It may be flying under the national radar, but the congressional race in the 10th district is actually of great national significance. As an open seat race with a legitimate Republican candidate in the most conservative district in MA, it has easily become the biggest chance for a Republican pickup in Massachusetts, which makes it have national ramifications for at least 6 years.
If Jeff Perry wins in November, he will be districted out. What is now the 10th will be given parts of Boston, and he will face whoever represents the 9th (hopefully Mac D’Allesandro) in 2012. Massachusetts is almost certainly losing a seat, so this solves the problem of who loses their seat. HOWEVER, if the 10th stays blue, chances are Markey gets districted out to run for Senate. He has been staffing up despite lacking a legitimate opponent, and there are many rumors he has his eye on the seat. He could mount a credible challenge to Scott Brown, and oust him in 2012. Without Markey, a Brown win is more likely.
Not only does Scott Brown losing change the composition of the Senate, it also has effects on the 2016 Presidential race. There has been much talk of a Scott Brown presidential bid. I don’t think he’d be crazy enough to challenge Obama in 2012. Say what you will about Scott Brown, but he is a smart guy, and he won’t run in the already crowded field, risking his Senate seat to take on Palin and Obama. He’ll wait, build his reputation in the Senate, and run in the wide open 2016 race. However, if he loses his 2012 reelection, he will struggle to stay relevant, and not have much of a shot. Without Brown in 2016, the Republican Party will probably nominate someone with less appeal to moderates, and the White House will have a better shot at staying blue.
So, keep an eye on this race. It is a crucial race for Democrats to win.