The race for U.S. Senate has tightened, according to the latest Rasmussen survey, with Republican Scott Brown pulling within nine points of A.G. Martha Coakley. Rasmussen had a couple of tidbits that caught my eye.
Both candidates get better than 70% of the vote from members of their respective parties, but Brown leads 65% to 21% among voters not affiliated with either of the major parties. In Massachusetts, however, Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans and it is very difficult for the GOP to compete except in special circumstances. Eight percent (8%) of Democrats remain undecided while just 3% of Republicans are in that category.
The Brown lead amongst independents has to be troubling to Democrats, even if it turns out to be non-fatal in this case.
A second item of note:
Special elections are typically decided by who shows up to vote and it is clear from the data that Brown’s supporters are more enthusiastic. In fact, among those who are absolutely certain they will vote, Brown pulls to within two points of Coakley. That suggests a very low turnout will help the Republican and a higher turnout is better for the Democrat.
Brown is out working, as you might expect from a candidate that is behind. And some of the enthusiasm is to be expected from the Party that is out of power. But some is being generated by Brown’s willingness to work, which stands in contrast to the very laid back approach taken by Coakley.
Coakley’s campaign, or lack thereof, has come in for some withering criticism, as she appears to be playing to run out the clock on Brown. The Globe has highlighted her passive campaign in two critical columns, the first by Brian McGrory titled “Where’s Martha Coakley?” Today’s Globe featured a column by Joan Vennocchi talking about the “coolness” of Martha Coakley helping to put Brown back in this race.
Coakley released her first general election ad this week. I have attached it for your viewing pleasure. The message to Martha from many corners appears to be: step it up a notch. This could be a real race.