That's not all, says Charles Franklin, who specializes in the statistical analysis of polling and election results at Pollster.com. Pajamas is a Republican-leaning polling firm. That certainly doesn't de-legitimize the results, but it does provide a lens from which we can view the findings. Franklin, however, says that no matter which lens you view the polling of the Massachusetts Senate race, Coakley always comes up short. In other words, it doesn't matter which poll you're looking at -- Brown is looking darn good.
Franklin mentions -- and I would emphasize -- the volatility in special-election polling, especially with a race as hot as this one. No one predicted Bill Owen's success in NY-23; conservative candidate Doug Hoffman was up in every poll that was publicized. So anything can happen. That said, Franklin's personal evaluation of multiple polls on the Coakley-Brown fight is encouraging:
Our job is to summarize the trends as best we can, without partisan favor. If you do that, we get a 8.8 point Brown lead.Perhaps you only trust non-partisan polls. Then the Brown lead is 6.8 points.Maybe you are a Dem, who doesn't trust the Republican pollsters. Then Brown leads by 6.5 points.Or you are a Dem who doesn't trust the non-partisan pollsters either and who does believe in the leaks from the Coakley campaign. Then Brown's lead is 3.8 points. (This is the only estimate that includes the leaks.)Or you are a Rep who trusts GOP and nonpartisan polls only. Then Brown leads by 11.3.