For all the analysis of all the issues that contributed to a Republican winning the Kennedy Senate seat yesterday, I believe the Democratic candidate could have won had she advanced a credible program that would put jobless Bay Staters back to work without spending a fortune of taxpayer money.

A reduction in both legal and illegal immigration fits the bill precisely. The immigration solutions would cost very little. And they would immediately increase the number of Americans with jobs.

Democrats are fortunate that congressional Republican leadership has refused to fight for the American worker by reducing the number of foreign workers competing for the remaining U.S. jobs.

Moderate Democrats across the country are scratching their heads on how they can distance themselves from the Reid-Pelosi open-borders reputation of congressional Democratic leadership — and how they can persuade voters they can do the most to put 23 million U-6 unemployed Americans back to work.

The answer is Jobs & Immigration. And here is what they can do to show they are serious immediately:

* Co-sponsor Heath Shuler’s (D-N.C.) SAVE Act in the House and Sen. Pryor’s (D-Ark.) SAVE Act in the Senate. It would immediately start opening up jobs held by illegals so they can be filled by Americans seeking construction, service, manufacturing and transportation jobs.

* Co-sponsor Rep. Gingrey’s (R-Ga.) bill in the House to end chain migration categories that needlessly bring in thousands of foreign workers every month to permanently compete with U.S. workers. In the Senate, somebody needs to introduce a similar bill.

* Co-sponsor Rep. Goodlatte’s (R-Va.) bill in the House to shut down the visa lottery (or introduce a similar bill in the Senate).

Democrats can boldly advocate for these measures to improve the job possibilities for U.S. citizens and immigrants already legally here, and they don’t have to appear antagonistic to any ethnic group or even to illegal aliens. But by showing they are willing to be so practical in putting Americans to work, they can recover credibility with a lot of independents.

I make these recommendations to Democrats in part based on a common theme among Democratic analysts that Coakley did not give people a jobs reason to vote for her.

It remains a stretch to think the the Democratic Party as a whole would switch to a pro-American-worker position on immigration and jobs. But we’ll see whether dozens of Democratic Members of Congress individually take the opportunity.

In the meantime, do-nothing Republican congressional leaders might want to reconsider their decisions to support the status quo of 125,000 permanent and temporary visas to new foreign workers every month — plus their refusal to demand mandatory E-Verify to open up jobs for unemployed Americans.