Leaving aside for the moment what this means to the agenda of Obama and the Democrats, I just want to point out just how groundbreaking Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts.
For the first time since 1953, a Kennedy will not be the elected holder of this seat (Benjamin A. Smith II and Paul Kirk have both held this seat during this time, but they were appointed to it). Furthermore, for the first time since 1947, Massachusetts will not have a Kennedy as an elected member of its Congressional delegation (the two gaps where the state was Kennedy-less between 1947 and now, but those instances were those of the aforementioned appointed Senators).
For the first time since 1966, when Edward Brooke (coincidentally the first black senator of the modern era) was elected to what is now John Kerry’s seat, the Republican party has won an open Senate seat in Massachusetts.
For the first time since 1972, when Edward Brooke was reelected, the Republican party has won a Senate election in the state of Massachusetts.
For the first time since 1979, when Brooke lost his reelection bid to Paul Tsongas, Massachusetts will have a Republican Senator.
For the first time since 1997, Massachusetts will have a Republican member of its Congressional Delegation. His election also shatters what was heretofore the largest single-party delegation to the United States Congress.
Scott Brown’s election marks the first time since 2002 that Massachusetts has voted Republican on a statewide level. The last Republican statewide winners? The Romney/Healey ticket.
In a state that Obama won 62% to 36% in 2008, a Republican won a little over a year later 52% to 47%.