Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Massachusetts Special Election - prediction

We're about an hour from polls opening in Massachusetts for the special election to fill the United States Senate seat left vacant by the death of Edward Kennedy. And despite the contention in some parts of the media, such as WBZ radio and the Boston Globe, we are not beginning election day with the candidates "neck and neck," or in a "dead heat." There have been numerous polls over the past week, and the Republican candidate Scott Brown has led by three to fifteen points in all of them. If the polling numbers were reversed, no Boston media outlets would call it a "dead heat."

The question is, have the pollsters correctly identified the electorate that is going to turn out? It remains a predominantly Democratic state, and there's always the risk (or, depending on your point of view, hope) that the average Democrat-on-the-street will a) make the effort to go to the polls for this one race and b) actually support the Democratic candidate.

My belief, as we wait for the polls to open, is that there won't be enough of either for Martha Coakley to win the race. I predict that Scott Brown wins the seat, outside the margin of fraud. The final result will be something on the order of 52-45-3.

I further predict that, over the next 24-48 hours, there will be a lot of chatter from White House types and lefty pundits and "reality-based" bloggers about this being a local election, Coakley being a lousy candidate, the election results being unrelated to Obama or Obamacare, etc. It'll all be hogwash. An enormous part of the reason that Scott Brown, if he wins, will have done so was because the election was nationalized. Everyone on both sides knows the stakes. Everyone on both sides understands that this election is a referendum on Obamacare, and the way that the Democrats are trying to force a huge expansion of government through on partisan grounds. Money has poured in to both sides from all over the country. So, while Coakley has made some mistakes in her campaign and Brown has run a great campaign, that's not enough for him to win here. It's the nationalized nature of the election that's going to do it, if he does.

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