Senate race no laugher
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Scott Brown and Martha Coakley squaring off for the Senate seat once held by the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
Last year’s special election in which Brown eked out a surprising win over Coakley may have ended with the Democratic nominee being a “Saturday Night Live” punchline but a new poll of Massachusetts voters shows a rematch may be no joke. And that could make national Democrats, already fretting about what they perceive as a weak field against a vulnerable Republican, a bit nervous.
North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling shows Brown leading Coakley by a 49-40 margin. But the poll shows that Coakley is the only contender not trailing by double-digits. Rep. Michael Capuano, who lost the primary to Coakley and is trying to keep his profile up as he ponders another run, trails Brown by a 10-point margin, 48-38, with Rep. Ed Markey showing the same gap, behind at 47-37.
Three announced candidates, City Year cofounder Alan Khazei, activist Robert Massie and Newton Mayor Setti Warren, trail by 19 to 25 points.
Keep in mind that Brown won by a 52-48 margin in a special election in mid-January that had a 54 percent turnout. The 2012 election will be with the backdrop of a higher turnout presidential election and President Obama remains very popular in Massachusetts. Among Obama’s voters, Coakley beats out Brown 60-26. Coakley also shows slightly better than Brown among some key demographic groups such as women, younger voters, and minorities.
Coakley has little money in her federal campaign account compared to Brown, who is sitting on $8.5 million to kick-start his reelection. But she has no debt and showed the ability to raise nearly $9.5 million in last year’s election. She is the highest profile name of all the potential opponents, save MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who continually gets thrown into the mix despite declaring no interest. And Coakley, who is not up for reelection until 2014, would not have to risk her job, unlike Capuano or Markey.
If Coakley does decide to jump back in, don’t laugh.
Gov. Deval Patrick may have some tips for President Obama on how to turn around your approval ratings.
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David Bernstein examines Boston’s strangely quiet off-year city council race.
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The National Review says the reason many Democrats are backing the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act of 2011 — or NAT GAS — that gives concessions and subsidies to the natural gas industry is that it contains a backdoor entry for the Environmental Protection Agency to finally get regulatory control of greenhouse gas emissions.The developer of a two-turbine wind project in Wareham is seeking help from the attorney general’s office after a town meeting vote to change a zoning bylaw put his plan in jeopardy.
The snow pile in Framingham isn’t going anywhere any time soon.