Friday, January 15, 2010

Scott Brown and Massachusetts - Act like we're down 5 points.

Right now the big special election is in Massachusetts. January 19th is the day. One thing I've always said about special elections is throw the rules out. Turnout is lighter, and usually the winner is who gets their people out to the polls. It doesn't matter where. These are different elections than normal.

That aside, by all accounts, the Republicans should not be able to compete there. This isn't a state that is a swing state like Virginia or slightly blue state like Michigan.  This isn't the 19th state senate district which is a bellwether district. This isn't Long Island NY or New Jersey which in a good GOP year is about 5 points democrat. Tough, but winnable at the right time. This isn't even Illinois, solidly democrat, but elects an occasional republican to federal office statewide (Peter Fitzgerald won in 98). This is Massachusetts. George McGovern won here. Reagan was the aberration, and had a great last name for the state, and it's gone much more liberal since then as the Irish yellow dog democrat domination has lessened and the professor crowd is more dominant (UMass,  Harvard, Tuffs, MIT, Boston U, Boston College, etc).

Most polls right now have Brown ahead. Now, I know the democrats have been attacking pollsters lately, but remember one thing. When polls are correct, they are a snapshot in time of the opinions of the populace. Polls may be wrong. People may change their mind between today and Tuesday. Irony is that Rasmussen, who the dems hate, has Brown down by 2%. From Real Clear Politics

PollDateSampleBrown (R)Coakley (D)Spread
PJM/CrossTarget (R)1/14 - 1/14946 LV5439Brown +15
Blue Mass Group/R2000 (D)1/12 - 1/13500 LV4149Coakley +8
Suffolk/7News1/11 - 1/13500 LV5046Brown +4
Rasmussen Reports1/11 - 1/111000 LV4749Coakley +2
PPP (D)1/7 - 1/9744 LV4847Brown +1
Rasmussen Reports1/4 - 1/4500 LV4150Coakley +9
Boston Globe1/2 - 1/6554 LV3653Coakley +17
Suffolk11/4 - 11/8600 RV2758Coakley +31
Western NE College10/18 - 10/22342 LV3258Coakley +26
Suffolk9/12 - 9/15500 RV2454Coakley +30

What happens Tuesday? Do the weak dems come home? Do the dems stay home? Do they vote for Brown. I don't know. I'd like to predict a Brown win, but I can't get past the fact that this is Massachusetts, consistently 62% Democrat in presidential elections, and more in senate elections. Only twice did Ted Kennedy get under 60% of the vote. Once in 1962, and later in 1994. John Kerry's first three races were tougher, but only once had less than 55% (1996). The US House delegation is 10-nothing (Gerrymandered), and only four of those seats in great years like 1994, I'd consider winnable outside of the perfect storm if they open up. That said, it's the perfect storm if Brown wins despite places like Amherst, Holyoke, Springfield, Boston, Cambridge, Brookline, and Newton.

Scott Brown for US Senate. Good luck to Brown, if he wins, that will send a big message to the democrat, that even their home base is no longer secure. I wrote last November about a possible
Republican comeback in the Northeast. It's still a long ways off from a comeback, but this could be step 4 here, after the 09 wins in New Jersey, Long Island, and Pennsylvania judges.

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