With Scott Brown leading Martha Coakley in Massachusetts, 2008 obituaries for New England Republicanism sound premature

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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When Chris Shays of Connecticut, the last New England Republican in the House, lost his seat in 2008 pundits said it marked the end of Republicanism in the Northeast.

Yet Republican Scott Brown is leading Democrat Martha Coakley in polls on tomorrow’s special election in Massachusetts. Optimism for Brown’s candidacy stands in stark contrast to those, after the 2008 election, wrote the Republican Party’s New England obituary:

“There is no place in the GOP now for the moderates and they need to find a home. The brand is dead in New England.”
– Thomas Whalen, a political historian at Boston University, told the Associated Press, Nov. 9, 2008

“The demographics of America are changing in a way that is deadly for the Republican Party as it exists today. A GOP ice age is on the way.”
– Republican strategist Mike Murphy, said in Time Magazine, Jun. 22, 2009

“So, it’s a problem for [Republicans] because what they’re realizing is that they’re a southern regional rump party that their leadership is heavily based in the South and the rest of the country is sort of looking at them and wondering what the heck is going on down there?”
– Liberal blogger Markos Moulitas of Daily Kos on NBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, July 31, 2009

“We’ve got too many Jim DeMints and Tom Coburns. It’s the Southerners … The party’s being taken over by Southerners.”
– Republican Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio, referencing Republican senators from South Carolina and Oklahoma, as reported by the Star Ledger in New Jersey, July 30, 2009

“The Rockefeller Republicans? They’re dead. These guys have been so banished. Chris Shays is walking around as a caucus of one.”
– University of Vermont political science professor Garrison Nelson told the Boston Globe before Shays the lone New England Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, lost his seat