Of course the dynamics of the Mass. Senate race are mostly related to national trends. But all politics to some degree, is, local. And Coakley is not the strongest candidate. And in a close race, that can make all the difference in the world.
And this from a TPM reader in Somerville, Mass:
Voters increasingly seem to know how consequential the race is, which is certainly a good thing from Coakley's perspective. That would have been enough to ensure her victory a week ago holding everything else constant. Unfortunately, though, she's made some horribly off-message comments---like suggesting that Catholics shouldn't work in emergency rooms and that Curt Schilling is a Yankee fan. I'm not certain those things matter in and of themselves, but they're part of a developing narrative that she's out-of-touch.