Scott Brown scored an enormous Republican upset today, winning the Massachusetts US Senate seat long held by the late Ted Kennedy by a 52%-47% margin over Democrat Martha Coakley. The loss sunders the Democrats’ filibuster-proof, 60-vote supermajority in the Senate, and throws into doubt the future of health-care reform—along with much of President Obama’s yet-unfinished business.
“I bet they can hear this cheering all the way in Washington,” Brown, a 50-year-old state senator, said in his victory speech. “I hope they’re paying close attention because tonight the independent voice of Massachusetts has spoken.” President Obama called both Brown and Coakley, congratulating the former on “his victory and a well-run campaign,” the White House said in a statement. Coakley, criticized for a lackluster campaign, said she was “heartbroken,” and that “everyone—including me—will be brutally honest” in the postmortems.