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January 15, 2010

Pajamas Media/CrossTarget Poll Finds Martha Coakley Up By Fifteen
Wait, Did I Say Coakley? I Meant Brown

I have to do the obligatory "I think this poll is an outlier" thing but if I'm being completely honest I think 15 is closer to right than 4.

It's a robopoll, which I'm not even sure why I'm noting, because robopolls have by now a pretty good track record.

A new poll taken Thursday evening for Pajamas Media by CrossTarget – an Alexandria VA survey research firm – shows Scott Brown, a Republican, leading Martha Coakley, a Democrat, by 15.4% in Tuesday’s special election for the open Massachusetts US Senate seat. The poll of 946 likely voters was conducted by telephone using interactive voice technology (IVR) and has a margin of error of +/- 3.19%.

This is the first poll to show Brown surging to such an extent.

Without getting into Winston Wolf territory ("Let's not start sucking each other's [somethings] just yet, gentlemen"), I'm thinking the lead is currently up around 8 aways and will end up around 10.

The race is so hot that Byron York writes a column that's basically just hearsay from worried Democrats, knowing we can't refrain from linking it. And he's right.

Here in Massachusetts, as well as in Washington, a growing sense of gloom is setting in among Democrats about the fortunes of Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley. "I have heard that in the last two days the bottom has fallen out of her poll numbers," says one well-connected Democratic strategist. In her own polling, Coakley is said to be around five points behind Republican Scott Brown. "If she's not six or eight ahead going into the election, all the intensity is on the other side in terms of turnout," the Democrat says. "So right now, she is destined to lose."

...

Given those numbers, some Democrats, eager to distance Obama from any electoral failure, are beginning to compare Coakley to Creigh Deeds, the losing Democratic candidate in the Virginia governor's race last year. Deeds ran such a lackluster campaign, Democrats say, that his defeat could be solely attributed to his own shortcomings, and should not be seen as a referendum on President Obama's policies or those of the national Democratic party.

The same sort of thinking is emerging in Massachusetts. "This is a Creigh Deeds situation," the Democrat says. "I don't think it says that the Obama agenda is a problem. I think it says, 1) that she's a terrible candidate, 2) that she ran a terrible campaign, 3) that the climate is difficult but she should have been able to overcome it, and 4) that Democrats beware -- you better run good campaigns, or you're going to lose."

Yeah, well, that's the spin for public consumption. They know the reality is quite a bit more alarming.

Obviously this will be an earthquake. Assuming this happens (and I do assume this will happen), the aftershocks will be mighty.

Democrats are still holding out hope for some game-changer. The one they've settled on, from what I gather, is Coakley's support of Obama's bank tax, and Brown's opposition to it.

This is an interesting and possibly effective line of attack, as banks are very unpopular, and Massachusetts has a proud history of eagerness to tax Other People. It also highlights a possible wedge issue between the Tea Party Movement and the conservative movement -- although many Tea Partiers are conservative and therefore congenitally anti-tax, many others are not so steeped in conservative doctrine, and may elevate the populist urge to stick it to the fatcats over a general anti-tax sentiment. Massachusetts independents, currently flocking to Brown as Republican for "independent-minded" voters, may react poorly to what they perceive as a lockstep fidelity to conservative ideology.

So far it doesn't seem to have caused any problems for Brown, but Coakley just determined to push this line of attack.

I don't think it's a game-changer, myself, but it's a possibility.

By the way, it's stuff like this that makes me jump ugly on people who say they are members of the Tea Party, not the GOP; I know the GOP's general position on taxation, but I don't really know the Tea Party's position. Individual Tea Partiers may have their own thoughts on the matter; but is there a true "party position" on it?

This also underscores why I hate the idea of an independent third-party tea party candidate. Witness what happens when the GOP candidate embraces the Tea Party (as Brown has), and the Tea Party embraces the GOP candidate back (as they did here): It's a winning coalition.

But divided? Each offering up their own candidates? Note that one Massachusetts Tea Party group urged support of third-party spoiler Kennedy because Scott Brown had (they say) earlier supported property tax increases.

Imagine if we'd taken that jackass advisory seriously. Suffice to say we would not right now be talking about a heart-stopping shock to the system, but instead would be talking about whether either the Tea Party or the GOP had any real future in American politics.

Moral victories are not actual victories. Otherwise you'd just call them "victories."

More: Via Instapundit, a Democrat admits that in 2004, they cheated against Scott Brown, and he still won. Because he's a good campaigner.

In 2004, Brown won a special election to become state senator, despite the state Democrats scheduling the election to coincide with the Presidential primary, when Democrats would be flocking to vote for John Kerry. (As one Democratic operative recently put it to me: "We cheated, and he still beat us.") Brown then won a re-match in November, on the same ballot as Kerry vs. Bush.

And this:

Chalk it up to a weak Democratic candidate or to a lame campaign. Blame the Democrats for arrogance in assuming that this was a safe seat. But frankly, who could have blamed them? In September, Coakley was ahead in the polls by 30 points.

Since then, however, something has fundamentally changed. Since September, the country has witnessed the visible battle over ObamaCare — late-night votes, Cash for Cloture deals, and a bill that offends a wide array of groups. Democrats have never looked up or paused to consider the public’s views on the matter. They tell us they will “sell it” to us later. That arrogant defiance of public opinion and the unseemly legislative process that produced a grossly unpopular bill have fueled a resurgence of anger and determination among conservatives and even usually apathetic independents. They now are anxious to send a message to Washington: stop ignoring the voters. We saw it in New Jersey and Virginia. Now we learn that even Massachusetts may not be immune.

On that last point, many of the elitist establishment types want to chalk all of this up to some kind of childish, petulant, jealous tantrum-throwing by the little people. Douchemongers like David Brooks want to call it a strictly emotional response, and a base emotional response at that.

But tell me --- precisely what attitude should these little people rationally have about a supposed democratic governance which openly, contemptuously defies their wishes?

Seems to me that on strictly rational grounds, all these supposed Little People ought to have a bit of anger about that.

If my cable company promises me a service and then defiantly, contemptuously refuses to provide it, what attitude am I supposed to take towards them? Should I, as David Brooks and other members of the entitled establishment seem to think, say to myself, "Ah, well, they are the experts; they are the 'educated class' of cable-service provisioning; I should defer to their enlightened judgment. I'm sure they'll eventually get around to explaining to me why I have no internet or tv signal, and I should trust I'll approve of that explanation, when they see fit to provide it to me."

No, of course not. We are in a contractual relationship where they provide a service in exchange for value. And if they break that contract, 1, I get legitimately pissed off, and 2, I search for alternatives.

Brooks and the rest of the Entitled Elitist Establishment seem to think that's some sort of implicit breach of contract on my part. Because, apparently, being American means you owe some putative Social Elite your allegiance and trust, and failing to provide it to them is something akin to cultural treason.

I don't remember reading that in civics class. But I'm sure it was just because I was taking Retard Lessons that day.


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posted by Ace at 09:00 AM

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