Brown Takes Lead

Don't expect to see President Obama visiting Massachusetts over the next few days.
If Obama visits Massachusetts and Coakley loses, it would signal that Obama’s ability to motivate rank-and-file Democrats has slipped. It would buoy Republican efforts to take back the House and Senate this fall. And it could fuel criticism that he made a political trip while pressing issues awaited in Washington.
He won't be here because Coakley is going to lose. And now there's a poll that shows the shift that's taken place over the past week or 10 days.
A Suffolk University poll released Thursday evening shows Republican Scott Brown four points ahead of Democrat Martha Coakley as he continues his improbable surge in the Massachusetts Senate special election. The poll reports Brown is leading Coakley, 50 to 46 percent, just within the margin of error. Independent candidate Joe Kennedy received 3 percent.
50 to 46. And growing.
Suffolk pollster David Paleologos told the Boston Herald even he was surprised by the poll’s results, noting that their models show a likely high turnout of independent voters next Tuesday, which is likely to benefit Brown. The results also showed Brown leading in all the state’s regions except Suffolk County.
No surprise.
Brown’s favorability ratings are also higher than Coakley’s, with 57 percent saying they have a favorable opinion of the state senator and just 19 percent having an unfavorable opinion. Forty-nine percent say they have a favorable opinion of Coakley, while 41 percent have an unfavorable opinion of the attorney general. Against the backdrop of an election that could possibly play a decisive role in the health care debate—a point both parties have begun to press on their supporters—51 percent said they did not support the health care bill, with 36 percent supported it. Sixty-one percent said they didn’t believe the government could afford such a plan.
The debate Monday night was the killer for Coakley.
A plurality of respondents also believe Brown fared better during the televised debates between the candidates, with 41 percent saying they believed Brown won, compared to just 25 percent for Coakley. The survey was conducted Jan. 11-13 and surveyed 500 registered voters, with a margin of error of 4.4 percent.