The specter of Minnesota's bitterly contested election contest between Al Franken and Norm Coleman now hangs over Tuesday's special election in Massachusetts, with Republicans and conservative pundits warning that anything less than a clear-cut victory for GOP challenger Scott Brown over Democrat Martha Coakley risks a "stolen election."
Brown appears to be surging. Increasingly desperate in the campaign's waning days to save their supermajority in Congress, Democrats are doing everything they possibly can to keep the seat.
Several Obama advisers have told Democratic Party officials in recent days that the administration expects Coakley is likely to lose the election Tuesday, CNN White House correspondent Ed Henry reported.
President Obama's last-minute visit on Coakley's behalf Sunday coincided with a flurry of attack ads against Brown. The ads' accusations are so flagrant that Brown's campaign has announced it plans legal action.
John Fund, the election expert, author, and Wall Street Journal online commentator, told Newsmax that Brown probably has to win by at least 20,000 votes to avoid "the margin of litigation."
Republicans are crowding the blogosphere with fears that a close election could trigger the same type of recount process that saw former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman's lead over then-challenger Al Franken steadily evaporate in Minnesota.
"Actual vote stealing will occur" on Tuesday, Fund told Newsmax. But he expects it will be reduced "because ACORN is discredited and adrift and there are serious anti-fraud efforts being mounted."
Several icons of the left appear to be signaling to Massachusetts voters that voter fraud would be justifiable.
On Friday, MSNBC's Ed Schultz stated on his radio program that he personally would commit voter fraud if he lived in Massachusetts.
"Yeah, that's right," he told his audience, "I'd cheat to keep these bastards out…. 'cause that's exactly what they are."
Schultz even specified how he would distort the election result: By stuffing the ballot box, he said, and voting as many as 10 times.
Similarly, Hardball host Chris Matthews reminisced at length, and almost nostalgically, about the days when "street money" would be distributed by machine bosses in Massachusetts to motivate Democrat-friendly voters to turn out at the polls.
Newsbusters.org Associate Editor Noel Sheppard told Newsmax that those remarks may represent an admission of how the political process actually works.
"I think just part of Democratic politics," Sheppard said. "I don't think that they think there's anything wrong with it. As [author and progressive strategist] Saul Alinsky taught them, the end justifies the means."
"They're very much aware of how to stuff ballot boxes," Sheppard said. "They obviously know how to play the game. They obviously stole the Franken seat several months ago."
"One of the scary things" about the election is that getting the most votes may not be enough to win the race, Sheppard said.
"I think Brown's going to have to win by a good 3 percent of the vote, or else we're getting into a Franken-type situation, and we'll be recounting votes for God knows how long. And obviously that benefits the Democrats," he told Newsmax.
Douglas MacKinnon, a former White House and Pentagon official, wrote for WashingtonExaminer.com on Sunday that any vote canvassing would be fraught with potential fraud.
A Bostonian, MacKinnon remarked: "As has been shown time and again across the nation, Democrats like to lose, misplace, or never count absentee ballots … Especially those from overseas military personnel."
Even if Brown wins by a convincing margin, Democrats may delay Brown's certification until the administration can squeeze a healthcare reform compromise through the Senate before they allow Republicans' 41st vote to assume office.
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