If Coakley Had Lost The Primary
Josh Marshall imagines:
If Michael Capuano had been the Democratic nominee, there's simply no way we'd have gotten to this point (I used to live in his district). No way. Absolutely, no way. That is not simply to say that Coakley has run a bad campaign. That seems obvious; but I'm always a bit dubious of evaluations of a campaign (obvious as it may seem in the moment) because it's very hard to view as a struggling campaign as a well run one. And I'm not saying Capuano is the second coming. But Coakley is just culturally and temperamentally not suited to the politics of 2009/2010.
The Dish made that point a while back. Reihan is on the same page:
My guess is that Michael Capuano, a smart, apparently pretty unpretentious and likable strongly left-of-center Democrat who represents Cambridge, Somerville, and part of Boston, would have crushed Brown. Though Brown is a strong candidate, he needed room to maneuver. Coakley's failure to campaign aggressively after winning the Democratic primary gave Brown the opening he badly needed. Capuano wouldn't have made the same mistake.