Friday, January 15, 2010

Massachusetts Senate race: Martha Coakley is toast

Martha Coakley: fading...fading...faded...

I'm calling this one right now. With four days to go to the special election to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, Democrat Martha Coakley is already toast, and GOPer Scott Brown is headed for an bombshell upset victory.

Here's why:

-- The latest public poll shows Brown with a a four-point lead over Coakley, 50% to 46%.

-- The only polling outfit that surveyed the race twice showed Brown surging from nine points behind 10 days ago to within two points of Coakley three days ago.

-- Reports are circulating that Coakley's own internal campaign polls show Brown nipping at her heals, which has set off a panicky feeling of looming disaster.

-- Coakley and company are sure looking and acting panicky, flooding the airwaves with negative attack ads designed to knock down the high favorable rating all the polls show Brown has with voters. Going negative a few days before an election rarely works and can alienate the very voters you want to persuade. It's a desperate Hail Mary.

-- On Thursday, taking all this into account, the respected non-partisan political analyst, Stuart Rothenberg, changed his rating of the race from "Narrow Advantage" for Coakley to a "Toss-Up."

In short, Coakley is in lousy shape and getting desperate. Brown is in great shape and has all the momentum on his side as he rolls into the final weekend. While the idea that a Republican might win Ted Kennedy's seat in "blue" Massachusetts seemed a bit crazy two weeks ago, it's now Brown's race to lose.

Why? Three simple reasons:

-- People are pissed. I mean, mighty pissed -- at the seemingly endless recession and unemployment, the whacky zillion-dollar bailouts, the stimulus that failed to stimulate anything, and that Frankenstein monster of a health care "reform" bill that plods on with a life of its own threatening to slash Medicare and raise taxes and premiums on everyone who already has health insurance (which includes, not incidentally, nearly everyone in Massachusetts) while not reducing health costs or the federal deficit.

-- Coakley is a perfectly lousy candidate. Apparently, she was deluded into thinking that she was a shoo-in by virtue of being a "popular" state attorney general who won a multi-candidate Democratic primary for Senate in a low-turnout special election. After her primary win, smugly confident of annointment on January 19 as the Democratic Party's choice for "Ted Kennedy"s seat," she went into hibernation while Brown was out on the hustings cleaning up. Since waking up the week before last, she has demonstrated a party hack's affinity for fat cat lobbyists, an unattractive thuggishness, and an amazingly impolitic capacity to say things that show distain for the little people whose votes she seeks.

-- Scott Brown is a smart, attractive guy, a pragmatic, hard-working state legislator, and a moderate, anti-tax and spending conservative who doesn't scare anyone with right-wing baloney.

The people of Massachusetts -- moderate Democrats and independents as well as Republicans -- are about to send Washington the message that they don't like untrammeled one-party power. They don't want a Coakley who will go to Washington and do what she's told (it would be a different matter if the Democrats had a candidate with both brains and backbone like this guy). They want Scott Brown to go down here and act as a check on runaway ideological government. I'm with them.

What's your opinion? Post a comment.

UPDATES -- Another new poll, sponsored by Pajamas Media, has Brown ahead by an astounding 15 points. Even if you figure that conservative PJ is not an independent or impartial poll commissioner, it's really hard not to see the Brown-surging trend in this survey too.

Like Stuart Rothenberg, Charlie Cook, another independent analyst, looks at the signs of Brown's momentum in the Massachusetts race and moves it to a "toss up."

Byron York reports in the conservative Washington Examiner that a well-connected Democrat has told him that internal Coakley polls show her trailing by five points.

Steve Kornacki has heard inside dope too -- that Coakley's internal tracking poll Thursday night showed her trailing Brown by three, 47-44.

LOTS MORE smart blogging about the Brown-Coakley race at Legal Insurrection.

UPDATE - 1/16 - Brown moves ahead on Intrade.

RELATED -- Blogger Sissy Willis zeroes in on a key part of Brown's support -- Democrats.


  1. Brown is a right wing teabagger. Not a chance he can win in Mass.

  2. I agree with you, John Burke. And as further evidence of her toast-ness, lots of sensible, well-written and surprising endorsements from Massachusetts newspapers all over the state. Globe excepted, of course.

    Anon, there is no such thing as a 'teabagger' except as a figment of Janeane Garofola's imagination. I've shot a lot of photos at Tea Parties and I would hardly call attendees right-wing. More libertarian, if you are looking for a political label. Many had never been involved in politics and were kind of embarrassed about demonstrating, but angry enough to do it. Most were mad at what they believe to be bad policy and irresponsible spending. And of course it is their right to tell their govt that.

    Tea parties started in response to TARP, bailout and stimulus. People don't want to steal from the next generation to dump money all over the place and give Washington more power. Turns out the stimulus didn't work after all - and all we've done is dig our deficit hole deeper.