A just released poll by Suffolk University shows Scott Brown leading by 4 points, what the pollster calls a “Brown Out”:
Riding a wave of opposition to Democratic health-care reform, GOP upstart Scott Brown is leading in the U.S. Senate race, raising the odds of a historic upset that would reverberate all the way to the White House, a new poll shows.
Although Brown’s 4-point lead over Democrat Martha Coakley is within the Suffolk University/7News survey’s margin of error, the underdog’s position at the top of the results stunned even pollster David Paleologos.
“It’s a Brown-out,” said Paleologos, director of Suffolk’s Political Research Center. “It’s a massive change in the political landscape.”
The poll shows Brown, a state senator from Wrentham, besting Coakley, the state’s attorney general, by 50 percent to 46 percent, the first major survey to show Brown in the lead. Unenrolled long-shot Joseph L. Kennedy, an information technology executive with no relation to the famous family, gets 3 percent of the vote. Only 1 percent of voters were undecided.
Paleologos said bellweather models show high numbers of independent voters turning out on election day, which benefits Brown, who has 65 percent of that bloc compared to Coakley’s 30 percent. Kennedy earns just 3 percent of the independent vote, and 1 percent are undecided.
The breadth of Brown’s strength is across the board in the poll. But one interesting corollary is that the Kennedy family endorsement may have hurt Coakley:
Big-name Kennedy endorsements for Martha Coakley appear to have been little help to the Democrat in the U.S. Senate race – and may have even hurt her with some voters, a new Suffolk University/7News poll shows.
The late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s widow, Vicki, and nephew Joseph Kennedy II gave the attorney general their official blessing last week.
But of the 500 voters surveyed, only 20 percent said the Kennedy family nod made them more likely to vote for Coakley, and 27 percent said the endorsement made them less likely to support her.
The details of the polling data show some interesting answers to questions:
As a U.S. Senator, do you think Martha Coakley will be an independent voice or tow the Democratic Party line?
Independent voice: 24%
Tow the party line: 64%
Can the federal government afford the proposed national healthcare law?
Is your opinion of Martha Coakley generally favorable or unfavorable?
Never heard: 0%
Heard of/Undecided: 10%
Is your opinion of Scott Brown generally favorable or unfavorable?
Never heard: 5%
Heard of/Undecided: 19%