******************** THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO WWW.LEGALINSURRECTION.COM ********************

This blog is moving to www.legalinsurrection.com. If you have not been automatically redirected please click on the link.

NEW COMMENTS will NOT be put through and will NOT be transferred to the new website.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Earthquake Rumblings In MA - Rasmussen Shows Brown Within 9% / Update: Brown within 2% With Definite Voters and Leads By 44% With Independents

Rasmussen is the first major polling organization to poll the Massachusetts Senate special election, and the "pre-released" poll numbers show Martha Coakley (D) with just a 9% lead over Scott Brown (R), which would be consistent with other polls. This post will be updated with further analysis once the official numbers are released. [See Update No. 2 below - official results released - Brown within 2% among people who definitely will vote and has a large lead among indepenents.]

This is better than I expected for Brown. Coakley has been a statewide figure for years, and has much better name recognition, SEIU and other union support, and the Massachusetts Democratic machine behind her. Obama won the state by over 20%, and Coakley should have had at least a mid-teens lead at this point.

But as I have noted, Coakley's tactic of acting like the election already is over may be backfiring. While Brown was hitting the pavement the past three weeks, Coakley took a six day vacation. Wrong message. Coakley is ducking a one-on-one debate with Brown. Wrong message.

I sensed Coakley was in trouble when her campaign recently overstated the strength of her fundraising, making it seem as if she had far outraised Brown post-primary. It appears that most of Coakley's fundraising strength was pre-primary, when she used the abortion issue to rally the liberal base to contribute. Coakley then went back on her promise not to vote for the Senate health bill if it contained abortion restrictions.

Brown's campaign took off through the online community. A reflection of this surge is that Browns Twitter followers (@ScottBrownMA)(3269 for Brown v 1966 for Coakley) and Facebook (13,345 for Brown v 6,382 for Coakley) followers have taken off, while Coakley has been stagnant for weeks.

I called this race as a possible shocker in my very first post on the election, on December 9:

But keep an eye on Massachusetts. It's a special election, and turnout could be low as it was in the primaries, which gives the party with the motivated base an advantage. Throw in some possible bad weather in mid-January, and anything could happen....

So don't count this one out, yet. If Coakely wins, as expected, but by only single digits, that would be something. If Brown were to win, that would be something else.

Everything that has happened since December 9 confirms that Brown has a chance. Rasmussen's poll last night is just the latest evidence.

Will the national GOP, which has ignored Brown, get involved now? I'm not sure I care anymore.

Update: Many bloggers have been doing yeoman's work on spreading the word about Scott Brown. Check out SISU, Dan Riehl, Jules Crittenden, HillBuzz, Fred Bauer, Jumping In Pools, and special credit to Instapundit, HotAir, Michelle Malkin and Gateway Pundit for taking these issues to their large audiences.

Update No. 2: Rasmussen has release the poll results. Interesting points in the analysis:
  • "Twenty-one percent (21%) of those likely to vote in the special election have a very favorable opinion of Coakley, while 22% have a Very Unfavorable view. For Brown, the numbers are 25% very favorable and 5% very unfavorable."
  • "Special elections are typically decided by who shows up to vote and it is clear from the data that Brown’s supporters are more enthusiastic. In fact, among those who are absolutely certain they will vote, Brown pulls to within two points of Coakley. That suggests a very low turnout will help the Republican and a higher turnout is better for the Democrat."
  • "Brown leads 65% to 21% among voters not affiliated with either of the major parties."
These details show that turnout will be everything here, and there is no strong base of support for Coakley. Independents are strong for Brown.

Update No. 3 - An Open Letter to Jane Hamsher

Related Posts:
Coakley Glances at Her Watch - For Six Days
"What's Martha Afraid Of?"
Martha Coakley's Political House On Fire
Coakley $25 Tweet A Sign of Trouble
Scott Brown Winning The Online Battle

For my complete coverage of the Brown v. Coakley MA Senate Race, click here

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook
Bookmark and Share


  1. Another fine post in your ongoing series. I agree re who cares about the national GOP: Who needs 'em?

    As I've written early and often, borrowing Professor Reynolds's expression, the old-boy-network GOP is being "disintermediated via the Internet!"

  2. If the dem/SEIU/ACORN machine slithers into motion after the release of these numbers, we're going to need national GOP support. Financial support at the very least.

  3. The national GOP (RNC, NRSC) has already written this off as a loss. They're too busy trying to get RINOs past the primaries against conservatives in other parts of the country.

    I'm convinced that neither Michael Steele nor John Cornyn could find their rear ends with both hands. Apparently they are OK with ObamaCare passing ... and cap and tax, and the VAT, and amnety for illegal aliens, and ... well, you get the drift.

    As long as they get invited to the really cool cocktail parties in DC.

    Losers. All of them.

  4. Coakly is right. The election is already over. If ACORN and the SEIU do their parts, Brown doesn't have a chance. Doesn't make any difference whether Coakly debates, vacations or schmoozes. Free & fair elections are history in this country, but certainly in Mass.

    For all that, I'm still hoping to be proven wrong.

  5. I, and a number of my friends, put checks in the mail to Scott Brown yesterday. Being from out of state, we can't vote for him, but we wish him all the luck in the world.

  6. Right-wing hack Scott Rasmussen and his right-wing polls are an EXCLUSIVE favorite of Fox News/GOP TV for that reason.

  7. Linked you on this William, read my post and tell me if I missed anything if you don't mind:


  8. Michael Steele sure picked a bad week to go on a book tour touting his 12-point plan for how Republicans can stop Obama.

  9. Rasmussen's poll certainly points to this race as winnable by Brown, but a few observations:

    -- It DOES matter whether the RSCC and RNC put this race on their list of priorities. They can deliver several hundred thousand dollars today, if they want, while online bizz could take a week to produce the same amount. With the election two weeks from today, a candidate needs this lead time to maximize the impact of media and other expenditures. You can't target mail, set up phone banks, plan pulling operations, etc. a few days out. And you'll get more bang for your TV/radio advertising buck if you have some flexibility on timing.

    -- There is no reason to assume that Mass. Democrats have some all-powerful "machine" to turn out votes. Some activist unions can generate some pretty good field operations and there may be some local areas where elected Democratic public officials are on the ball. Overall, though, in a state where Democrats have grown used to winning handily, most Dem Party structures have grown dormant or disappeared.

    -- But if they smell possible defeat, the Dems can and will find the money to make up for that, even if Coakley has fallen down on the fundraising job.

    -- The Massachusetts GOP, however, has virtually NO infrastructure on which to base a field and pulling operation. It will have to be created -- and that's why earlier money is critical.

    -- I disgree somewhat with the Professor's earlier arguments to the effect that Brown stood a better chance with a stealth campaign that caught Coakley off guard. A very low key campaign still favors the Democrat heavily in a Massachusetts special election. Stirring things up can only help Brown.

    -- If he has not already done so, Brown should jump on the terror/national security issues. If Coakley's web page is any indicator, she has the usual baloney liberal talking points about keeping America safe. Any I'd be shocked if she didn't have a wealth of past comments (even from the recent primary?) that would indict her with Mass. voters after the Pantybomber episode.

  10. This is now big news, which will generate focus in the race in Massachusetts, and guarantee that turnout will be larger than if the poll had shown a 15 or 20 point spread.

    Clearly, that was not what Coakley or the Democrats wanted, even though Rasmussen suggests that a higher turnout could possibly favor her. They wanted a low turn-out race, with Coakley seen as a big favorite having an insurmountable lead.

    Therefore, they have been thrown off their game plan, and will have to change their strategy. It's not just a tactical shift that is needed. And, they could make a strategic blunder if they continue to misread it.

    As is already evidenced by one comment (dk28) in this thread, supporters will revisit the Democrat attack on Rasmussen, calling him a low-down, no-good Republican, just as they tried to do with Fox News last fall. It was during the period of time when the White House recognized that Fox, and very few others, were getting the news out about the health legislation, that they swung into campaign mode and attacked the station. Who knows, they may have had some small indication that Rasmussen was thinking about doing a MA poll, which prompted their recent political attack on the pollster.

    Regardless, you can bet Coakley will suddenly have a whole bunch of "new best friends," making sudden pilgrimages to Massachusetts, including one or two from the POTUS, and, no doubt, a few from Hollywood celebrities who will "have known" her for years.

    The appearances by The One didn't work for Corzine in New Jersey, even in a regular November election cycle! And I'd bet it won't work well in Massachusetts.

    As the poll demonstrates, this race is not about energizing the Democrat base; it is about the utter dissonance between the basic political views of independent voters, and the current national Democrat agenda that is being pursued in Washington, D.C.

    Brown is no longer seen as a sure loser, which would turn off many voters, even ones that might not like Coakley. Because he is within striking distance, more voters will post. Some will be for him, and some against. But he clearly has the momentum for now.

    I think if he successfully paints her as the putative rubber stamp Reid/Pelosi candidate, who took the voters for granted -- as you pointed out -- she blithely trotted off for a six day vacation with just a few weeks to go, he wins.

    p.s. I like an idea floating around of giving a $9.12 contribution to his campaign. It's catchy, and makes a good point! Or, multiples thereof!

  11. CBS' Political HotSheet reports that Scott Burke said during a radio debate that the underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, should be sent to GITMO.

    "He [Brown] also reportedly remarked that the so-called "underwear bomber," Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who allegedly attempted to blow up a plane on Christmas Day, should be treated as an enemy combatant and sent to the prison at Guantanamo Bay."

    Coakley choked on that one, noting only that it was "interesting" that that Brown apparently remained silent about sending shoe bomber, Richard Reid to GITMO back when that occurred.

  12. I sensed that you sensed that Coakley was in trouble at exactly the moment you say you sensed it.

    I didn't write it down because no one would believe me. Because it is not true.

    I guess you have hindsense. Or is that the sense of a hind?

  13. Matt,

    When someone begins EVERY topic sentence they write with the pronoun "I" it is usually a tipoff to a tendency for, shall we say . . . self-assertion.

    Yours would appear to be no exception.

    The humorist, Leo Rosten, once observed that, "Every writer is a narcissist." But really -- must we take him quite that literally?

  14. Did any of you see the Oprah show yesterday? The Urkraine women whose parents are doctors lives in worse conditions than our poorest people in the USA!!! What do all our doctors here have to say about that? What will hapen if we have health reform? Doctors are getting 21% less this year from medicare because the government is out of money. More doctors will quit and the ones remaining will get less money each year. Then on top of everything else all the tens of thousands of doctors will not being paying the high taxes they do now...
    The answer NO HEALTH REFORM !!!!