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By 8 am, turnout was heavy at the little public library in East Cambridge where we vote, a steady stream of bundled-up residents, sloshing through the wet snow. My 4-year-old stuck the "I voted" sticker upside down on her pink coat, and we trundled off to her school. It all felt very cozy, and local, but of course, it wasn't.

The Washington Post reports that today's special election marks "a critical turning point" in the year-long national debate on health care reform. "Regardless of the outcome of the race," write reporters Dan Balz and Chris Cillizza, "the two parties appeared headed toward a monumental clash over the issue in the coming midterm elections."

Indeed, the Post says, "The race to fill the late Edward Kennedy's Senate seat in Massachusetts nears its conclusion with not only its outcome but also the fate of President Obama's agenda in question."

Stay tuned.

This program aired on January 19, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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