Democrat Martha Coakley, buoyed by her durable statewide popularity, enjoys a solid, 15-percentage-point lead over Republican rival Scott Brown as the race for US Senate enters the homestretch, according to a new Boston Globe poll of likely voters.Now, consider this poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP), deemed more reliable by most poll-watchers (Again, emphasis mine.)
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.
“If there ever was a time for a Republican to win here, now is the time,’’ Smith added. “The problem is you’ve got a special election and a relatively unknown Republican going up against a well-liked Democrat.’’
The poll, conducted Jan. 2 to 6, sampled the views of 554 randomly selected likely voters. The poll has a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points.
The race to replace Ted Kennedy in the US Senate is looking like a toss up, with Republican Scott Brown up 48-47 on Martha Coakley.The Boston Globe published their poll today and the PPP published theirs yesterday. The question is, why did the Boston Globe wait 4 days to publish its poll results? The PPP published their poll the day after its completion.
Brown is benefiting from depressed Democratic interest in the election and a huge lead among independents for his surprisingly strong standing. Those planning to vote in the special election only report having voted for Barack Obama in 2008 by a 16 point margin, in contrast to his actual 26 point victory in the state.
That decline in turnout from Obama voters plagued Democratic candidates for Governor in Virginia and New Jersey last fall. Beyond that 66% of Republicans say they’re ‘very excited’ about turning out while only 48% of Democrats express that sentiment.
Brown leads 63-31 with independents and is winning 17% of the Democratic vote while Coakley receives only 6% support from GOP voters. Both candidates are relatively popular, with 57% viewing Brown favorably to only 25% unfavorable and 50% with a positive opinion of Coakley to 42% negative.
Those folks planning to vote in the special election are actually opposed to Obama’s health care plan by a 47/41 margin and only narrowly express approval of the President’s overall job performance 44/43.
“The Massachusetts Senate race is shaping up as a potential disaster for Democrats,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “Martha Coakley’s complacent campaign has put Scott Brown in a surprisingly strong position and she will need to step it up in the final week to win a victory once thought inevitable.”
PPP surveyed 744 likely Massachusetts voters from January 7th to 9th. The margin of error is +/-3.6%. Other factors, such as refusal to be interviewed and weighting, may introduce additional error that is more difficult to quantify.
I think the Boston Globe knew that the poll numbers were tightening in the last few days and desperately were trying to undermine the reality behind PPP's poll.