One man? Ben Nelson.
In a memo, the Coakley campaign says:
Coakley's lead dropped significantly after the Senate passed health care reform shortly before Christmas and after the Christmas Eve "bombing" incident. Polling showed significant concerns with the actions of Senator Nelson to hold out for a better deal. Senator Nelson's actions specifically hurt Coakley who was forced to backtrack on her opposition to the abortion restriction amendment.There are a few things to note here:
1) "...concerns with the actions of Nelson to hold out for a better deal", would seem to point to the Cornhusker Kickback. Though, the second part of Coakley's finger-point makes that less clear.
2) Nelson's holdout to change the abortion language screwed up Coakley's strategy -- which just shows that neither the Pro-Life nor Pro-Choice sides seem to like the bill.
Coakley had been saying all along that she would never -- NEVER -- vote for a House version of the Health Care bill that had Stupak-like abortion language.
But then when Nelson lobbied for and got Stupak-Lite -- which Pro-Lifers aren't happy with, of course -- Coakley then had to say that she could go along with it.
This turned into flip-flop allegations against her, when people claimed that it was enough like Stupak that she should oppose it.
Of course, even today, Sen. Barbara Boxer said that Nelson's abortion language was
"only an ‘accounting procedure’ that will do nothing to restrict [abortion] coverage..."So, Nelson is getting hit from all sides on the national scene. Ah. life on the fence.