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Massachusetts Senate: Did Brown Move Early or Late?

Topics: 2010 , Mark Mellman , Martha Coakley , Massachusetts , PPP , Scott Brown

My column for this week examines an argument made last week by Mark Mellman, pollster for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), that polls showing a close race between Scott Brown and Martha Coakley turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The column ultimately addresses the question of why two automated polls showed a neck-and-neck race two weeks before the election, while some telephone surveys, including one conducted by Mellman's firm, showed a big Coakley lead. The column includes a statistic shared by Evan Tracey, founder of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, showing that Brown's television advertising exceeded a half million dollars while the first automated survey by PPP was still in the field.

After I filed the column on Friday, I heard from a Republican source who makes a point I did not address in the column: Brown's did not require television advertising to begin to gain on Coakley. His personal campaigning, as covered by Boston newspapers and television, helped boost his recognition and probably amplified the advertising that he ran in early January:

Massachusetts is the MOST politically aware state in the country. Behind the Pats and the Bosox, it's their blood sport. They FOLLOW it passionately. The number of verbatim comments from voters who brought stuff up that had never been advertised was amazing.

My source also passes along that by Saturday January 9, the day the first PPP poll finished interviewing, Brown's internal tracking showed that 65% of voters in the Boston market reported having seen the Brown truck ad.

 

Comments
Farleftandproud:

This race was a disaster, especially since Coakley was running for senate for the first time to take a vacation to Maine. I still would have to compare the Mass Dems selecting her to run against Kennedy was about as much of a mistake as Picking Geraldine Ferraro was as VP in 1984 and in a different sort of way, a fiasco like Mccain picking Palin as VP. In Palin's case for conservatism, she made statements that made her the stereotype of extreme Christian conservatism in the same way, Coakley came across as the epitome as an anti-catholic pro-abortion femminist. Both women made huge mistakes with their knowledge of sports teams; with Coakley it was the Yankees and red Sox and with Palin she got her hockey teams and cities mixed up. Endorsing the Pittsburgh steelers as her adapted team was an irony since, the Steelers ownership contributed to the Obama campaign.

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Farleftandproud:

I meant running for ted kennedy's seat

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