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Obama's support takes a tumble

By unknown | Jan 21, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's tough job just got a lot tougher.

Massachusetts voters fired off a modern-day "shot heard round the world" on Tuesday by doing what Democrats considered heresy - electing a Republican to the Senate seat left open by the death last August of liberal lion Edward Kennedy.

The shock outcome in the special election spelled trouble for Democrats - making it a sour first anniversary yesterday of the day Obama took power with high hopes and dreams.

Suddenly, the ambitious domestic agenda Obama sketched out that day is in jeopardy - starting with a US healthcare overhaul championed by Kennedy and extending to Democratic plans on energy and immigration.

It rang alarm bells for Democrats facing re-election in congressional elections come November and under pressure to create jobs in the weak US economy as Republicans plot a comeback from losses in 2006 and 2008.

"This is further affirmation that the Democrats are in deep trouble in the November 2010 elections," said Andy Smith, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire. Linda Fowler, a professor of government at Dartmouth College, said the vote reflected economic angst and populist anger at bank bail-outs.

There were long faces at the White House at the victory by Republican state senator Scott Brown, who has vowed to give Senate Republicans the vote they need to help block Obama's top legislative priority, healthcare. - Reuters


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