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Insider Advantage: Nine; Coakley In "Freefall"
January 18, 2010

Seriously, Have You Heard? Brown Has an Outside Chance of Pulling This Out

Final ARG poll: 52 to 45.

I said on Twitter that Brown would get 25% Democratic crossover votes. Right now, 23%.

And it's a snow day in Boston.

Meanwhile, across the street at the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the holiday and a bitter winter storm have kept the crowds away from a phone bank for Democratic candidate Martha Coakley. As of 10:20 this morning, not a single volunteer had yet arrived for the 10am phone bank. MTA Webmaster Meg Secatore tells Watchdog.org that the severe snow and ice that have covered Massachusetts highways are keeping people from the phones.

Obviously this helps Brown. Brown's troops kind of heard it was one of Massachusett[e]'s rare genuine elections some time ago.

This video, I'm told, is lots of fun. (I can't see it; am linking it again.)

Your Tears Are Delicious, Mmm, Mmm. David Shuster: Has Massachusett[e]s lost its mind?

But nothing is really better than this. I was waiting for this. This, the moment where it finally gets through to these cocooned, I-only-read-liberal-stuff-that-protects-me-from-hard-reality lefties that the nation is not, not happy about Obama's programme. (British spelling deliberate, it's socialist.)

Finally -- the ugly truth dawns on butterball pudgebunny Chris Matthews.

With a visible frown on his face, Matthews told "Daily Rundown" co-host Chuck Todd Monday that recent polling data "has to do with reality of a terrible economy, of this new burden that people feel being put on their shoulders of bigger debt, perhaps taxes coming down the road."

Matthews continued, "And the fear that the burden of healthcare is going to be much heavier than the benefit."

The "Hardball" host cautioned, "I think it's going to show up in Massachusetts tomorrow with the results there"

On the other hand, there's one of the biggest cocooners for the biggest cocoon in America, Gail Collins of the New York Times. Once again, when the public chooses a Republican over a Democrat, it's all about the messenger, never the message. (Don't question the message, ever.)

So. Just like with Bush's win in 2000 and 2004, it's only about the personalities of the candidates.

It's pretty clear that no matter what happens, the voters are sending a message that they are in a bad mood. You cannot fail to notice that people are ticked off. The economy feels awful. The weather feels awful. Did you know that the cold snap in Florida hit the people who breed tropical fish so hard that there is a national guppy shortage? Things are bad, bad, bad.

If Coakley loses, the inevitable conclusion will be that the message was a repudiation of Obama. My own theory is that the national angst is causing people to ignore the issues and just react to candidates' personalities.

If forced to choose a Senate candidate to be stranded with on a desert island, most voters would probably pick Brown over Coakley. Possibly even if the question was who they wanted to sit next to on a short bus ride.

But didn't we get over the idea of voting for the person you'd most like to have a beer with after George W. Bush?

Doubtless, no seriously, personality plays an issue. I knew Brown was going to win when I saw he was handsome in that distinguished grayed-but-still-youthful way and spoke well and seemed like a good guy.

But that is hardly the only thing going on. People are not ready to walk on broken glass to vote against Coakley just because Scott Brown is such a cool guy.

But that's always the claim. If they lose, their own messenger was too aloof, too lacking the common touch, but her ideas, of course, were sound and in fact wildly popular. And our candidate was of course just an affable idiot.


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posted by Ace at 02:53 PM

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