Scott's Peak? It's Still Tight

Where is the Massachusetts senate race as of Sunday morning? Would Scott have won comfortably if the election had been held on Friday, but could he still lose on Tuesday? We'll take a look at some numbers from a campaign poll later in this post, but first, let's consider the question - could Scott be stalled or sliding? That's very possible. The Democrats are using all of their money and power to 1) kill interest in the race among excited independents through an endless barrage of hateful attack ads, 2) motivate their base with visits by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama (today).
Washington knows a Brown win will be devastating, and they're not being bashful in revealing their fear. Can the Machine beat back the popular uprising? We're eager for indications, but the polls aren't helping all that much - events move too fast, and the polls come out too infrequently. Besides, half of them you can't even bother to look at.
Right wing website Newsmax.com released a "new poll" yesterday that offers nothing new:
Republican Scott Brown leads Democrat Martha Coakley 48 percent to 45 percent in the special Massachusetts U.S. Senate race to replace Sen. Ted Kennedy in a telephone survey conducted Jan. 12-14 among 600 likely voters in Massachusetts saying they will definitely vote in the special election on Jan. 19.
Trouble is, they don't seem to mention who did the poll, nor reveal methodology. Let's toss that one in the trash, and consider the Suffolk University poll that came out Thursday and showed Scott up by 4 points.
David W. Moore a former vice president of Gallup and managing editor of the Gallup Poll, said the Suffolk poll used reliable methods and should be a “wake-up call’’ to Democrats who might have thought Coakley would trounce Brown.
Still, he said, “It’s hard to know how to interpret the various polls.’’
“I think there are a lot of undecided voters and they’re not measuring that,’’ Moore said. “And I’m skeptical about the robo-polls. So I would say it’s a close race, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable if I were Martha Coakley, and I wouldn’t feel panicked either.’’
For more current information, political writer Steve Kornacki has sources in the Coakley campaign:
I've been told reliably that Martha Coakley's internal poll for Friday night showed Republican Scott Brown leading by two points, 47 to 45 percent. Her campaign's three-night average for Friday, Thursday and Wednesday is the same -- a 47 to 45 lead for Brown. This is, obviously, not great news for the Democratic nominee. But it does suggest that Brown's momentum -- which took him from a double-digit gap to the lead in Coakley's poll in about a week's time -- has been arrested. On Wednesday night, Coakley's poll put her ahead by two, 46 to 44. On Thursday night, Brown surged ahead by three, 48 to 45. And on Friday, it was back to a two-point race. In other words, a nail-biter on Tuesday looks likely. UPDATE: As a friend points out, the Friday night numbers probably don't take into account Coakley's latest well-publicized gaffe, when she seemed to forget that Curt Schilling -- who at one point flirted with running in this race -- had played for the Red Sox. It may be silly that baseball IQ could have anything to do with a Senate candidate's election prospects, but that's where we are.
The Coakley folks could be spinning - perhaps she's down 7, so they're leaking a close race - but these numbers make sense given that the Coakley campaign has only now started to behave like they thought this was not an ordination proceeding. What are we counting on for a Brown win? Mark Blumenthal from Pollster.com sums things up.
“The one thing that is clear across all these surveys is that the most enthusiastic, most interested, and most likely to vote are the conservatives who are supporting Brown,’’ Blumenthal said.
Keep working, keep talking, get out and hold a sign. The long weekend and low turnout on Tuesday could allow the Scott Brown energy to dissipate, or it could damage the Dems plan to get their own folks out to vote while suppressing independent voters through negative ads. As Scott has told his people - just go out everyday and work like we're down by thirty. With a big snowstorm scheduled to hit Boston Sunday night, can we expect some dampening of effectiveness in mobilizing the less motivated Democrats?