Sunday, January 10, 2010

Upset In The Making? Brown Leads Coakley In MA Sen Poll

Democrats have been playing a careful game as the Massachusetts Senate contest winds down, raising the stakes in an effort to keep supporters engaged, but unwilling to admit any real concern. But this survey out late Saturday from Public Policy Polling (D) (744 LVs, 1/7-9, MoE +/- 3.6%) is sure to have Democrats across the country in a more obvious panic.
Special Election Matchup
Brown (R) 48
Coakley (D) 47
Und 6
Brown, who has had the airwaves largely to himself since the December primary election, has strong net +32 rating, while Coakley is just +7. And that is helping him with indies. From PPP:
Brown leads 63-31 with independents and is winning 17% of the Democratic vote while Coakley receives only 6% support from GOP voters. Both candidates are relatively popular, with 57% viewing Brown favorably to only 25% unfavorable and 50% with a positive opinion of Coakley to 42% negative.
Brown has run on the idea that he would be the "41st vote" in the Senate to oppose health care, and it seems those who are more likely to vote on January 19 would favor that decision: 47 percent oppose the Democratic plan, while 41 percent support it. President Obama's approval rating among these likely voters is a slim 44 percent, to 43 percent who disapprove.
It seems unlikely a final health care vote will happen in the Senate until after this special election, which certainly raises the stakes for Democrats here. The Coakley camp has announced that President Clinton will campaign with the attorney general this Friday. Perhaps now you'll see some sort of direct appeal from the White House. And Democrats will certainly have to try and raise Brown's negatives and tie him to the national GOP if they are to right the ship.
Though he's been clear he'd side with his party on the key issues like health care, Brown called himself as an independent in an interview with RCP this week who wouldn't be beholden to anyone if he was elected. You can read more from that interview here.

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