Jan 16 2010

How Bad Is Coakley Doing In Massachusetts?

Published by at 9:30 am under 2010 Elections,All General Discussions

What we are seeing in the way of public polls and rumors about internal polls for the Massachusetts special election is just stunning. The last two public polls to come out had Coakley behind by 4% and 15%. I seriously doubt the 15% lead for Brown, but the fact is it is completely plausible given reasonable turn out models assuming an energized independent and republican wave matched with low turnout and defections of Democrats. So while not likely, it is not outside the realm of possibilities.

As I noted before, while Dems out number Reps 3 to 1 (37% to 13%) the Independents swamp both (49%). If the Indies and Reps are with Brown, then they represent 62% of the voters to the Dems 37%.  Additionally, the independents are voting ‘anyone but Coakley’ by 60-40 (either voting for Brown or 3rd party candidate Kennedy).

I can’t see how the democrats, even if they were the more energized side of the equation, could offset these numbers. So it is not unreasonable to see Coakley’s current position somewhere in this range of being down 4-15%.

Now we are hearing rumors about internal poll numbers and they tell a similar. Steve Kornacki is hearing that a recent Coakley poll has her down 3% (the bottom end of this range).  Jim  Geraghty is hearing the Brown camp has Coakley down 11% (again, inside this range). Geraghty is also hearing Coakley has it a tie (which could be the same 3% down, since it would also be a statistical tie). What each camp really has is a range of polls based on different turn out scenarios showing a range of results. My guess is they are the same range as we saw in the last two polls, something between a tie and a blow out. I am not hearing any signs Coakley is winning – none.

Coakley cannot afford to let word get out she is toast, so I would suspect her camp wants to admit she is behind but it is still winnable. Brown is being smart by just noting he has a great chance to win this if everyone stays motivated. Typical last minute expectations control.

The fact President Obama is coming to Massachusetts could be a sign that the rumors of the pending death of his agenda are true, especially health care. The news of the dramatic poll shifts in this bluest of blue states has to have sent ripples through all those areas of light blue, purple and light red. Obama may be at the point where he needs to minimize the size of the loss, and that is why he is coming to MA.

Because the larger any margin of loss is for Coakley, the more centrist Democrats will walk away from him and the mad Speaker and Leader in Congress. He knows this. A close loss he may be able to stem the defections. A blow out and he is a lame duck.

It has to be bad for the Dems to be in this kind of panic mode, where even the emergency in Haiti is not enough to keep Presidents Clinton (envoy to Haiti) and Obama out of MA. It is gross how these two Democrat leaders have diverted their attention from Haiti to Cloakley and her abysmal campaign. It is another sign to where the real emergency is for them.

And these yahoos claimed Bush was indifferent with Katrina? I don’t recall him campaigning after as the flood waters resided.

Update: Make that 3 public polls showing Martha sinking fast.

Massachusetts US Senate
1/14/2010 Brown Coakley Kennedy Undecided
Likely voters 48% 45% 2% 5%
Democrats (44%) 20% 71% 1% 8%
Republicans (20%) 94% 1% - 5%
Other (36%)
58% 37% 4% 1%
Men (47%) 54% 39% 2% 5%
Women (53%) 44% 50% 2% 4%
18-49 (43%) 52% 42% 2% 4%
50 plus (57%) 46% 47% 1% 6%

Looks like NJ and VA all over again. Note the 58-37 lead Brown has with the ‘unenrolled/other’ (a.k.a. Independents). Also note Brown is carving 20% of Dems out of Coakley’s hide. The ARG turnout model is:

A total of 263 respondents identified as likely voters are registered to vote as Democrats, 122 as Republicans, 213 as unenrolled voters, and 2 with other parties.

Which translates into 44% D, 20% R and 35% I – which is ridiculous. Again, this poll showing Coakley ONLY down 3% seems extremely optimistic. Looks like she could heading for a wipe out. She is fading at Brown is rising towards 50%.

Addendum: I did a little sensitivity analysis using ARG as the baseline. If I flip the Indie and Dem turn out numbers to be closer to a normal election then Brown comes in at 52% and Coakley falls to 41.5%. I think this will be closer to the real turn out (of course, that depends on the accuracy of the RCP party affiliation model).

But even if I tweak the ARG model slightly to be 40D, 20R and 40I it turns to a Brown win of 50-43%. So what does it take in terms of turn out to get Coakley ahead? Surprisingly if I go with 50D, 20R and 30I it is still a tie! I seriously doubt we will see that on Tuesday. To push Coakley into the lead I pushed the turnout model to 52D, 18R and 30I, which resulted in 47.5-45% lead for Coakley.

Mathematically it is becoming impossible for Coakley to win.

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “How Bad Is Coakley Doing In Massachusetts?”

  1. Wilbur Post says:

    Democrat inferno: Burn Baby, Burn!

  2. oneal lane says:


    If Brown wins it will be interesting to see if Obama slips into tri-angulation mode ” a la clinton”. I am hoping Obamacare fails to pass.

    What do you see the chances are for passage of Obamacare before Brown would be sworn in.

  3. Paul from Boston says:

    Now Matha has really stepped in it, she called Curt Schilling a Yankee fan.


    Some of the biggest Sox fans I know are women. They may not know the stats or give a bleep about the Patriots, but the Red Sox… ?

  4. kathie says:

    Dem pollster says Independence are breaking 3 to 1 for Scott Brown. People are angry about out of control spending, Health Care bill, and not being listened to. Sounds like the “Tea Party” movement to me. Do the Dems wake up or not? I say make fun of the “Tea Party” movement at your peril.

  5. Gesina says:

    The only fly in the ointment now could be from the actions of Acorn and/or similarly corrupt officials. I have always felt that Frankin’s election was a product of that. Given the polls, and presumably, the exit polls, can this type behavior be ascertained?

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