From the Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2010.
“Massachusetts Senate Mystery: Scott Brown vs. Martha Coakley – WSJ.com”
“Turnout for special elections is notoriously hard to predict, especially for a Massachusetts race in the dead of winter. ”
“People trying to follow the suddenly hot Massachusetts race to fill the late Ted Kennedy’s senate seat can be excused if they’re getting poll whiplash. On Saturday, the Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling announced a startling survey of 744 likely voters that found Republican Scott Brown taking a 48% to 47% lead over Democrat Martha Coakley. “The Massachusetts Senate race is shaping up as a potential disaster for Democrats,” said Dean Debnam, president of PPP.
The next day, the Boston Globe displayed its own poll of 554 people, showing Ms. Coakley with a comfortable 15-point lead. “If there was ever a time for a Republican to win here, now is the time,” Andrew Smith, the director of the polling firm used by the Globe, reported. “The problem is you’ve got a special election and a relatively unknown Republican going up against a well-liked Democrat.””
“No one knows exactly who will turn out on January 19. But the evidence suggests the race is closing. In three polls taken before the December primary that made Ms. Coakley her party’s nominee, she had an average 29-point lead over Mr. Brown. In three surveys taken over the last ten days or so, her lead has shrunk to an average of eight points. Ms. Coakley is ahead, but Mr. Brown is making a late surge. He can only hope it isn’t stopped because previously apathetic Democrats respond to the polls by deciding to drag themselves out to vote.”