The final results

Republican Scott Brown ends the night up by an impressive margin over Martha Coakley

By Alex Koppelman
Published January 20, 2010 5:20AM (EST)

Election night is over in Massachusetts; 100 percent of the precincts involved in the special election to replace Sen. Ted Kennedy have now reported in. The results could still change a bit due to absentee and provisional ballots, not to mention the usual election vagaries, but as it stands right now, Republican Scott Brown's victory looks pretty decisive: He got 52 percent of the vote to Democrat Martha Coakley's 47 percent.

Granted, that's a bit off from where some recent polls had Brown -- a few had his margin in or close to double digits, though they did get his share of the vote just about right; late deciders apparently broke for Coakley -- but that doesn't really matter. Any Republican victory in Massachusetts, not to mention one that involves a seat that was held by the Kennedy family (and one placeholder in between John F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy) for more than 55 years, is a very big deal, regardless of pre-election polling.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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2010 Elections Martha Coakley Scott Brown War Room