If Republican State Sen. Scott Brown wins Ted Kennedy’s seat in the Massachusetts special election January 19—and he’s gaining in the polls—Democrats have indicated they would delay his swearing-in so he could not block the health-care bill from passing. If elected, Brown has vowed to be the crucial 41st vote in the Senate to block the bill. Interim Sen. Paul Kirk said Saturday that the legislation would pass before President Obama’s State of the Union address in early February, and that he would “absolutely” vote for the bill no matter the outcome of the special election. If Brown does win, the health-care debate could hinge on when he takes office. State officials said that certification of the special election would take some time—at least 10 days for military and absentee ballots to come in. And a source told the Boston Herald that the results won’t be certified till February 20, long after the president’s speech. But just over two years ago, Rep. Niki Tsongas was sworn in two days after winning a special election. Tsongas was needed to help override a presidential veto of the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.