January 19th, 2010
02:13 PM ET

Massachusetts vote could affect Obama agenda

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/19/art.scottbrown2.gi.jpg caption="Scott Brown says if he wins the special election to fill the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's U.S. Senate seat, he wants to play basketball with President Obama."]


Voters across Massachusetts braved winter cold and snow Tuesday to decide who will inherit the U.S. Senate seat controlled by the Kennedy family since 1953.

At stake was President Obama's domestic agenda, including the overhaul of health care.

If GOP state Sen. Scott Brown upsets Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley, Republicans would strip Democrats of their 60-seat filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Republicans would have enough votes to block future Senate votes on a broad range of White House priorities.

Election turnout is expected to be "pretty good," said Brian McNiff, a spokesman for the office of Massachusetts Secretary of State Bill Galvin.

Galvin predicted Monday as many 2.2 million of 4.5 million registered voters would vote - at least double the turnout from December's primary.

"I don't think weather is going to impede too many people" from coming out to vote, McNiff said. "I think the interest in this election will trump any bad weather."

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