|Gardner, Fitchburg and Peabody all show solid margins for Brown, the state senator running against Coakley. The cities were identified as bellwether communities because in the most recent "like election" - the November 2006 Senate race between the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and Republican challenger Kenneth Chase - the results in all three communities were within 1 percentage point of the actual statewide results for each candidate. Additionally, party registration in those cities is similar to the statewide voter makeup.|
Now, I'm not sure how much the 2006 Senate election really mirrors this one. In fact, I would say that it did not in any particularly meaningful way.* That said, I did pick Fitchburg and Gardner as bellwethers (which is not spelled 'bellweather' by the way), which gave 52.1% and 51.4% of the vote to Romney (state-wide he got 52.6% of the two-party vote). This Suffolk poll has Brown up by 14 and 15 points, respectively. Could it really be this much of a blow-out?
*If I get really bored, maybe one day I'll see which did a better job of predicting these results, the 2002 Governor or 2006 Senate race.