Rasmussen on MA senate race: Still Coakley's to lose

Rasmussen compares the three Massachusetts Special Senatorial election polls and concludes it's still Coakley's race to lose:

One reason the race is a bit closer than expected is that all three polls show Massachusetts voters are divided over the health care plan before Congress. The Rasmussen poll shows a very slight majority of likely voters in favor of the plan. The Globe puts backing for the congressional effort 10 points lower but still enough to muster a plurality of support. The PPP poll suggests that among those likely to show up and vote, a plurality is opposed to the proposed health care legislation.

Still, if this were a regularly scheduled election with other races on the ballot, Coakley would win handily. The turnout questions would not be as challenging for pollsters, and other races would bring Democrats to vote regardless of their enthusiasm about the Senate race.
But in a special election, turnout is typically much lower and always much harder to project. Collectively, the data suggests that Coakley remains the favorite, but Brown has attracted enough support to remain competitive. With just over a week to go, it is possible that a candidate mistake could dramatically shake up the race.

As always, turnout in special elections is very difficult to project, so all projections must be made with caution. Absent a major event, it is still possible to envision a long-shot, low-turnout scenario where Brown pulls out a very narrow victory.

Clearly, his supporters are more enthusiastic about the race and that gives him a chance. But, as they have from the beginning, the dynamics of the race still make it likely that Massachusetts voters on January 19 will send another Democrat to Washington.

Today the state police organization announced it was backing Brown; yesterday the NYT' owned Worcester Telegram endorsed him. The momentum seems to be in his favor at the moment. Everything, I think, depends on turnout.

Clarice Feldman
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