Friday, January 15, 2010

Staying at 60

It is safe to say that panic has set in here in the Bay State (Bay Commonwealth, actually) regarding the Kennedy Senate seat. Scott Brown is a Mitt Romney clone, in that he's a good looking guy whom no one knows what he really thinks, or if he has actual opinions at all, and thus is a good vessel for a vote-the-bums-out election. On the other side you have Martha Coakley, who has run a horrible campaign since winning the Democratic primary in December. And by "horrible campaign" I mean "didn't campaign at all for a month." To be honest, I'm not really sure how she won the primary: as soon as polling started, she was well ahead and the other candidates could never overcome her giant lead, but I have no idea why she has so far ahead to begin with. I mean, being state attorney general must give you some name recognition, but initial polls had her beating her opponents by 20+ points. And it certainly wasn't her TV ads, which were, at best, non-offensive and could certainly be categorized as annoying.

Anyways, voting is next Tuesday. Current polls vary between a decent Coakley win (high single digits) to a narrow Brown win (a point or two). Nate Silver had a good point the other day, noting that those who would say anything but a Coakley blow-out is a loss for the Democrats need to look at previous elections in this state -- it is really only in Presidential elections that Massachusetts is a no-brainer, as Republicans tend to keep Congressional and Gubernatorial elections decently close (indeed, winning a latter a good chunk of the time).

The Kennedy seat is a class I seat, meaning that whomever wins it won't be up for re-election until 2012. If Coakley wins -- and I really hope she does, not because I think she'll be even a remotely successful Senator but rather because I'm confident that Scott Brown will do whatever Mitch McConnell tells him to do -- I hope she receives a strong challenge in '12.