Democrats are making it clear that a Coakley loss in Massachusetts will not derail health care reform -- the House will just "ping pong" the Senate bill. I think this is probably true. White House and Democratic leadership have shown a willingness to expend a tremendous amount of political capital on the bill, and at the end of the day Speaker Pelosi can probably muster the votes for passage.
The "we'll play ping-pong" message coming out of Washington today could demoralize Mass. Republicans, who were fired up by the idea that a win for Brown would kill the whole enterprise. And I assume this is part of the reason that we're hearing about it now -- as an attempt to tamp down at least some portion of Republican enthusiasm.
Just asking: Couldn't it also give Massachusetts Democrats less reason to turn out tomorrow? By all accounts, nobody is excited about Coakley. And if health care reform isn't truly in peril, why not sit this one out?
UPDATE [1/18 8:16pm] ... Why it is probably over for Coakley: Nate Silver says so. And why it might not be over for Coakley: Nate Silver says so.