What Brown Can Do

How ironic is this? Riding the coattails of JFK, Republican Scott Brown is threatening to surprise Democrats in Massachusetts and win the senate seat occupied by Ted Kennedy for 47 years! A new Rasmussen poll reveals that voters just aren't happy with Democrat Martha Coakley.
Twenty-one percent (21%) of those likely to vote in the special election have a very favorable opinion of Coakley, while 22% have a Very Unfavorable view. For Brown, the numbers are 25% very favorable and 5% very unfavorable.
Coakley has run a cynical, disinterested campaign in the style usually run by incumbents who can't lose - with may explain why 22% of likely voters don't like Coakley (more than who like her), while only 5% have a strongly negative impression of Scott!
Special elections are typically decided by who shows up to vote and it is clear from the data that Brown’s supporters are more enthusiastic. In fact, among those who are absolutely certain they will vote, Brown pulls to within two points of Coakley. That suggests a very low turnout will help the Republican and a higher turnout is better for the Democrat.
Martha will soon be unleashing a healthy dose of slick TV commercials designed to make her seem more appealing, but will reducing her negatives be enough to get more mindless Dems to remember to vote?
Both candidates get better than 70% of the vote from members of their respective parties, but Brown leads 65% to 21% among voters not affiliated with either of the major parties.
While there are many more registered Democrats than Republicans, the largest contingent of voters are those independents who favor Scott Brown 3 to 1.
And while Democratic voter registration vastly outnumbered the GOP’s by a margin of 37 to 12 percent, a whopping 51 percent of Massachusetts voters were registered as independents in 2008.
Are Democrats seeing the danger?
Marty Peretz, the editor-in-chief of the liberal New Republic magazine and a Coakley supporter, nonetheless thinks Mr. Brown "might actually defeat" the Democrat because "voters are scared." He notes that Democrats have gone "hysterical" over the Kennedy tax cut ad Mr. Brown is running. "Maybe their panic is apt," he notes.
Even a close race will send shivers through Democrats who know that their jobs in Washington are being put in jeopardy by their support for the president's health reform bill.
Independent groups are mulling plans to drive down Ms. Coakley's numbers by running ads that would point out that if she loses and Mr. Brown wins, Democrats would then be deprived of the 60th vote they need to pass a final health care bill. Candidate Brown is encouraging such thinking. "I could be the 41st senator that could stop the Obama proposal that's being pushed right now through Congress,'' he told reporters last week. Even holding Ms. Coakley to a narrow victory in uber-liberal Massachusetts would rattle Democratic cages and give members of Congress pause before a final health care vote.
Hopefully, all this will be enough to get the Republican National Committee to pump some last minute money into the state to give Brown a lift. He's gotten to where he is on his own, and, ironically, by riding the coattails of JFK.