Monday, January 18, 2010

Latest poll: Dead heat for now in Coakley/Mass. race.

Coakley: Is Part of the Problem the Candidate?

From the NYT: "Democratic leaders in Congress and at the White House were bracing for what they said was a real possibility that Ms. Coakley could lose the race. The most alarming fact in polls and internal research, several party advisers said, was that Ms. Coakley was still falling behind Mr. Brown among voters who had a favorable view of the president. [emphasis added.]"

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.

Barney Frank: Coakley Defeat Means Death of Health Care Reform

WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior Massachusetts lawmaker says if Republicans win a special Senate election there next week, President Barack Obama's health care overhaul is dead.

Democrat Barney Frank told reporters Friday: "If Scott Brown wins, it'll kill the health bill."

The Massachusetts congressman said Democratic candidate Martha Coakley should have campaigned harder for the seat held for decades by Edward Kennedy. Nonetheless, Frank said he thinks Coakley will win Tuesday's contest. Latest polls show a close race between Brown and Coakley. Kennedy died last summer of brain cancer and Democrat Paul Kirk was appointed to fill the seat on an interim basis. Brown has said he would be the 41st vote against the health bill.