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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Brown Vs Coakley In Mass: A Tossup Shown From Democratic Poll

The Politico's Scorecard describes the fact that Republican candidate Scott Brown is one point ahead of Democratic candidate Martha Coakley, in a new Democratic poll conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP), as a "miracle" if Scott should win, and , indeed, no one truly thought Brown had a chance, at least not Republican leaders who didn't put the time or money into the campaign as they should have.


Republicans have a very real chance at orchestrating a Massachusetts miracle in this month’s special Senate election to determine Ted Kennedy’s successor, at least according to a new Democratic poll out tonight.

The shocking poll from Public Policy Polling shows Republican state senator Scott Brown leading Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley by one point, 48 to 47 percent, which would mean the race is effectively tied.

Among independents, who make up 51 percent of the electorate in the Bay State, Brown leads Coakley 63 percent to 31 percent.

Just 50 percent of voters view Coakley favorably, while 42 percent viewing her unfavorably.

Brown, who began an advertising blitz this month, sports a strong 57 percent favorability rating, with just 25 percent viewing him unfavorably – very strong numbers for a Republican in the heavily Democratic state.

Look at those numbers for Independents.

From PPP:

Brown has eye popping numbers with independents, sporting a 70/16 favorability rating with them and holding a 63-31 lead in the horse race with Coakley. Health care may be hurting Democratic fortunes with that group, as only 27% of independents express support for Obama's plan with 59% opposed.

Full PPP poll results can be found here. (PDF file)

Brown has a better than average chance to actually take the Senate seat was held for some many decades by Ted Kennedy.


Many reasons could explain why a seat that should have been a "given" to the Democrats has turned into this tight of a race with the Republican candidate having a very real shot at taking the seat.

One, Coakley didn't bother to campaign the last few weeks, until the numbers starting showing how much trouble she was actually in.

Two, Scott has used the unpopularity of Obamacare to reach the voters by promising to be the 41st vote against it in the Senate.

Three, Obama and the Democrats have wasted almost all the political goodwill they had running up to the 2008 presidential election, with unpopular legislation, bribes for votes, ignoring public opinion and jamming through their agenda policies and all around pissing people off from hard core liberals to Independents to conservative Democrats.

All of the above probably is contributing to the sense that this race that shouldn't have been very challenging for the Democrats is not a toss up and it isn't going to help matter that the Boston Herald has just reported that if Brown is elected his swearing in would be delayed long enough for the House and Senate to jam through the Obamacare bill.

But if Brown wins, the entire national health-care reform debate may hinge on when he takes over as senator. Brown has vowed to be the crucial 41st vote in the Senate that would block the bill.

The U.S. Senate ultimately will schedule the swearing-in of Kirk’s successor, but not until the state certifies the election.

Friday, a spokesman for Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, who is overseeing the election but did not respond to a call seeking comment, said certification of the Jan. 19 election by the Governor’s Council would take a while.

“Because it’s a federal election,” spokesman Brian McNiff said. “We’d have to wait 10 days for absentee and military ballots to come in.”

Another source told the Herald that Galvin’s office has said the election won’t be certified until Feb. 20 - well after the president’s address.

Since the U.S. Senate doesn’t meet again in formal session until Jan. 20, Bay State voters will have made their decision before a vote on health-care reform could be held. But Kirk and Galvin’s office said Friday a victorious Brown would be left in limbo.

In contrast, Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Lowell) was sworn in at the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 18, 2007, just two days after winning a special election to replace Martin Meehan. In that case, Tsongas made it to Capitol Hill in time to override a presidential veto of the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Friday, Brown, who has been closing the gap with Coakley in polls and fund raising, blasted the political double standard.

“This is a stunning admission by Paul Kirk and the Beacon Hill political machine,” said Brown in a statement. “Paul Kirk appears to be suggesting that he, Deval Patrick, and (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid intend to stall the election certification until the health care bill is rammed through Congress, even if that means defying the will of the people of Massachusetts. As we’ve already seen from the backroom deals and kickbacks cut by the Democrats in Washington, they intend to do anything and everything to pass their controversial health care plan. But threatening to ignore the results of a free election and steal this Senate vote from the people of Massachusetts takes their schemes to a whole new level. Martha Coakley should immediately disavow this threat from one of her campaign’s leading supporters.” A spokeswoman for Coakley’s campaign declined to comment Friday.

There has to be some very nervous House and Senate blue dogs right about now and by continuing to ignore the will of the people they were voted in to represent, public anger is rebounding on them and whether Brown wins or loses on January 19, 2010, the fact that he is so close should be a serious wake-up call to Democrats.

They screwed up and the public is about to make them pay for it.

The upcoming November elections just got much more interesting.