The Massachusetts Senate Election

On the 19th, we get to vote for a new Senator.  And although the Rasmussen poll has Scott Brown, the Republican, within 10 points, I am willing to guess the margin will be more like 12 to 15 for Martha Coakley, the Democrat .  Believe it or not, I wrote that on Saturday before the Boston Globe poll was published today showing Coakley with a 15 point lead.  (There is also a Libertarian, Joseph Kennedy – not one of the Kennedys.  They have endorsed Martha.)

I favored Congressman Michael Capuano in the Democratic primary, but it will be good to elect a woman Senator for the first time.  Besides the fact that Mike was once my boss when he was Mayor of Somerville, I have only partially forgiven Coakley for her intransigence on the Fells Acre child care case she prosecuted as Middlesex County Assistant DA.  As far as federal issues go, there was not a lot of difference between them 

But I became solidly in Martha’s court after Scott Brown said that while he didn’t favor torture, it being against the Geneva Convention and all, he was in favor of waterboarding which, according to him, is not torture.  Coakley disagrees, agreeing with the Obama Administration policy.  Brown’s endorsement of waterboarding became the subject of a great Wasserman cartoon

 Brown has been running ads comparing himself with John F. Kennedy which don’t seem to have helped him much.

According to the poll released today

Half of voters surveyed said they would pick Coakley, the attorney general, if the election were held today, compared with 35 percent who would pick Brown. Nine percent were undecided, and a third candidate in the race, independent Joseph L. Kennedy, received 5 percent.

Coakley’s lead grows to 17 points – 53 percent to 36 percent – when undecideds leaning toward a candidate are included in the tally. The results indicate that Brown has a steep hill to climb to pull off an upset in the Jan. 19 election. Indeed, the poll indicated that nearly two-thirds of Brown’s supporters believe Coakley will win.

“She’s simply better known and better liked than Brown,’’ said Andrew E. Smith, director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, which conducted the poll for the Globe.

Coakley is seen as strongest on health care, the issue that 31 percent of respondents said was the most important. Fifty-one percent said they trusted Coakley to best handle the issue, with only 29 percent saying Brown.

Brown has trumpeted the prospect that he would be the 41st vote to block the health care proposals before Congress, while Coakley has said she would proudly cast the 60th vote to prevent a filibuster and grant final approval for the legislation.

The war in Afghanistan was the best issue for Brown, with 34 percent saying they trust him, compared with 35 percent for Coakley. Brown, a National Guardsman, supports President Obama’s plan to increase troop levels in Afghanistan; Coakley opposes it.

The turn out will be very light and with the Democrats holding the edge in party registration all Martha has to do is to get more voters out.  The ten day weather projection calls for temps around freezing and partly sunny in Boston. 

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