Dems fret: ‘Every state is in play’

By Manu Raju & Lisa Lerer

The Republican victory in Massachusetts has sent a wave of fear through the halls of the Senate, with moderate and liberal Democrats second-guessing their party’s agenda — and worrying that they’ll be the next victims of voters’ anger.

“If there’s anybody in this building that doesn’t tell you they’re more worried about elections today, you absolutely should slap them,” said Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.).

Republican Scott Brown rode a wave of voter discontent to defeat Democrat Martha Coakley in the race for Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat. Republicans moved quickly to capitalize Wednesday, with National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas) telling POLITICO that he’s approaching possible candidates who passed up his initial entreaties to join the 2010 field.

“People, I think, are going to sense opportunities that they didn’t sense” Tuesday, Cornyn said.

Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) called the Massachusetts race a “wake-up call” for his party and said his colleagues were in a “reflective” mood at a private lunch Wednesday.

Several Democratic incumbents said later that none of the 19 Democratic seats up this year are safe — and that fundamental parts of the agenda need to be re-examined to win over voters back home.

“Every state is now in play,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who faces the toughest reelection battle of her career — most likely against wealthy Republican Carly Fiorina.

Boxer is pushing a cap-and-trade bill to control greenhouse gases, but her counterpart from California, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, said a “large cap-and-trade bill isn’t going to go ahead at this time.”

“In my view, when people are earning, when their home is secure, when their children are going to school and they’re relatively satisfied with their life, then [when] there’s a problem like health care, they want it solved,” Feinstein said. “It doesn’t threaten them. The size of this bill threatens them, and that’s one of the problems that has to be straightened out.”

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