Do you hear that noise? That's the sound of Democrats heads exploding as they watch the unbelievable happen in Massachusetts.
Scott Brown is ahead in two polls released in the last 24 hours:
Riding a wave of opposition to Democratic health-care reform, GOP upstart Scott Brown is leading in the U.S. Senate race, raising the odds of a historic upset that would reverberate all the way to the White House, a new poll shows.
Although Brown's 4-point lead over Democrat Martha Coakley is within the Suffolk University/7News survey's margin of error, the underdog's position at the top of the results stunned even pollster David Paleologos.
"It's a Brown-out," said Paleologos, director of Suffolk's Political Research Center. "It's a massive change in the political landscape."The poll shows Brown, a state senator from Wrentham, besting Coakley, the state's attorney general, by 50 percent to 46 percent, the first major survey to show Brown in the lead. Unenrolled long-shot Joseph L. Kennedy, an information technology executive with no relation to the famous family, gets 3 percent of the vote. Only 1 percent of voters were undecided.
Paleologos said bellweather models show high numbers of independent voters turning out on election day, which benefits Brown, who has 65 percent of that bloc compared to Coakley's 30 percent. Kennedy earns just 3 percent of the independent vote, and 1 percent are undecided.
Also, a new poll from Pajamas Media and taken by a Virginia survey firm Cross Target shows a much larger Brown lead:
A new poll taken Thursday evening for Pajamas Media by CrossTarget - an Alexandria VA survey research firm - shows Scott Brown, a Republican, leading Martha Coakley, a Democrat, by 15.4% in Tuesday's special election for the open Massachusetts US Senate seat. The poll of 946 likely voters was conducted by telephone using interactive voice technology (IVR) and has a margin of error of +/- 3.19%. This is the first poll to show Brown surging to such an extent. A poll from the Suffolk University Political Research Center - published Thursday morning by the Boston Herald, but taken earlier - had Brown moving ahead by 4%.
If you've been watching the Coakley meltdown over the last few days, you sense that these polls might not have the margin correct, but that Brown has surged ahead of Coakley and is headed for victory on Tuesday.
Byron York in the Examiner:
Here in Massachusetts, as well as in Washington, a growing sense of gloom is setting in among Democrats about the fortunes of Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley. "I have heard that in the last two days the bottom has fallen out of her poll numbers," says one well-connected Democratic strategist. In her own polling, Coakley is said to be around five points behind Republican Scott Brown. "If she's not six or eight ahead going into the election, all the intensity is on the other side in terms of turnout," the Democrat says. "So right now, she is destined to lose."
Intensifying the gloom, the Democrat says, is the fact that the same polls showing Coakley falling behind also show President Obama with a healthy approval rating in the state. "With Obama at 60 percent in Massachusetts, this shouldn't be happening, but it is," the Democrat says.
Given those numbers, some Democrats, eager to distance Obama from any electoral failure, are beginning to compare Coakley to Creigh Deeds, the losing Democratic candidate in the Virginia governor's race last year. Deeds ran such a lackluster campaign, Democrats say, that his defeat could be solely attributed to his own shortcomings, and should not be seen as a referendum on President Obama's policies or those of the national Democratic party.
Democrats are dreaming if they think they can shield Obama from this catastrophe. That's because the force that appears to be driving Brown's numbers up and Coakley's down is opposition to the president's health care reform plan. In the bluest of blue states, 51% oppose Obamacare. With Brown poised to be the killer 41st vote in the senate, it is apparent that Massachusetts voters realize what is at stake and are voting against their party affiliation to send a message to Washington.
I suspect if Brown wins, he will enjoy a brief honeymoon with conservatives if he indeed is the deciding vote on nixing health care reform. But the candidate is a solid Northeastern moderate Republican and that attitude by the right will likely change rather quickly.
But that's in the future. The portents are in the air in Massachusetts and the state seems poised to send its first Republican senator to Congress since 1972. Coakley continues to self destruct, saying last night that if you're a devout Catholic, you probably shouldn't work in an emergency room:
Ken Pittman: Right, if you are a Catholic, and believe what the Pope teaches that any form of birth control is a sin. ah you don't want to do that.
Martha Coakley: No we have a seperation of church and state Ken, lets be clear.
Ken Pittman: In the emergency room you still have your religious freedom.
Martha Coakley: (......uh, eh...um..) The law says that people are allowed to have that. You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn't work in the emergency room. (HT: Jim Hoft )
The Catholic vote in Massachusetts is 50% of the electorate.