The Mass. Senate race gets curiouser and curiouser

The special election in Massachusetts next Tuesday to replace Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Senate has become more narrow than anyone could have imagined just a few weeks ago. Martha Coakley, the state’s attorney general and Democratic candidate, was leading opinion polls by 31 percentage points as recently as mid-November. She won office as AG in 2006 with 73 percent of the vote statewide.

Now, Republican Scott Brown leads in three of the five polls taken in the past week. If he wins, he could be the 41st Senate vote against ObamaCare, effectively killing the current iteration of that deeply unpopular bill.

The rise of Brown, a state senator and National Guardsman, has been incredible. (Consider that he’s the No. 1 “Scott” on the Web according to Google’s suggested search terms.) According to this report, Brown raised $1 million a day each day from Monday to Thursday.

Coakley, meanwhile, has made one gaffe after another, and her main late-campaign fund raiser was hosted by health-industry lobbyists in Washington, D.C.

Now come reports that President Obama will go to Massachusetts on Sunday to campaign for Coakley. That didn’t work in Virginia or New Jersey last fall, and it appears that not everyone in the Democratic Party thinks it’s such a good idea now:

According to strategists familiar with internal polls conducted for Coakley’s campaign, the consequences of Obama’s visit could produce a net-negative effect on Coakley’s campaign.

Obama has a net favorable rating in MA [Massachusetts], according to public and private polls. A Suffolk Univ. poll out today shows 55% of MA voters viewing him favorably, while just 35% see him unfavorably. But the intensity of voters who view him unfavorably, or who disapprove of his job performance, is so high that an appearance with Coakley could bring out more GOPers ready to vote for Brown than it could Dems set on their nominee.

“Obama is radioactive in polls,” said one senior Dem operative who has seen the campaign’s internal numbers. “Every time they dropped his name in a poll, it was awful. So you just can’t take those kinds of chances.”

Obama as “radioactive in polls”: Who thought we’d hear that sentiment a year ago?

31 comments Add your comment

Jefferson

January 15th, 2010
4:54 pm

Kyle, Have you ever stuck a stick in a spoke? I know they have hills in Dalton, but you’ve seen a bike wheel? Stuck a stick in it too, I bet.

Dave R.

January 15th, 2010
5:15 pm

The interesting thing in the Suffolk poll which now shows Brown up by 4 points is that their mix of likely voters is the same mix as voting patterns / registrations in Mass., which makes it likely to be a very accurate pool.

Churchill's MOM

January 15th, 2010
5:16 pm

This is a cut & paste from the Kiplinger letter, their news letter can’t be linked.. If they are correct and they are generally very reliable, life for my childeren will be worse than it has been for me.

Eliminating the federal deficit by the end of this decade is a pipe dream.
Even paring it to 3% of GDP by 2015, as Obama proposes, will be tough,
though potentially achievable. Holding it at that level, economists say, is critical:
It would stabilize the federal debt level and relieve pressure on interest rates.
The political obstacles are huge. Elected officials in both parties agree:
Belt-tightening is needed. But it’s usually someone else’s waist they want cinched.
The simple fact is, politicians respond to the concerns of their constituents.
Though voters are increasingly troubled by swollen deficits in the abstract,
they’re not enthusiastic about cutting programs that directly benefit them.
And proposals for tax hikes…or the loss of current tax breaks…are embraced
or rejected by members of Congress depending on whose ox will be gored.
A proposed bipartisan commission with real authority is a long shot,
for similar reasons. Intended to operate in much the same way that Washington
deals with politically sensitive military base closures, the commission’s proposals
could be approved or disapproved only in their entirety by the House and Senate.
Still, the pressure to do something is mounting. And those in power now,
at the White House and in Congress, risk big losses come Nov. if they ignore it.
Look for Obama to indicate his determination on the budget this winter,
urging fiscal austerity in his State of the Union speech and calling on his party,
in particular, to put a lid on spending. As for the president’s fiscal 2011 budget…
The White House is likely to propose a freeze on discretionary spending,
or something close to one, along with some modest actual reductions in outlays.
Likely Defense Dept. budget cutting targets: Shipbuilding for the Navy
and Coast Guard. Some advanced weapons research projects. Defense labs.
Also on the chopping block: Foreign aid programs for eastern Europe
and sub-Saharan Africa. Space science research and NASA’s moon/Mars initiative.
Interior Dept. programs, including forest management and national parks.
Don’t expect Congress to do any more. Odds are it will offer up less…
probably something in the neighborhood of a 2% hike in discretionary spending.
Bottom line: Don’t count on a cure just from spending cuts or tax hikes.
Real deficit trimming is likely to come only with robust economic growth,
as Uncle Sam’s coffers start to fill with tax revenues from thriving businesses.
Unfortunately, that’s not likely to begin for another year or two.

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 15th, 2010
5:30 pm

From talking to my friends, who run the gamut across the political spectrum, the one thing I learn is that everybody is fed up. None of them, liberal, conservative, middle of the road, or whatever, think the government is anything but a complete mess.

Joan

January 15th, 2010
6:03 pm

None of the above matters. What they are hoping Obama will do is get out the same black voters that voted for him. They will vote they way their Messiah tells them to vote. Most of them have no skin in the game anyway. How many pay taxes? If Brown gets close to winning you are going to see some hi-jinks that will make the Minnesota race look tame.

Dave R.

January 15th, 2010
6:11 pm

Joan, first, there’s not a lot of blacks in Mass., so I don’t think that will play too big.

Next, he was called into NJ and VA earlier this year, and the Republicans both won there as well. I’m not at all sure that he’s the same draw helping a candidate as he is being the candidate.

Jess

January 15th, 2010
6:11 pm

If Franken can win in Minn. with votes from unregistered voters, imagine what can happen in a democratic stronghold like Mass. Dems. run the poles, the courts, just about everything in the state. Brown winning in this environment is a long shot.

Michael H. Smith

January 15th, 2010
11:27 pm

Cheers to long shots and Independents voters in Massachusetts. Give the Democrats a Boston Tea Party!

john a.

January 16th, 2010
4:58 am

the revolution started in Massachusetts…………its time for the real Americans in Massachusetts to show the rest of the country we want our country back!…..Americans are NOT socialists !!!!!!!!!!

Robert Littel

January 16th, 2010
9:31 am

It looks like the mass of Independent voters (aka – Clueless idiots who usually walk into a voting both undecided) have decided to reward the party that lead us into our present state, obstructed the efforts of the other party to correct the mess, and who now want the Republicans to retake control so they can give us more of the same by putting a corporatist shill into Ted Kennedy’s seat, are going to reverse the good choice made in November 2008, by screwing not only the rest of us, but also by screwing themselves again, like they did in 2004. “My country tis of $#!+, sweet land of hypocrites, of thee I sing ….”.

Jess

January 16th, 2010
10:21 am

You needn’t worry Mr. Littel. The democrat machine in Mass. will not allow a republican win. Either way, the message has been sent that Americans do not share your assessment of the last decade.

Dave R.

January 16th, 2010
10:41 am

Mr. Littel, you clearly know nothing about Mass. voters. I grew up there, and there are no more opinionated people on the planet, and they know exactly who they are going to vote for long before the enter the voting booth.

And if the independent majority in Mass. is so clueless, why did they continue to elect Ted Kennedy year after year after year?

Maybe you’re right – they were clueless!

Robert Littel

January 16th, 2010
10:52 am

The independent voter (aka – Clueless idiots easily distracted by shiny objects) are the same in this country as they were in early 1930’s Germany, where they also let their ignorance, fear and easily manipulated shallow interest in how they are being used, lead to the rise of the ultimate Right-wing dictatorship. It is evident that the Right in this country, is following the same game plan, and by the nature of some of your venerated spokes-thugs, Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck and others, the direction of the flow is in the direction of achieving the same ends. National Socialism, was nothing but socialism for the rich and free-enterprise for the rest of us, JUST LIKE IT IS BECOMING HERE.

Hard Right Hook

January 16th, 2010
11:19 am

These “clueless idiots easily distracted by shiny objects….” Are the same idiots that helped elect Obozo?

Adolph H was from the LEFT. Socialists are identified with Democrats, if you had bothered to attend history class.

Robert Littel

January 16th, 2010
12:05 pm

Hard Right Hook – That the independents can make the correct choice once in a while is to be expected, especially when the horse’s butt regime that preceded the current administration, did so much to piss everyone (except you doctrinaire trolls) off. When the Bush regime turned to tarnish, Obama could look nothing but the shiny new object to draw their interest. The Right has been waging an all out effort to tarnish the current leadership with lies, distortions, stonewalling the efforts to fix the mess they made, all in an effort to lead the clueless masses back to the trough of absurdities that led us into the mess in the first place.

The LIE that Adolf Hitler was a leftist is one of the pervasive lies of the Right, in their effort to disassociate themselves from the notion that you are exactly the same as they were ideologically. Dr Joesph Goebbels would have been proud of all of you, you lie so well, and amazingly enough, to yourselves as well.

Jess

January 16th, 2010
12:31 pm

Mr. Littel,

Seems you have little to offer other than name calling and insults.

Michael H. Smith

January 16th, 2010
1:33 pm

How is Virgina and New Jersey working out for you socialist liberals?

A little traveling music for the SOCIALIST LIBERAL DEMOCRATS….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbkbGF27JyY

…And the lights all went down in Massachusetts

SFM

Robert Littel

January 16th, 2010
3:00 pm

Jess – If name calling is your complaint, then you are going to be hard pressed to identify anyone I was addressing with a derogatory name. This catch-all retort being thrown out by Right-wingers every time they are brought to task for the despicable nature of their beliefs is getting to be tiresome and so transparent that even the disinterested independents can see through it. As to insults, the Bush regime and anyone participating in the politics of “NO”, and the blind ignorant politics of hate being practiced by the spokes-thugs on the Right (at Fox and Hindenburg like {as in fat Nazi gas-bag}, on the radio), they have earned each and every one of them.

Robert Littel

January 16th, 2010
4:16 pm

Jess – I offer a very clear picture of what ignorance driven politics of hate, used to keep an autocratic minority in control of economic and political power to serve their narrow interests, is all about. That you are comfortable being subservient to their plans to totally dismantle our democratic form of governance in favor of a Potemkin village type of fraud, where all parties are in their pocket, is only a reflection on how shallow the American people have become in their unwillingness to participate in the political process, especially if it involves any real effort or sacrifice. The Circus Maximus kept the Romans distracted while their society collapsed around them, we have NASCAR and American Idol pretty much doing the same thing, and people like you to defend an increasingly unsustainable status quo.

Hard Right Hook

January 17th, 2010
4:54 pm

Oh, Mr. Littel, it’s so good of you to to an give your blessing to an occassional independant that guesses correctly. At least, according to you.

N-A-Z-I stands for Nationalsozialistische Arbeiterpartei, or National Socialist Party, you buffoon. Tell me, how many socialists do you know with an I or an R after their name?

NONE.

Robert Littel

January 17th, 2010
6:38 pm

Hard Right Hook – Having made my living in the field of political and social theory, having graded term papers for over thirty years on all aspects of virtually all political movements throughout the last several hundred years, and having the word “Emeritus” after my actual name, I believe that you will find your attempt to sell me, and anyone else the idea that the Nazi party of Germany as having been leftist in anything but that part of its name, to be as valueless as your Rush Limbaugh inspired rationale for your infantile Rightist beliefs.

Hard Right Hook

January 18th, 2010
7:39 am

30 years is a long time to spend in school. When do you think you’ll graduate? My personal theory is that “you are full of it.”

Are you a student emeritus for wasting all that time?

You’re knolwedge of history is pretty pathetic. The German Socialist Party has reams of historical data supporting it. You’ve chosen to re-write that aspect of history to fit your liberal template. You’re only fooling yourself.

I guess Reagan was a socialist and BHO is a free-market capitalist, according to you?

Hard Right Hook

January 18th, 2010
7:47 am

One more thing. You’ll be well advised to never associate me with Joeseph Goebbels again. Character assasination is a hallmark of the left.

Robert Littel

January 18th, 2010
8:44 am

Hard Right Hook – Its a cinch that no one of your limited mentality ever made it into one of my Poli-Sci 101 courses, which is fortunate for them because they would have been humiliated by the worst students in the class. I suggest you find yourself a comfortable cave somewhere in the mountains of Idaho because Neanderthals like yourself, are going to need them soon enough.

Hard Right Hook

January 18th, 2010
8:48 am

Where did you “teach” – Cuba?

Robert Littel

January 18th, 2010
11:45 am

Hard Right Hook – Evidently, I didn’t teach at your alma mater, the Klueless Klown Kollege for Cretins.

Hard Right Hook

January 18th, 2010
5:48 pm

You’re not fooling anyone. You never taught anything to anyone. In a classroom or anywhere else.

Why are you so bitter? Pointey-headed intellectuals are supposed to be so far above us mere mortals. Why do you bother to lower yourself to engage in debate with serfs and commoners?

So answer the original question, professor: Is R. Reagan a socialist? yes or no

The world awaits your answer, Komrad.

PS: Your veiled inference that I’m a Klanner is just another reason to find you beneath my contempt, you inept boil. But this is fun………………………..

Robert Littel

January 18th, 2010
8:08 pm

Hard Right Hook – I’ve decided that dueling with a clueless ass is not worth the waste of time, and any worry that I might have had about your influencing anyone here has been dispelled by the quality (or lack thereof) of your last childish post. Couldn’t find a reference to R. Reagan in any of the previous posts, so wherever you got that remains another of your infantile fantasies.

Hard Right Hook

January 18th, 2010
10:05 pm

Typical libtard anti-American coward. Going gets a little tough, fold the tent & run.

You’re a fine example of the best the left has to offer. Professor emeritus my aching butt.

Credo quia absurdum.

Kyle Wingfield

January 18th, 2010
10:08 pm

Littel and HRH: That’s enough.

Hard Right Hook

January 18th, 2010
10:23 pm

Enough what? I’ve been called a Klanner, an ass and a cretin before you stepped in? I took a rather civil high road and you admonish me?

Even Jess remarked earlier that the guy had nothing to offer but name calling.