Senate Race in Massachusetts Labeled a Toss-Up

John Hanlon

1/15/2010 4:00:00 AM - John Hanlon
Many pundits predicted that Republicans would be in some competitive Senate races in 2010. Weeks ago, few would have predicted that the first competitive Senate election of 2010 would take place in January of this year in the liberal Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Yet yesterday marked a major political turning point in the race to fill the seat previously occupied by Ted Kennedy in the United State Senate. The race between Attorney General Martha Coakley and state senator Scott Brown has now been named a toss-up by two high-profile political analysts.



Yesterday, Chris Cillizza from the Washington Post reported on the toss up development writing that "the two leading political handicappers in Washington have moved the contest into their 'toss up' category today."  Cillizza went on to write how the Coakley campaign continues to show signs of anxiousness about the election. In the days before the election, he wrote that "Democrats will do anything and everything to activate their party base -- from an expected appearance in the state by former President Bill Clinton to a new web video released today by President Obama." [# More #]

In addition to such predictable campaign tactics from a candidate who is struggling, Coakley campaign advocates also seem to be doing more to fight against Brown. As Politico.com reported, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee now seems ready to "play the Kennedy card" through campaign bulletins looking for volunteers. Additionally, Coakley supporter Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer has now stooped so low as to write in a fund-raising letter that Brown "is a far-right tea-bagger Republican", according to Fox News. Let's also not forget that earlier this week, another Coakley supporter admitted that he acted too aggressively during an encounter with a reporter who fell.

To frustrate the Democrats even further in their bid to win this seat, a new poll reported on by the Boston Herald has Scott Brown with a four point lead in the Bay State. That poll was conducted by Suffolk University / 7News. One of the most interesting items from the article was that Suffolk pollster David "Paleologos said bellweather models show high numbers of independent voters turning out on election day, which benefits Brown, who has 65 percent of that bloc compared to Coakley’s 30 percent." (It should be noted that I once took a class with Mr. Paleologos as an undergraduate.) That finding is a great sign for Mr. Brown and another great sign is that according to the article, "with 99 percent having made up their minds, voters may be hard to persuade." If Brown maintains a lead (even though the lead is in the margin of error), he could be the underdog who triumphs.

It is no wonder that this campaign is now a toss-up and that Coakley's supporters are coming out so hard against Mr. Brown.