Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Politics — Rick Moran @ 9:43 am

Good question - especially since the latest polls are all over the lot.

The latest Boston Globe poll of likely voters has the Democrat Martha Coakley up by a whopping 15 points over her Republican rival Scott Brown:

Half of voters surveyed said they would pick Coakley, the attorney general, if the election were held today, compared with 35 percent who would pick Brown. Nine percent were undecided, and a third candidate in the race, independent Joseph L. Kennedy, received 5 percent.Coakley’s lead grows to 17 points - 53 percent to 36 percent - when undecideds leaning toward a candidate are included in the tally. The results indicate that Brown has a steep hill to climb to pull off an upset in the Jan. 19 election. Indeed, the poll indicated that nearly two-thirds of Brown’s supporters believe Coakley will win.

Then there’s this Public Policy Polling survey, also of likely voters, that shows Brown within one slim percentage point of Coakley:

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.

The PPP poll surveyed about 200 more voters which shouldn’t matter that much. It would be interesting to see how both polls define “likely voters” which can sometimes skew the results.

One interesting similarity between the two polls; both show Brown has having high approval/disapproval ratings - historically high for a Republican in the Bay State. Other than that, it appears that it is possible the time period involved in when the polls were taken might be the biggest difference.

The PPP survey was taken between 1/7-9 - after the Rasmussen poll came out showing Brown narrowing the gap to 9 points. The Globe poll was taken 1/2-6 - mostly before those numbers became known.

I think it entirely possible that Brown is surging, buoyed by the growing realization that he could pull off the upset. He certainly has gotten a lot of positive press since those Rasmussen numbers have come out and for the 53% of Massachusetts voters who say they are following the election closely, that may have had an effect.

But is Brown really only a point behind? Massachusetts, like New Jersey and other heavily Democratic states, usually show a close race in the week or 10 days just prior to the election. But in the final 72 hours, a lot of Democrats start coming home and since in MA, registration for Dems outnumber Republicans by 3 to 1, that one point difference may indeed be a mirage.

There are several things going for Brown that might upset the conventional wisdom this time around - not the least of which is a powerful anti-health care reform sentiment as well as an enthusiasm gap between Democrats and Republicans.

But make no mistake - it is still an uphill battle for Brown. In this most Democratic of states, a Republican needs to be over 50% in the polls on election day to have a chance. And in neither of these new polls is Brown reached that milestone.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

This blog post originally appears in the American Thinker


  1. Only 200 voters gives an uncertainty of +/- 7%, so the two polls are strictly from a statistics standpoint not that far apart.

    Comment by Tregonsee — 1/10/2010 @ 10:15 am

  2. Another big difference between the PPP and Globe polls is that PPP did not include independent libertarian Joe Kennedy in its survey, while the Globe did, finding that 5% of voters preferred him over the shills of the Democratic and Republican Parties. Kennedy is on the ballot and will obviously be a factor in the outcome of this race.

    Comment by d.eris — 1/10/2010 @ 12:24 pm

  3. Uh Rick, the poll actually shows Brown UP by 1 not “within one.”

    Comment by Q — 1/10/2010 @ 1:35 pm

  4. But Obama… Teleprompter… Nigeria… Socialism… Must stop head from exploding.

    Comment by Richard bottoms — 1/10/2010 @ 2:46 pm

  5. Part of the problem is that no matter what the Democrats will pull out the big guns for the candidate, look at the recent “love-fest” that Victoria Kennedy put on. This was to give Coakley a boost, after numbers fell flat and she did not seem to be making traction, and now Coakley is making connections between Brown (who has only served in the state) with Bush and Cheney. Me smells desperation.

    Comment by boyo111 — 1/11/2010 @ 11:54 am

  6. Rick:
    My sense is that you are probably correct. Bob Beckel, who is generally if maddeningly pretty solid, opined tonight that the hype on Brown is a republican pipe dream. It is uphill for Brown and he will fall short.

    However, do you see any significance in Coakley’s rise to engage Brown more directly? Is Massachussetts mirroring in any way the dis-satisfaction that seems to be building with the democrat’s agenda?

    I’ve read some interesting smippets on the Coakley/Brown debate. I’d be interested in your take if you happened to catch it.

    Comment by JOElias — 1/11/2010 @ 9:55 pm

  7. Being a resident of the Bay State, it is possible for Republicans to win here. Believe it or not, Massachusetts enjoyed a 16-year string of Republican Governors from 1991 through 2006. It is possible and Brown has a lot going for him. He could pull off an upset.

    That being said, it is an uphill battle and one still has to favor Coakley. Even if Scott loses, if he comes within 5 or so points, it may have political implications nationwide.

    Comment by Sal — 1/12/2010 @ 6:13 am

  8. It is worth pointing out that Romney was behind Democrat Shannon O’Brien in the 2002 Massachusetts Governor’s race going into election day.


    Comment by Sal — 1/12/2010 @ 6:22 am

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