunning upset for the Democrat, who was considered a shoo-in for the special election Tuesday, and a nightmare for the White House.
“It’s a massive change in the political landscape,” says Suffolk’s director, adding that modeling shows high numbers of independent voters turning out on Jan. 19, favoring Brown. If Brown wins, he will be poised to block the health-care reform bill the White House and congressional Dems are racing to push through, the measure the late Sen. Kennedy called "the cause of my life." In the poll, 51% of Massaschusetts voters said they oppose the “national near-universal health-care package” and 61% said it was to expensive.