Obama Stumps for Coakley; Brown Up by 5 Points
Scott Brown surges in furious finish to Mass. Senate race
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2010 1:26 AM CST
Updated Jan 18, 2010 5:23 AM CST
Democratic senate candidate Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley speaks before President Barack Obama in Boston yesterday.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – President Obama stumped hard for Martha Coakley yesterday, making the case that the Massachusetts special election for Ted Kennedy's Senate seat represents a final hurdle for health care reform. "Understand what's at stake here: It's whether we're going forward or going backward," Obama told a crowd of 1,500 at Northeastern University. "As much progress as we've made, I can't do it alone."

Coakley's rival, Scott Brown, said on a bus tour across the state that he would make the Senate Democrats "start over," reports the Los Angeles Times. "As the 41st senator, I will make sure we do it better," he told crowds who responded by chanting "41" —the number of Senate votes Republicans need to filibuster legislation. Brown is up 51% to Coakley's 46% in the latest numbers from Public Policy Polling.