If Coakley Loses . . .

Unlike Jeralyn, I strongly hope Martha Coakley wins the Senate race in Massachusetts. There simply is no comparison between her and her opponent Scott Brown - Coakley is infinitely superior on the issues I care about.

That said, it is now clear that Coakley may lose. What happens if Coakley loses? What would it mean? One thing for sure - it would mean that the Democratic political message is not working. It's one thing to lose the governorships of Virginia and New Jersey in tough economic times. Like NYC mayors and Presidents, Governors are blamed for everything that happens. And times are tough. But Coakley is not an incumbent. Surely she is not being blamed for current conditions. It seems that Coakley is not a good candidate, but still, Massachusetts? Something is wrong. More . .

There has been much teeth gnashing against criticism of Democrats from the Left. Some I suppose will attribute the Dem weakness demonstrated by Coakley's struggles to the internecine carping.

I think that explanation is too simplistic. Overhanging every election is a referendum on the ruling party. In most electoral districts (one would have considered Massachusetts to be one of them), this does not matter. They are not called blue and red states for no reason. But in some, the prevailing conditions are treated as a referendum on the governing party.

But let's accept the premise that internal carping has damaged Democratic electoral chances. So what do you do about that? Do you try and shout down the Left Flank of the Democratic Party in an off year election cycle? Is that really the thing to do? Of course not.

What you do is pander address the concerns of this important disaffected sector. Because, in the end, that is what politics is - pandering addressing the concerns of the voters you want to work and vote for you. Berating voters and activists for not liking what you are doing is not a winning strategy in politics.

Of course, the likely FIRST thing to happen if Coakley loses will be the rush to point fingers - Coakley was a bad candidate, etc. But once that phase is over, it seems to me that the next thing to do is to figure out what is wrong and to try and address it. Preferably BEFORE a 2010 November debacle.

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    I think it's entirely a referendum (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 09:42:54 AM EST
    on the Dems. If I had to point to one cause of the closeness of this race, it was the the insufficient stimulus of a year ago.

    I'm sure there are other more local issues... (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:25:52 AM EST
    ... but outside of Mass., this election is mostly discussed in terms of whether or not the Democrats can hold that 60th vote in the Senate - without which a lot of Obama's agenda may flounder. So you would think if the voters of Massachusetts were happy with that agenda and how it is being pursued, they'd support Coakley in spite of her apparent lameness as a campaigner and candidate.

    60th Vote (none / 0) (#186)
    by PatHat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:19:53 PM EST
    The search for the 60th vote has been the undoing of the Democratic Party so far. It isn't there either with or without Coakley.

    Internecine carping (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 09:50:03 AM EST
    Stop it you Naderite . . .

    heh (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 09:55:14 AM EST
    I forgot, Obama and the Dems are doing everything right, and don't you dare question the the politics of the stimulus or the healthcare bill!

    Exactly (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 09:56:05 AM EST
    STFU. And wave those pom poms.

    That's a funny article actually (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 09:58:18 AM EST
    When Obama passes something as progressive as the Tax Act of 1993, let me know.

    I figured you'd have some fun (none / 0) (#21)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:00:57 AM EST
    with the last bit.

    "Guaranteed issue or bust!"


    If Coakley Wins (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by noholib on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 09:43:50 AM EST
    I agree wholeheartedly with BTD: big difference between Coakley and Brown on the issues.  Ask those of us who live in Massachusetts! To have a hard-right Repub representing us at the national level would be too much to bear in this season of discontent, and all seasons.
    Coakley has a good position on most of the issues, including women's rights, health care, regulation of financial entities, marriage rights for all.  
    Unfortunately from my perspective, she is not enough of a fire-breathing liberal, but on the political spectrum of this country, she is definitely a liberal.  
    If people stay home for this election because of dissatisfaction with the national Dems, they are handing a vote to Brown and the Repubs.  It's as simple as that, in my view.
    I have changed your title from the negative to a positive, in the spirit of stopping the drumbeat of negative predictions.

    I read that in a debate this week (none / 0) (#11)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 09:54:54 AM EST
    Coakley bombed, and Brown was widely seen as the winner, which is being cited as a reason for his upsurge -- as measured in internal polls by the Coakley campaign.

    So you're closer to the ground there.  Is it so?  Did the debate make that much difference, or was it her recent other flubs, or was it her flunky's assault on a reporter asking her questions, or all of the above and fill-in-the-blanks???  

    Sounds wild out there in Beantown. :-)


    Do we know the TV ratings from the debate? (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by dk on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:11:21 AM EST
    I'm in Boston, and do not know of one person who watched it.  It didn't really even get that much press, frankly.

    Count me in as someone who agrees that if Coakley loses, it is because of disaffection with the righward movement of the national Democrats.  


    It was pretty bad (none / 0) (#27)
    by CST on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:08:29 AM EST
    Combined with the fact that her ads are fairly terrible.

    Also she is getting bad press for the fact that she doesn't seem to want to meet the "masses" and Brown is on the street canvassing for votes.

    The field director is an old classmate of mine, and she's in a bit over her head (not that surprising as she's pretty young to be a field director for a senate campaign).  I'm gonna be helping them out Monday and Tuesday, I think the solid Dems are starting to wake up, the worry is that it's too little/ too late.


    Is it misogyny pure and simple? (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Sweet Sue on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 09:57:28 AM EST
    Massachusetts has never elected a woman senator and Coakely is running against a smooth, handsome man in the Mitt Romney mold.
    Would Matt Coakley be doing better?
    Last night, Tweety asked if she was surrounded by Hillary advisers because his HCDS never ends.

    I thought Hillary won MA in the primaries (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:10:26 AM EST
    but, I didn't go exploring to verify that.

    She did, by a very (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by dk on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:15:33 AM EST
    large margin.

    Coakley as superdem stuck w/ HRC (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by noholib on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:50:47 AM EST
    Yes HRC won in Mass. by a large margin.
    To her credit, Coakley in her capacity as a superdelegate honored the voters' will and voted for HRC.  

    Ah, that's right; the M states got to vote (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:56:03 AM EST
    just before the roll call ended with the N's.

    Some of the super-d's in my state, late in the alphabet, still are steamed about that.  As am I, as my primary vote never got to count.  And this was supposed to be the party that counts the votes.:-)


    When they quit counting the votes (5.00 / 3) (#133)
    by oldpro on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:28:09 AM EST
    I quit being a party member.

    Aha, I also understand more now (none / 0) (#155)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:00:58 PM EST
    as to why Obama is not working hard for her.  Saw the same thing in my state, where he punished a Clinton super-d.  In that case, she got pushed out.  In this case, Coakley winning the primary with women's votes aka Clinton votes, per the reports, may have made it even worse for her now.

    Very, very interesting race.  Not that we'll see much about gender factors in media reports or other sites, I suspect.  It's just not fashionable now.


    Obama (none / 0) (#175)
    by noholib on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:53:14 PM EST
    He did make an ad for her, is sending out emails, and according to another reader, robocalls.

    Yes. That is not (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:55:24 PM EST
    known, in political circles, as working hard for her. :-)

    working hard? (none / 0) (#179)
    by noholib on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:59:39 PM EST
    right. got it.

    Pres. Obama coming to Massachusetts (none / 0) (#181)
    by noholib on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:03:57 PM EST
    Just saw breaking news headline on TV:
    Obama coming to stump for Coakley in MA on Sunday.

    Aha. (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:17:22 PM EST
    Ah well, the meeting on jobs bills was canceled this week because of Haiti, and now next week's can be canceled because of Massachusetts.

    And while we wait, the adjusted unemployment figure in my state now is reported as more than 17%.  Obama probably ought not come here anytime soon. :-)


    That's it for Martha then. (none / 0) (#182)
    by itscookin on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:14:40 PM EST
    The Brown ads will write themselves. They'll be ready to go for Monday. He can start packing for DC.

    Obama couldn't fill a ballroom (none / 0) (#185)
    by itscookin on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:18:11 PM EST
    for a Deval Patrick fundraiser here.

    Nah, they can find a room already filled (none / 0) (#188)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:26:25 PM EST
    for an MLK event or something.  It's perfect timing.

    I don't know (none / 0) (#190)
    by CST on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:30:02 PM EST
    if a live Elvis could fill a ballroom for Deval at this point.

    I read somewhere recently (none / 0) (#195)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:40:21 PM EST
    Deval has an over-50% favorability rate.  Is that wrong?

    Ah, that is significant; thanks (none / 0) (#44)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:20:20 AM EST
    to both of you (and others here) for these tipoffs to the gender factor.  It's fairly strong there against women to Senate, from what I've just researched, so it is interesting that Clinton did so well.  But that also could mean a lot of POWs.:-)

    I wouldn't make too many judgements (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by CST on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:24:45 AM EST
    based on who we have sent to the senate.  When one of your senators was there as long as T.K., there are not a whole lot of openings.  Kerry has been there so long as well, I think it's more of an incumbent factor than an anti-woman factor.

    There is a lot of indication that Coakley's gender helped her significantly during the primary as well.


    Well, that would be good to see (none / 0) (#68)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:30:34 AM EST
    as the overall stats for women in politics show an increasingly significant decline.  

    But MA has had only five women in the House, so I found in researching this?  

    However, even if gender is a minimal factor, it could matter if the election is as close as forecast -- that combined with all of the other problems noted for Coakley.


    And only one woman in Congress now? (none / 0) (#146)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:45:20 AM EST
    Is that really so?  Wow.  And she's a Tsongas who won in a special election; maybe that suggests good news for Coakley in this special election, but she's shown herself not quite a Tsongas librul.  And Tsongas is only the second Dem woman elected to the House from MA, and the first only had one term. . . .

    Here's what I find:

    State Fact Sheet -  Massachusetts

    U.S. Congress Total Seats:
    2 U.S. Senators
    10 U.S. Representatives

    Niki Tsongas (D) U.S. Rep., 2007-present
    Margaret M. Heckler (R) U.S. Rep., 1967-1983
    Louise Day Hicks (D)     U.S. Rep., 1971-1973
    Edith Nourse Rogers (R), U.S. Rep. 1925-1960

    It's looking better at the state level, of course, but it often does (and often especially when there is a glass ceiling there).  At least MA has had a woman governor and a woman lieutenant governor.  But Coakley is only the sixth woman elected to the executive level in MA.


    The Massachusetts Democratic (5.00 / 2) (#151)
    by dk on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:54:57 AM EST
    party is a tightly run political machine.  The fact that there have been so few women in congress and in statewide positions has, IMO, less to do with the level of misogyny among voters here than with the level of misogyny in the machine itself.

    Of course, that may be true in every state, but again I would bet that the MA Democratic political machine is particularly tight.


    Yea (none / 0) (#154)
    by CST on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:58:01 AM EST
    I think in order to really figure this out you'd have to look at what happens when a female candidate makes it onto the ballot.

    You can't vote for someone (and expect them to win) if they aren't there.


    Of course. It's looking like a classic (none / 0) (#165)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:18:40 PM EST
    case, the more I research (and the more I recall of its suffrage history, too).  The relatively good rating of MA for women in the state legislature vs. the rest is classic.  So is the state's ethnic composition, btw.  A contravening factor would be the state's incredible number of colleges, of course.  But then, we've seen that factor go awry with the working class voters.  

    And the machine was not for her (none / 0) (#167)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:20:28 PM EST
    in the primaries, I gather?  Could be another case of a woman getting around the obstacles but only just so far, then not getting serious party support.  Well, we will see what happens next week, and then we will see if there are astute analysts there.

    The women in the state legislature (none / 0) (#169)
    by dk on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:23:21 PM EST
    were vocal supporters, but otherwise the machine, I believe, favored Capuano.  However, probably because Coakley was so far ahead in the polls, they mostly kept their mouths shut rather than openly campaign against her.

    Well, I look at this way. (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by dk on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:30:07 AM EST
    Certainly after what we witnessed last year, I think it's safe to assume that misgony plays a role in every election.  

    That said, I don't think misogyny is the determining factor in this particular election.  The determining factors, IMO, are that 1) liberal democrats will stay home because they are not happy with the rightward direction that the party is moving in and don't have confidence that Coakley will fight to bring the party back to the left; and 2) all democrats are angry about the big giveaways to big finance while everyone else has to go through pretty tough times.


    As noted in comment above (none / 0) (#71)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:31:52 AM EST
    it is indicated that it could be a lesser factor of so many re Coakley -- but if the election is close, every factor could count.

    VA was not an incumbent race. (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 09:59:52 AM EST
    Just thought it worth mentioning.

    In any case, I don't think that it is the internal carping.

    It is the fact that when I am sitting across the dinner table with a Republican doctor who asks me why this Congress can't pass single payer, I can't say that they even tried.  When he asks me why they are taking such a convoluted and confusing approach, I can't say that it was anybody's fault but their own.  When he asks me why the Democratic Party is playing to the interests of insurers and pharma, I can't say they aren't.

    And trust me, this guy isn't reading Jane Hamsher or you, BTD, or dkos.  He's not the only person who has asked me questions along these lines either - and none of them follow the left of the left's commentary either.

    Good point (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:01:59 AM EST
    But Massachusetts is more like New Jersey than Virginia.

    BTW (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:03:22 AM EST
    Why the hell isn't he reading me? The nerve.

    Maybe he'll read our new sports blog - Sports Left. Launching presently.


    lol (none / 0) (#29)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:10:57 AM EST
    Maybe I'll mention it to him next time I see him.

    As for the MA/NJ parallel being stronger in general that's true.  But it should not be discounted that the outgoing VA Governor is now the Chair of the DNC and, well, even though he didn't like the candidate (based on the scuttlebutt), I think it is pretty embarassing that he and Obama didn't GOTV for "The Democrat" in NoVa.


    By the time it was time to GOTV in VA (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:12:25 AM EST
    the race was a lost cause.

    I live here. (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:24:13 AM EST
    Trust me, they did nada for that candidate.  I was stunned.  But aside from the fact that they did nothing, the shiny happy mood about Obama around here has definitely subsided and I think that race definitely reflected that to a degree.

    He probably reads Jeralyn. (none / 0) (#78)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:35:34 AM EST
    <snk.> (none / 0) (#157)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:05:12 PM EST
    Just in time for the Olympics. (none / 0) (#136)
    by oldpro on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:32:46 AM EST
    Thank you (none / 0) (#145)
    by Spamlet on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:43:51 AM EST
    for that impeccable use of "presently," so rare these days.

    If we're lucky, Massachusetts (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:05:55 AM EST
    really behaves like New Jersey does in Federal elections, and the Rs just get teased.

    Remember Menendez-Kean a week out?


    In terms of gender, that's not lucky (none / 0) (#39)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:17:49 AM EST
    as NJ and MA both have resisted sending women up to this level -- and both are seeing declines in women in politics at some other levels.

    Coakley is the elected AG (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:20:12 AM EST
    I don't buy that gender will be a major factor in MA.

    That you don't buy it (none / 0) (#48)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:21:58 AM EST
    or that I may doesn't matter, of course.  But you are ignoring the complexity of the gender factor; women can win some offices and not others in some states (like mine, so I have seen it at work).

    Other than a few (none / 0) (#87)
    by itscookin on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:43:18 AM EST
    "Martha Croakley" jokes, this race has been pretty gender bias free. (Massachusetts has a wide range of accents.) Scott Brown's campaign itself has not gone there. There has been a lot made of Brown's Cosmo pics on the web, but doesn't seem to be a campaign issue here. Coakley got a lot of support from women in the primary, which is probably how she beat the machine candidate. All in all I don't think women could write a Coakley loss off to sexism. It would be a stretch.

    Those photos must have helped (none / 0) (#114)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:01:02 AM EST
    his name recognition--unless his name was already well known, of course.

    Is there a contradiction (none / 0) (#149)
    by Spamlet on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:51:56 AM EST
    between these two statements?

    Coakley got a lot of support from women in the primary, which is probably how she beat the machine candidate.

    All in all I don't think women could write a Coakley loss off to sexism. It would be a stretch.

    One could read this as saying that Coakley, without women's support, would have lost the primary. (Why? Because men didn't vote for her?)

    If Coakley loses this special election, will it be because women don't vote for her? (Why? Because of her support for the anti-choice provisions of the health care [sic] bill?)

    I don't presume to know but just wonder how all of this breaks down.


    Did we ever have a female Senate candidate... (none / 0) (#163)
    by NealB on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:15:00 PM EST
    ...in Wisconsin? Hoping Tammy Baldwin may step up when Kohl retires (please, retire Mr. Kohl). Is Wisconsin sexist when it comes to candidates for national office? Lots of women in the state legislature. Hmmm. (sorry, if ot).

    Yes. Since the 1920s (none / 0) (#180)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:02:50 PM EST
    when the Dems pushed a woman to run -- but then the party refused to give her any promised support.  A tremendous woman, known nationally and even internationally.

    Interestingly, a few years later but still in the '20s, Wisconsin could have been the first state with a woman in the Senate -- but Belle Case LaFollette would not accept filling the seat.  So it went to her son, of course . . . and stayed his seat until Joe McCarthy drove him to suicide to win the seat, so it is said.

    And yes, Wisconsin is infamously bad for women.  One of the last to never send a woman to Congress for many decades -- not until Tammy, and that was not until the end of the millennium.  One of the last without a woman lieutenant governor until this millennium.  One of the few still to have not had a woman governor -- and we're not going to get one now, after the White House punishment of our LG.

    And the numbers in the state legislature actually have declined.  It was one of the highest states for that for a while, a classic sign of a glass ceiling, although it's more that women legislators are stuck to the legislative floor.  But now it it's even worse, as great women in that pipeline finally gave up and left the legislature to get something done somewhere else.  That got us some good women mayors.


    Could be that people don't much like (5.00 / 4) (#26)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:08:14 AM EST
    what the Dems are doing or not doing with the WH and their majorities in Congress.

    Their continued support of Wall Street instead of Main Street, a mandate to support the insurance industry rather than actually providing affordable health care, a less than stellar performance in creating jobs here at home along with telling the left to sit down and STFU, may not be a winning combination.

    That would be my guess (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:12:26 AM EST
    Many people do not want to make it easy for this administration to continue on the path they are on by giving them all they need to continue messing up our lives.

    Any fix has to begin with the politicians who are making such a sorry mess of the country.


    I don't know what the demographics (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:27:02 AM EST
    are now, but the backbone of the Democratic Party in Massachussetts for a lot of years was the working class folks.  This Administration hasn't really played to that crowd since they've taken office.  I don't know what Coakley's profile is in those terms, but that may be a factor for her too.

    Unions prevail re excise tax. (none / 0) (#85)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:40:34 AM EST
    Mass. voters (none / 0) (#103)
    by noholib on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:55:53 AM EST
    We ought to remember that Mass. Democrats elected Ed King, quite a conservative fellow, as governor several years back.  And Mass. voters have chosen several Republican governors, Weld, Celluci, Romney. Now let's hope the Senate remains a different ball-game.

    Completely different dynamic (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:46:01 AM EST
    for state elections vs federal.  Mass. leg. is overwhelmingly Dem, and usually presided over by insufferable strongman Speakers.  Many voters have the mistaken idea that they need a moderate Repub. governor to balance that.

    As for King-- he was a Democrat.  And Dukakis seriously messed up and lost touch, even literally losing his mailing list, during his first term as gov.


    The Weld example is instructive (none / 0) (#172)
    by shoephone on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:33:06 PM EST
    He was a moderate, likeable, and nice-looking Republican, running against John Silber, a scary-looking and scary-sounding Democrat who came off as Dr. Sardonicus. The spend-a-day-with-the-candidate pieces that Channel 4 did with both men just played right into their strengths and weaknesses. Weld wore an apron and cooked dinner for his young family (while they teased him and he took it good-naturedly). Silber, instead, spouted off very authoritarian viewpoints and, I'm sorry, but the hook-hand did not help him any.

    It just goes to prove, once again, that Republicans are great at framing and photo ops and Dems suck at both. If Kennedy hadn't been there so long, MA probably would have sent a few righties to the Senate by now.


    Oh, man! (none / 0) (#197)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:43:59 PM EST
    Talk about holding your nose in the voting booth.  That election was one of the very, very few times in my life I ever voted for a Republican.  I knew too much about the way Weld behaved as U.S. attorney to have any faith in his moderation, but Silber was/is flat-out crazyman clinically unhinged.

    I think Democratic politicians are realizing (none / 0) (#51)
    by Dan the Man on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:23:05 AM EST
    Obama can't get his voters to vote for Democrats if he's not on the ballot.  Which means the only election Obama will ever have an influence on in the future is 2012.

    It would be more worthwhile if the (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:32:13 AM EST
    Democratic politicians would realize that the corporate centric policies that they are backing in D.C. are going to be deferential to electing Democrats.

    I have to agree with MO above... (5.00 / 2) (#137)
    by jeffhas on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:35:47 AM EST
    This race is about dissatisfaction with Dems - NATIONALLY.

    Independents and Dems I know are p*ssed at how this congress and president have squandered their majority at such a critical moment for our Country.... and they're sending money to Brown to help him win! (where do you think the money's coming from?)

    Everyone talked about how historic Obama's presidency was going to be - you know what - they were kinda right, there really were opportunities for him to become historic...  but right now it looks hysterical (and not in a funny way).

    Almost everyone I run into talks about the disappointment... maybe they still will vote for him - but it's not the same... and it's setting in.... and if they're not disappointed, they're flat out mad as h*ll.

    People better stop making this out to be an outlier (bad candidate, yada, yada) THIS LOSS (if Coakley loses) will be a referendum on Obama, Reid and Pelosi... and everybody better wake up and smell the coffee or there's going to be a tidal wave in November that might make '94 look small in comparison.


    I guess the question I would have is, (5.00 / 4) (#40)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:17:51 AM EST
    if Coakley loses, what message will the Democratic party take from it?  

    Will anyone seriously propose that Massachusetts - one of the bluest states in the nation - has, over the last year, undergone some sort of, um, transformative move to the right, and decide that the answer to the loss will be to (continue to) move Dems to the right?

    Will they look at Dem turnout and see that the reason Brown won was that Dems stayed home and make some attempts to ask the voters why?  Will they listen to the Dem voters who tell them that Coakley changing her position on abortion-related components of health care reform was a deal-breaker for them?  And that Coakley's change of what appeared to be long-standing support for abortion rights proved to the voters that Coakley was like every other Dem who has courted the vote only to abandon the voters?

    The media will spin it as utter doom for the Democrats, which may be what the Dems need to wake up and smell the disgust many of us are feeling.  

    Or not.

    Here's the thing: I live in the country, and we have more deer in the area than you can believe.  Dusk and dawn are the worst times to encounter deer on the move, so caution has to be taken when driving the country roads.  Deer are not the brightest members of the animal kingdom, and what makes them so dangerous is that, invariably, when they are poised at the side of a road, they will choose to jump toward the road - and oncoming traffic - instead of away from the road.

    Dems are like the deer at the side of the road; even though there is a course of action that could keep them alive, they are quite likely to take the course of action that endangers them, so...my confidence that they will learn the right lessons from a Coakley loss is pretty low.

    Love the deer analogy (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:25:57 AM EST
    so true

    too true... (none / 0) (#144)
    by jeffhas on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:43:35 AM EST
    Notice how... (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by DancingOpossum on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:18:01 AM EST
    ...when the chips are down, everyone calls a Clinton. Even though they are racists and horrible DLCers.

    Clinton is on Haiti (none / 0) (#50)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:22:44 AM EST
    I doubt he will do much in Mass.

    Bill Clinton is in MA (none / 0) (#54)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:24:36 AM EST
    for Coakley, from what I read.  So he is doing something -- so I gather you mean that it won't matter.

    Not much really (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:27:00 AM EST
    If I was running the campaign, I would focus on the pride of Massachusetts being a progressive stronghold and the embarrassment of having a Tea Bagger as Senator.

    Coakley needs to make it not about her. Obviously her appeal is pretty limited.

    BTW, I think they need a new candidate for 2012. She clearly does not have the chops.  


    How could she run that kind of (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by dk on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:40:10 AM EST
    campaign while also supporting a health care bill that is not progressive, and that contains an amendment that women have to make a special application, and pay out of their own pocket, for equal rights to healthcare?

    This is going to be a relatively small turnout election, and many of the people voting aren't that stupid.


    I live in MA, (5.00 / 4) (#66)
    by itscookin on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:29:57 AM EST
    and I just got a robocall from President Obama. I'm voting for Coakley no matter who calls my house, but I have to say the call was a real turn off. It was an "if you support my wildly wonderful agenda, then send Coakley to the senate". Coakley has had no trouble being elected to statewide office in the past. She won the attorney general seat with 68.9% of the vote. This is a referendum on Obama and the other Democrats. He said, "She'll be my voice and my ally."

    This is wht I think too... (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by jeffhas on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:48:05 AM EST
    It IS a referendum on Obama, and Obama (and the Dem Party) haven't figured out the people are not happy with his policies, etc.

    Someone is going to have to sit down with this man and tell him his crown is tarnished.


    I'll say this (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by CST on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:36:25 AM EST
    I'm not as confident as I was a few days ago.

    The Coakley campaign is scared.  Their internal polling is bad, their press is bad, and their field operations have been pretty bad.

    I know a number of people working there and they are in freak out mode.

    That being said, I haven't seen a single Brown sign, and I have seen a ton of Coakley ones.  But I live in the wrong part of town for that anyway.

    It's all Brown (none / 0) (#104)
    by itscookin on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:55:57 AM EST
    out here in the burbs where I am. Supporters standing on street corners in the cold waving signs. My town went for Capuano, though, in the primaries so maybe while they aren't sporting Coakley's signage, they may still vote for her.

    one hilarious recommended diary on Orange (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by jes on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:38:18 AM EST
    yesterday had the title  "President Obama says...GET OFF YOUR A&%$!!" A bit insulting and the text offered no reasons to vote for Coakley but did have an interesting poll:

    What are you doing to help Coakley Win in Mass?

    Donating: 34%    228 votes
    Phone Banking: 14%    92 votes
    Knocking on doors: 1%    7 votes
    Nothing cause I don't give a damn, democrats deserve to lose: 49%    326 votes

    The "blame the left flank" crew, after brow beating all the whiners, were proclaiming the hostile takeover of dKos by the teabaggers complete.

    My first thought was that someone was freeping or else people were just pissed by the tone and the creepy poll, but the shock was priceless. Did it change the tone? No. Most doubled down.

    I read that diary and moved on fast (5.00 / 3) (#88)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:44:01 AM EST
    I didn't even answer the poll.  The President demands that I get of my a$$ and work for him (God, how many worked and worked and worked for him) only to have him cut backroom corporate deals that made everyones life other than elites much much worse.  I did not check on how that poll panned out.  On one hand that's shocking as hell but on the other hand why would it be shocking....everyone middle class or poor or gay or female was sold out more than once, more than twice.  You don't even need to count any more, just get up every morning and wait for them to sell you out again for the day.

    It's the Health Care Bill (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:44:22 AM EST
    Pure and simple.

    If it wasn't so terrible and disliked by a wide majority this race wouldn't be close.

    Whether or not it's needed is a separate issue.  On that issue the country is slightly in democrats favor.

    But the bill, the deals, the broken promises are just easy pickings for someone like Brown and he's riding that outrage to a lead.

    Throw in a general downturn in the core democratic message (Obama, Reid Pelosi being unliked) and you have 2006 and 2008 all over again for democrats.

    I sill think she'll win but who knows.

    I think that's probably true (none / 0) (#90)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:45:18 AM EST
    But will wait for the election day polling.

    2006, 2008 or even 1994? (none / 0) (#162)
    by oldpro on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:13:27 PM EST
    I would vote for Brown (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by me only on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:48:36 AM EST
    this seat is up for re-election in 2012.  This would send a message to the Dems in Washington and help tilt the Senate back towards something that is workable.  The problem with 60 Dems is that the Republicans have nothing to gain by working with the Dems.  Absolutely nothing.  That is fine if your majority is 65 or so.  You can pass legislation without a few of the more vulnerable of your party, but at 60, you get junk legislation.  Let the majority fall to 52 and then the Republicans might start working with you (Obama would probably be better off losing either the house or the senate, then the Republicans have to engage and pass something here or there.)

    Clinton lost his majority in 94 and was able to advance his agenda (sans comprehensive health care reform) because the Republicans and the Democrats had self interest in passing legislation.  Right now the Republicans have no interest and the Democrats majority in the Senate requires all the members to vote together.  I'd rather herd cats.

    You have quite a different memory of the 1990s (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:50:21 AM EST
    than I do.

    I have a different memory (none / 0) (#115)
    by me only on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:01:09 AM EST
    of the 70's than yours as well.

    I'm reinforcing my memory of (none / 0) (#164)
    by oldpro on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:16:47 PM EST
    the 60s, 70s, etc. by reading 'Nixonland'...I highly recommend it.  Remarkable.

    I agree with this post re the comments about the (none / 0) (#126)
    by DFLer on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:11:59 AM EST
    vaunted 60 majority, in that if Coakley loses, then the Dems will perhaps look to majority vote solutions in the Senate. (I however do not advocate voting for Brown)

    The other result of a Brown win would be that Sara Palin would have to cease calling Levi J. a porno-man.


    Republican change you can believe in (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by kidneystones on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:03:53 AM EST
    What happens if Coakley wins? Seems the better question.

    You best be coming up with something better than, 'Brown loses' because very few Dems, I suspect are willing to come and vote for more of the same, at this stage, which is all a vote for Coakley clearly is.

    What changes if Coakley wins? Really. Nothing. That's the core of the Dem problem. In an economy year, Dems ignored jobs. Claim otherwise all you want but that 10% unemployment rate after President Perfect promised unemployment wouldn't go higher than 8 is staring every voter square in the face.

    Some folks around here have real short memories. Remember how great it felt to be called a racist for supporting HRC? Remember how much respect you felt for those spouting that kind of 'logic'.

    Calling Brown a 'tea-bagger' simply marginalizes those doing the name calling. Brown is an elected Republican.

    Trying to paint Coakley's opponent as something other than a credible, but less preferable, alternative at a time when people want real solutions to real problems will simply convince voters that all Dems can offer is spite.

    If Martha Coakley loses, (5.00 / 3) (#128)
    by itscookin on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:19:33 AM EST
    it will be because she didn't trust her base. Her base wasn't the Democratic Party. They supported Capuano. Pelosi was all over him. Women won the primary for Coakley. During the primaries she pledged to go to Washington and vote against any bill that treated women unfairly - starting with the HCR bill. Because of her stand at the Democratic convention, we believed her. Scott Brown was an unknown state senator from some small towns southeast of Boston running just to expand his name recognition. Then Coakley changed her mind about voting against the HCR bill. I don't know why, but she did. That gave Brown a hole big enough to drive his truck with 200,000 miles on right through her. She went from being a champion of women's rights to just another sellout Dem. And remember I'm voting for her anyway, but lots of women aren't. This is a referendum on the Dems now and has been from the beginning- even when we were voting in the primary.

    In the primary she promised not to (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:25:26 AM EST
    sell women out in the midst of the Nelson-Stupak horror show?  I did not know this. Wow, well no wonder she is in the pile up she is in then.  Sounds very deserved too.

    Thanks; this gets more and more (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:27:24 AM EST
    interesting for me, interested as I am in gender factors in politics.  Your comment sent me off to research more about the primaries, and I found a lot of agreement that, per the reports, the gender gap was much greater than usual in the primaries there, and in Coakley's favor.  And then she flip-flopped.  Ouch.

    Plus, I read that she messed with the League of Women Voters and their beloved debates there?  Double ouch.  And that's a historically very powerful group in that state, so it will be interesting to see if it still has such influence.


    What was the reason for her flip (none / 0) (#168)
    by oldpro on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:21:23 PM EST
    on women's access to healthcare...anyone know?

    You know, even if Coakley (5.00 / 2) (#129)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:22:50 AM EST
    squeeks by, the Democrats and the Obama Administration really ought sit up and take note that the mood around this country is not quite as favorable for Democrats as they seemed to be thinking it would be at this point in the game.

    You would think that maybe they could (5.00 / 2) (#134)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:29:22 AM EST
    even smell a hint of blatant hostility :)

    I think they have their sense of smell (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:42:56 AM EST
    zapped with a laser so as not to have to breathe in and be bothered by the stench of corruption and betrayal and greed that permeates the halls of Congress and the executive branch, and this has rendered them incapable of smelling the hostility and disgust we are beginning to give off in waves.

    I actually feel sad today (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:55:33 AM EST
    It is one thing to experience the betrayal and disconnect and argue for that to end, at the same time knowing that the laws of the universe will tend to things, and then see the consequences this starkly.  I suppose we argue for realities to be acknowledged because we never wanted to see this.  It is here though.  Got here faster than I thought it would too.  I suppose though as inclusiveheart points out, the internet has the capability of educating people much quicker too.  If you are unemployed, trying to retire, or suffering in this horrible health care situation you are also out there looking for the solutions so you are seeking out that education.  With our nation in the crisis situation that it is in, I can't understand how or why this administration did almost everything that it chose to do.

    Because it was never about us, or (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:10:56 PM EST
    about the nation; it was about Obama and about winning.

    The whole situation sickens, saddens and scares me, not just for the suffering and hardship that already exists, but for how much worse I think it will get and how many more people will be affected.


    The nasal lasering (none / 0) (#158)
    by Spamlet on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:05:32 PM EST
    also helps them avoid the stench of the rabble.

    Two Things (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by cal1942 on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:38:49 AM EST
    the next thing to do is to figure out what is wrong and to try and address it

    Knowing how some Democrats think; those that read DC pundits anyway, I wouldn't be surprised if they reacted to such an outcome by believing that they have to move farther to the right.

    The second thing is a question.  Will some Democratic candidates run away from Obama?

    Another bad move by Coakley (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:49:23 PM EST
    Used an ad to hammer Brown about his position regarding Wall St.  Ad featured Twin Towers as symbol of greed.  Ad has now been pulled and a different image has been inserted.

    Amateur hour.

    Oh, that's amazingly bad (5.00 / 1) (#203)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:55:28 PM EST
    and beyond amateur.  So bad it looks like internal sabotage of a campaign!

    ONE YEAR Later! (none / 0) (#3)
    by Gerald USN Ret on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 09:47:22 AM EST
    Hey, it is one year from Bush now.  Really more since Bush considered Obama's desires before he left.

    The old "wait until we get back and we will show how to govern and now to be paragons of virtue" has worn thin.  We are now reminded as usual that "Pols are Pol1"

    They are all rascals.  Sure they may be more the rascals you like on some issues, but 1 year into the new era and we have the usual share of dumb actions, scandals, terrible pork issues, etc.

    A bit of disillusionment is setting in.  Not to say the GOP is better, but the Dems aren't much better either.

    And Pres. Obama selects GWB (none / 0) (#46)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:21:19 AM EST
    to co-chair U.S. relief efforts in Haiti.

    And probably (5.00 / 2) (#160)
    by CoralGables on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:11:28 PM EST
    a very smart move if trying to raise funds. It's not like Bill Clinton can make phone calls to rich Republicans hoping to get money. Even if most of the GOP thinks like Rush and Pat Robertson, Bush will still raise some from that side of the aisle to help the cause.

    I'm sure the GOP trashed Bush for naming Clinton to help with the Tsunami effort too. Sometimes we just can't seem to put politics aside to help those in need.


    Got it. (none / 0) (#166)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:19:15 PM EST
    If Shrub makes the calls (none / 0) (#177)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:54:07 PM EST
    which would require him to get off his lazy a$$.

    Bill Clinton certainly can (none / 0) (#192)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:33:11 PM EST
    and does makes fundraising calls to rich Republicans.  Who do you think donates the big cash to his Global Initiative, for heaven's sake?

    I don't see GWB personally making calls to rich Republicans or anyone else, but this is just returning the favor for GW enlisting BC on the tsunami relief effort-- ie, the holy bipartisanship.


    Shhhhhh (none / 0) (#131)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:26:50 AM EST
    I just finally selectively forgot about that.

    Sorry. Sends wrong message IMO. (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:02:14 PM EST
    Interesting (none / 0) (#5)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 09:50:17 AM EST
    According to one local poll in Boston, vicky Kennedy's endorsement may have actually hurt Coakley (can't speak to the methodology of the poll).

    But of the 500 voters surveyed, only 20 percent said the Kennedy family nod made them more likely to vote for Coakley, and 27 percent said the endorsement made them less likely to support her.

    More than half of voters - 52 percent - said the endorsements had no effect, and 2 percent were undecided or refused to answer.

    "For independents, it doesn't appear to have a positive effect. In fact, it may have had a negative effect," said David Paleologis, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.

    I've never believed in those (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 09:52:47 AM EST
    More likely/less likely questions.

    I think they are stupid and meaningless.

    If you want to ask a question like that, you ask "Will you vote for X BECAUSE of  Y?"

    Do you really believe that anyone who was considering voting for Coakley is LESS likely to vote for Coakley because of the Kennedy endorsement?
    And vice versa.

    Endorsements are generally meaningless.


    Outside of primaries I mean (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 09:53:01 AM EST
    Maybe for their actual data (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 09:56:30 AM EST
    But how many voters heard that on the station that did the poll and will it affect those people and their vote?

    Polls like this are very useful, in my opinion, of framing a message.


    What message? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 09:59:29 AM EST
    That Coakley is a Democrat?

    Most people (none / 0) (#35)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:16:00 AM EST
    Are not looking at the polling outfit, reading crosstabs, reading blogs, reading lots of other news sources, etc....They watch the local news and see a poll that says "27% of voters say VK's endorsement will change their vote against Coakley" and that will make many pause.  People like to be on a winning team, and when they hear that, along with the news that he's cathing up and in recent polls, actually pulled ahead, they a) will decide not to vote because he's winning or b ) will jump on the winning team's bandwagon if they had no particular preference to begin with.

    Meh (none / 0) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:21:34 AM EST
    I don't buy that.

    What it also doesn't measure (none / 0) (#14)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 09:56:12 AM EST
    is the degree to which the composition of the electorate might change. This is a special election, and turnout is anyone's guess.

    If there is one thing to really watch Tues (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:15:32 AM EST
    it will be the composition of the electorate.

    As I recall, turnout for the special primary (none / 0) (#38)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:17:34 AM EST
    was higher than expected. I think that's a hopeful sign.

    I hope there is not a lingering (none / 0) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:20:55 AM EST
    Capuano problem.

    Have not heard that he is out there campaigning.


    Barney Frank sent an email the other day (none / 0) (#52)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:23:43 AM EST
    I haven't heard about Capuano, though.

    Here's an interesting question: would he be performing better now? I have no idea, but I doubt it.


    I doubt it (none / 0) (#63)
    by CST on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:27:04 AM EST
    they certainly have different constituencies and I'm not sure all his voters will turn out for her.

    But I think the same is true in the opposite direction (not all of her voters would turn out for him), and her constituency was obviously larger.

    That being said, I think either one of them would have gotten/ will get the majority of the other's voters.


    R2K says (none / 0) (#65)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:29:18 AM EST
    that she has consolidated the Dems, as expected. Of course, those are the Dems R2K expects to show up, which is different. . .

    Anyway, as between R2K and Suffolk, I think R2k is probably the better bet. But who knows.


    Who knows? (none / 0) (#69)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:30:44 AM EST
    Nobody it seems.

    No question though that the playing field favors Coakley. Dem registration is so overwhelming over GOP registration.


    Suffolk sez she hasn't (none / 0) (#79)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:36:20 AM EST
    That accounts for the different results.

    Yup (none / 0) (#82)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:39:54 AM EST
    Hmmm. Wonder what you are (none / 0) (#57)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:25:37 AM EST
    talking about.  Capuano loses to Coakley in primary.  Is he the a "Lieberman"?

    Sitting it out I mean (none / 0) (#64)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:28:36 AM EST
    Right, hard to measure that (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:31:27 AM EST
    But honestly, the Capuano supporters are mostly people I'd expect to grit their teeth and show up. Wine track partisans will turn out, especially if they think they have to.

    It does not measure anything really (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 09:59:01 AM EST
    It's one of those silly questions that always gets asked.

    And in a winter election in the North (none / 0) (#59)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:25:53 AM EST
    there's always the weather.  And it's not looking like good Dem weather from the latest forecasts.  Of course, the weather can be as changeable as politics.

    And (none / 0) (#75)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:34:49 AM EST
    It's a Tuesday after a 3-day holiday weekend (for some).

    Bad Dem weather? (none / 0) (#86)
    by CST on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:40:55 AM EST
    It's the same weather, whether you're a Dem or Repub.

    Weather whether - say that 5 times fast :)


    You really don't understand (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:51:33 AM EST
    that factor, and how it affects different economic classes?  Fine, dismiss it -- but do offer a ride to some working-class Dem without a car. . . .

    At least Boston has good mass transit, I hear, although it is hard to fit in going to the polls when you're a working-class person, a parent with family on a school night, etc.


    You're right of course (none / 0) (#100)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:53:40 AM EST
    Politics 101. Good weather is Dem weather. Always has been.

    Though bad weather in Western Mass would not be a bad thing.


    Actually, Western MA is Dem. territory (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:56:11 AM EST
    What you worry about is central Mass.

    Corrected (none / 0) (#108)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:57:35 AM EST
    that map is really confusing (none / 0) (#127)
    by CST on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:13:36 AM EST
    "red" is blue and "blue" is red.

    But yea, a LOT of colleges out west.


    Primo example, much ignored (none / 0) (#116)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:01:30 AM EST
    in 2008: the Wisconsin primary, with a blizzard the weekend before.  It was an interesting one that showed the difference between working-class Dems (especially as their stronghold cities lack serious mass transit) and creative-class Nu Dems with cars.  Combined with the infamous Repub crossover vote, the weather was a killer for the candidate working the working-class.

    Of course, primo examples exist in quite a few Wisconsin elections.  And Packer home games.


    western Ma a mixed bag (none / 0) (#122)
    by noholib on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:05:14 AM EST
    Yes, there are many moderate/conservative voters in Western Ma, but it also has two of the most liberal voting areas in the state, namely Amherst and Northampton (the Five-College area).

    I don't have (none / 0) (#120)
    by CST on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:05:12 AM EST
    a car...

    Luckily I can walk easily to my polling station.


    Perhaps the Kennedys (none / 0) (#7)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 09:52:12 AM EST
    ought to have learned that from the New York debacle.  

    A Boston herald poll (none / 0) (#24)
    by CST on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:04:54 AM EST
    that's anti-Kennedy.

    Shocking (not).

    No, I suspect that those who are less-likely were probably not gonna vote for T.K. either and he won handily most of the time.  I suspect that those who are more likely, were probably gonna vote for her anyway.

    At the end of the day, I don't think any of these endorsements matter


    Also a local news station (none / 0) (#36)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:16:33 AM EST
    commissioned that poll - is that anti-Kennedy too?

    Probably a Fox station (none / 0) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:20:04 AM EST
    It's a poll. Maybe it's right, maybe it's wrong.

    Polling an off year election is hard. Polling a special off year election is well nigh impossible.

    As almost always, if you know who is going to turn out to vote, then you know who will win.

    The key to these polls is the composition of the electorate. who does the pollster consider a "likely voter."

    This is not science.


    Here's the poll (none / 0) (#72)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:31:58 AM EST
    From Suffolk University:


    Likely voters in the Bay State have turned expectations upside down as Republican State Sen. Scott Brown (50 percent) now leads Democrat Attorney General Martha Coakley (46 percent) in the race to be the next U.S. senator from Massachusetts, according to a Suffolk University/7News poll.  Independent candidate Joseph L. Kennedy -- no relation to the legendary Kennedy clan -- had 3 percent, with 1 percent undecided.

    "Although the results show a race within the statistical margin of error, Scott Brown has surged dramatically," said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.  "He is attracting independent support by a wide margin and even winning some Democrats who won't vote the party line this time."

    Statistical breakdown

    Among men, Brown led Coakley 55 percent to 41 percent but trailed among women 50 percent to 45 percent.  

    Seventy-eight percent of registered Democrats preferred Coakley, while 91 percent of registered Republicans and 65 percent of independents favored Brown.  

    Brown led in most areas of the state, except Suffolk County, where Coakley crushed Brown 69 percent to 31 percent.

    Brown (57 percent favorable to 19 percent unfavorable) was viewed more positively than Coakley (49 percent favorable to 41 percent unfavorable).

    The supporters of third-party candidate Joseph L. Kennedy may have the final say in who will electorally succeed the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

    "Two weeks ago, who would have thought that Libertarian-leaning independents supporting Joseph L. Kennedy might be critical to the Democratic and Republican nominees?" said Paleologos. "A late rotation away from Kennedy to one of the major candidates could have a significant impact."

    And no - it's an NBC affiliate.


    Link (none / 0) (#74)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:32:20 AM EST
    "Likely voters in the Bay State" (none / 0) (#76)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:35:21 AM EST
    There you go. sez who.

    The other thing that is hinky about this result is the 78% support among Dems. That will be 90% on election day.

    I have not really looked at the polling in this race because, well all polls stink, but if you ask me, this poll is actually good news for Coakley - it understates her Dem support imo.


    I don't understand (none / 0) (#83)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:40:01 AM EST
    Who else would you poll besides "likely voters" (these were also registered voters)?  As opposed to "folks on the street" or "people in New Hampshire"?

    And maybe the 22% of Dems who don't support her a)feel as Jeralyn does, and/or b) want to send a message for 2 years.


    Obviously you have neve read my (none / 0) (#98)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:52:33 AM EST
    treatises on likely voter models.

    I won't bore you with them but suffice it to say that likely voter models are generally pretty bad, and in an off year special election the equivalent of throwing darts.


    This guy was very realiable in 2008 (none / 0) (#121)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:05:13 AM EST
    and saw the republican implosion coming.

    For what it's worth here's a righty view of the numbers.

    It's goign to come down to turnout.   Can the dems turn out enough dem votes to overcome the independents going for Brown.


    Bill Clinton's campaigning for her (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dan the Man on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 09:50:56 AM EST
    while Obama isn't. So if she loses, it's all Clinton's fault and it can't be blamed on Obama (I'm sure the OFB would say this).

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 09:53:34 AM EST
    But no, Obama cut an ad for Coakley.

    Quite frankly Obama (none / 0) (#95)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:50:33 AM EST
    is hurting Coakley.

    She needs to run as her own women right now and it's too late for that.

    Brown is hanging Obama and the rest of Washington around her neck as democrats did to republicans in 2006 and 2008.

    Obama should send money and stay off TV.


    Disagree (5.00 / 3) (#107)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:56:57 AM EST
    Coakley as herself is not really working.

    Massachusetts as a progressive Dem stronghold is the message to send with Brown as Pat Robertson.


    I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by itscookin on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:43:45 PM EST
    Coakley as herself was working just fine. It's when she tied herself to Obama that things got bad. She should have kept her independence. It's what people in MA admired her for. It's too late to change that now. She's just going to have to hope that the Dems show up at the polls for her, and that enough of the women who won the primary for her will still stick by her. That second part isn't looking so good.

    Maybe but I really think (none / 0) (#117)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:03:35 AM EST
    Brown is only where he is because of backlash against Washington.

    "...It's the people's seat".

    It's kind of a catch 22 though because she needs to sell herself as a solid democrat to get the excitement up and get her base out there but that is what's powering Brown's campaign.

    Just like with Corzine damned if you do and damned if you don't.


    And carping isn't voting (none / 0) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:17:29 AM EST
    I can carp all day, blah blah blah blah.  When people go to vote though and something like this happens it is because the VOTERS are daily really really unhappy.  I'm sure there many reasons why the MA leftwing is this unhappy, does anybody care to go ask them why they stayed home and what they need to vote for the Democratic party again?  Then are they interested in giving that to the MA leftwing voters?  Probably not in the blogosphere.  They'll act like Mike Stark did this instead of Mike Stark telling them that only supporting a cult of Obama will get you this.

    If Coakley loses (none / 0) (#49)
    by Same As It Ever Was on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:21:59 AM EST
    IMO the Dems will be lost in the wilderness.  With even Obama's watered down agenda in tatters, the question becomes --  are we looking at 1994 all over again?

    Coakley will deserve every bit of the blame she receives for running a terible campaign.  But this is definitely a sign of major trouble ahead for 2010.

    I imagine (none / 0) (#56)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:24:59 AM EST
    that the only thing that will happen will be a "laser beam" focus on the economy (me I would laser beam on jobs.)

    I would also do some populist demagoguing against Wall Street, especially on regulations and taxing bonuses.

    Sure a financial transaction tax is probably better policy (and there is no reason you can't do both), but the red meat would be a confiscatory tax on Wall Street bonuses.  


    I would think this would help her... (none / 0) (#110)
    by trillian on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:58:17 AM EST
    Coakley should definitely use it (none / 0) (#111)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:59:02 AM EST
    You think Obama will do that? (none / 0) (#189)
    by NealB on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:28:18 PM EST
    Throw some red meat?

    At least when Clinton lost in 1994 it was for a (none / 0) (#206)
    by Bornagaindem on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 02:00:13 PM EST
    good - to reverse the repug incessant drive to lower taxes on the wealthy. If you remember not a single repug voted for the tax increase that resulted in putting the budget back in the black. What has Obama done for progressives?

    Crisis mode (none / 0) (#77)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:35:33 AM EST
    If Coakley loses, the Democrats better get into crisis mode! Losing VA and NJ were bad enough. (VA should have been winnable). But to lose Kenndey's seat would be a major slap down.

    It's time to scrap this bipartisan log jam and get down to doing the business that people elected them to do.

    Republicans aren't going to change their strategy of obstruction. It seems to be working just fine for their interest.

    It may not be too late to salvage 2010 and 2012.

    Just for the sake of arguement (none / 0) (#91)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:48:28 AM EST
    Have you considered progressive policies may not be palitable on a wide scale?

    I've long felt that simple targeted issues would pay dividends for Democrats and would be successfull politically.

    The huge massive expansion of gov't is what's hurting them right now.

    Continued bailouts, sweet deals for the Auto Workers unions, massive healt plan, more stimulus on and on and on.

    It's not the motives or the issues it's the terrible policies and responses by democrats and the massive agenda they tried to shove down our throut all at once that's led to the historical drop in polls for Obama and the huge negative reaction to their bills and policies.

    Throw in the broken promises to their base and you have the inverse of 2006 and 2008 again for democrats.

    The country is not a progressive country just as it isn't a right wing country.   They want simple gov't that works.


    Expansion of government isn't (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:50:30 AM EST
    hurting them.  Expansion of screwing over the people is what is hurting them.

    Tomato Tamato (none / 0) (#101)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:53:52 AM EST
    We see the same thing and call it different based on our bias no?

    There is a huge popular backlash against the policies of the last year.

    Fair or unfair.  

    Dems seem indifferent as they keep making deals to get the Healthcare bill pushed through.


    I can't blast big government (5.00 / 3) (#135)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:31:02 AM EST
    Because some big government works just fine, and nobody complains, and then some people even forget that it is big government :)

    Actually there was wide support for (5.00 / 5) (#109)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:57:36 AM EST
    progressive Health Care Reform. Unfortunately, the Democrats chose to ignore what the public wanted and decided to enrich the Insurance industry and pharma.

    As MA already has such a state plan (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:04:34 AM EST
    it's interesting to see the polls on Obama's national plan.  One I read had majority support for the state plan -- but majority opposition to the national plan(s).  Maybe there is concern that MA residents will be paying for both for a while?  It could make it a tricky issue to navigate there.

    That is, MA polls on health plans (none / 0) (#123)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:06:07 AM EST
    to be clear.  And Coakley, of course, switched to support of the national plan, even with the Nelson amendment.  Very tricky.  Ought to have just taken her cue from Obama and remained unreadable on just what she wants, too? :-)

    One worry I have (none / 0) (#124)
    by CST on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:07:08 AM EST
    Is the effect of a double mandate.  You get fined by the fed and fined by the state for no insurance.

    That needs to be fixed.


    that's a great point (none / 0) (#125)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:08:10 AM EST
    Kind of eludes the fact that people like their plan but not a plan that's unknown (which is ironic since they'd be similar in the case of MA).

    However the HC bill IMHO is part of a whole "spending" narrative that Brown is pushing along with republicans.  

    For some reason people separate state spending and federal spending.


    IMO people would not mind government (5.00 / 4) (#138)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:37:46 AM EST
    spending for health care if that is what they were actually getting. Most people really do understand the difference between real health care and health insurance that may or may not provide actual affordable health care.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#113)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:00:22 AM EST
    They pissed of the people who wanted it and pissed off the people who didn't.

    Great Job!


    Democrats need to learn to fight better (none / 0) (#141)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:41:12 AM EST
    Expansion of government! GWB and the Republicans oversaw the largest expansion of government in our history. Democrats should be able to handle that argument.

    As for the bailouts, they were initiated under GWB so again that argument shouldn't hold water. Another factor that a Democratic candidate should be able to handle is that it was  8 yrs of a Republican administration that brought the house of cards down. Now they want to walk away from it and wash their hands.

    I think the country is actually more progressive than the media and political pundits try to portray it. HCR isn't some radical left wing proposition. The majority of the country has been for the P.O. or lowering the age of Medicare. It's just we allow the Republicans to define the center to suit their agenda.


    Brown's timing might be off just enough... (none / 0) (#99)
    by magster on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:53:08 AM EST
    insofar as his peak might be now as opposed to next week.  The Dems have one week to exploit Brown's tea party lie and public support for banks.  Let's hope the Dems use it.

    3 days actually (none / 0) (#102)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:55:02 AM EST
    But this does have a last weekend before the NH primary feel to it.

    You mean, with Brown rising like Clinton did (none / 0) (#196)
    by NealB on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:42:09 PM EST
    in the days following the Iowa caucuses to beat Obama 39% to 36% or whatever it was...? What was the precipitous event for Brown?

    No, I see... (none / 0) (#205)
    by NealB on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:57:41 PM EST
    ...you mean with Coakley reclaiming the lead in the home stretch, coming back by next Tuesday from polls that now show Brown ahead.

    As the other team we (none / 0) (#112)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 10:59:07 AM EST
    worry as well.

    Thankfully dems keep giving Brown ammunition as they make sweet heart deals to get the HC bill through.

    Thanks Obama.


    MI's governor race (none / 0) (#140)
    by Emma on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:39:56 AM EST
    Somewhat relatedly, John Cherry the Dem candidate for governor and Lt. Gov. for Gov. Granholm, dropped out because he couldn't raise enough money to run.  Pretty much guarantees Republican AG Mike Cox is going to be the governor.

    In Michigan? (none / 0) (#142)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:42:02 AM EST
    An extremely hard hit state?  I don't know what to say.

    A repeat of its neighbor, Wisconsin (none / 0) (#150)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:53:59 AM EST
    where the Dem lieutenant governor, the only Dem candidate for governor then but one who had backed Clinton, was forced out -- after some phone calls from the White House, interfering here again.  Obama pushed his preference, and it has me hopping mad -- his preference is a great guy, but we needed him more where he is now.  And the Repubs are really firing up here.  It could be quite a mess.

    Great (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:57:18 AM EST
    The White House really doesn't have a clue what is up do they?  Not even a tiny clue

    My post (none / 0) (#161)
    by Emma on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:12:16 PM EST
    was a bit misleading, sorry.  Cherry wasn't the Dem candidate, he was a Dem candidate who dropped out before the primary, b/c of lack of funding.  Reportedly the WH supports Lansing Mayor Bernal.  Still, I think Mike Cox takes it if he's the Repub candidate.

    Got it. Still, remarkably similar (none / 0) (#171)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:28:57 PM EST
    situations; Obama wanted the big-city mayor here as the candidate, too.  But in this state, that's almost a death sentence for running for governor.  That factor may mean less this time, though, as we have the extraordinary possibility of both the Dem and GOP candidates being from the big city.

    But not exactly.  The Dem is the big-city guy; the Repub actually is the suburbs' guy.  And the burbs include one of the most Republican counties in the country.  But even there, the land of McMansions is seeing record foreclosures, so that could take some back to their Dem origins before they became white-flighters.  On the other hand, if so many are in flight again owing to foreclosure, are they still here to vote?  

    It's also going to be interesting in this economy -- as like Michigan, it's in very bad shape here.  And Wisconsin actually leads the country in share of the state economy reliant on manufacturing, according to the NYT.  Of course, that was before this economy. . . .


    I disagree (none / 0) (#194)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:37:21 PM EST
    I think it will be Pete Hoekstra.  Mike Cox still has questions that surround him about the infamous party at the Manoogian Mansion (that did or didn't happen) with Kwame Kilpatrick, then the whole murder of the exotic dancer where Cos was leading up the investigation, etc.

    The reports were that the WH asked Cherry to drop out - no fundraising, no name recognition, etc.

    But frankly, the Dems could run anybody and they are pretty much guaranteed to lose.  Really bad economy and Granholm has been there two terms.  People want change, and my guess is it will be a Republican landslide.


    Oh, well (none / 0) (#199)
    by Emma on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:49:38 PM EST
    the only person I've heard anything about is Mike Cox.  You could be right.

    The reports were that the WH asked Cherry to drop out - no fundraising, no name recognition, etc.

    Yes, I'm sure Virg Bernero is much better on all counts.  /sarcasm

    It hardly matters to me b/c I really believe it doesn't matter who gets elected.  Re: the 2008 Presidential election:  it didn't matter for health care, it didn't matter for TARP, it didn't matter for foreign policy, it didn't matter for women's rights, it didn't matter for gay rights, it just doesn't matter.  There's marginal improvement (Lily Ledbetter) with failure on the big issues.


    On the plus side (none / 0) (#201)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:53:52 PM EST
    If Cox is the nominee, "Drew & Mike" in Detroit will once again be relentless about saying his name over and over on the radio.

    "Mike Cox".


    Like they did (none / 0) (#202)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:54:20 PM EST
    when Cox ran for AG.

    Funny (none / 0) (#204)
    by Emma on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:56:14 PM EST
    Any publicity is good publicity....

    Silver linings (none / 0) (#170)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:24:55 PM EST
    1. Coakley won't be in the Senate & won't be running in the next MA Senate election (November 2010 or 2012?), maybe Joe K, Ted JR (move to Mass) will, defintely a better candidate will in any event, and
    2. wake up call to Obama and Dems not to take progressives for granted, start delivering an dgiving us a reason to repeat our 06 and 08 efforts instead of making us feel like chumps for having supported you.

    And if it is true Coakley laughed at Brown for standing "out in the cold" shaking hands in Boston then she deserves to lose.  Nationally Ted Kennedy may be viewed as having been heir to Camelot, rich and famous etc etc.  In Mass he was as good a retail, backslapping, hand shaking, joking, politician as you will ever come across.  Ted would campaign from Provincetown to Pittsfield and insist debates be held in Western Mass despite nearly always being a shoo-in for re-election.

    A Brown win might lead to a better Dem senator when this seat is up again.  It might lead Obama, if only out of fear of his own electoral fate, to fire his wall Street crew and Rahm and start delivering for progressives.  It might lead Reid to use reconciliation for HCR and ignore GOP and Dem in name only demands.  

    I'd prefer Coakley in a squeaker, close enough to scare Obama and Dems, but I can live with her losing.   I remember her nanny case and her role in the Amirault [sic] case. Not anyone I am excited to see in the Senate.

    No need for 60 votes if she loses (none / 0) (#174)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:50:14 PM EST
    so use reconciliation and pass the House bill with 50 votes plus Biden.

    Her loss may liberate Democrats and render Nelson,  Leiberman, Landrieux, Lincoln (and Snow and Collins) meaningless.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#187)
    by PatHat on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:21:38 PM EST
    Maybe Reid can lose too.

    She's on the wrong side (none / 0) (#176)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:53:18 PM EST
    of the only MA issue I care about.

    She supports MA's ban on direct-shipment of wine from non-MA wineries to MA citizens.

    Calling it her job, old hoss, sure don't make it right...

    I thought SCOTUS banned such (none / 0) (#183)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:15:19 PM EST
    restrictions on interstate commerce.

    Only among the States. (none / 0) (#191)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:31:01 PM EST
    MA is a Commonwealth, SCOTUS doesn't apply to them.

    Actually, a MA law that sharply resticted out of state shipments directly to consumers was ruled unconstitutional by federal appeals court yesterday.

    The decision was from the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. Now, all wineries that produce more than 30,000 gallons can sell direct.

    Coakley wants to appeal that decision.

    PS: Unsuprisingly, all 4? 6? of MA's wineries produce less than 30K gals/year...


    I had wine shipped home (none / 0) (#193)
    by itscookin on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:33:56 PM EST
    to MA from a winery the last time I was in SF so if there's a law against it, there must be a workaround.

    Probably some other kind of 'around'... (none / 0) (#200)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:51:48 PM EST
    What "message"? (none / 0) (#207)
    by lentinel on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 04:16:31 PM EST
    What happens if Coakley loses? What would it mean? One thing for sure - it would mean that the Democratic political message is not working.

    And what is the "Democratic political message"?

    This dreck of a healthcare bill - which has only to do with insurance and nothing to do with care? The treatment of women as lesser beings?
    The ongoing wars?
    The ongoing practice of rendition and detention without charge or trial?
    The renewal of the Patriot Act?

    The only message I get from the Democrats is that they would like to be the ones in power. Once in power, they abuse us.