Rasmussen is the first major polling organization to poll the Massachusetts Senate special election, and the “pre-released” poll numbers show Martha Coakley (D) with just a 9% lead over Scott Brown (R), which would be consistent with other polls. This post will be updated with further analysis once the official numbers are released. [See Update No. 2 below – official results released – Brown within 2% among people who definitely will vote and has a large lead among indepenents.]

This is better than I expected for Brown. Coakley has been a statewide figure for years, and has much better name recognition, SEIU and other union support, and the Massachusetts Democratic machine behind her. Obama won the state by over 20%, and Coakley should have had at least a mid-teens lead at this point.

But as I have noted, Coakley’s tactic of acting like the election already is over may be backfiring. While Brown was hitting the pavement the past three weeks, Coakley took a six day vacation. Wrong message. Coakley is ducking a one-on-one debate with Brown. Wrong message.

I sensed Coakley was in trouble when her campaign recently overstated the strength of her fundraising, making it seem as if she had far outraised Brown post-primary. It appears that most of Coakley’s fundraising strength was pre-primary, when she used the abortion issue to rally the liberal base to contribute. Coakley then went back on her promise not to vote for the Senate health bill if it contained abortion restrictions.

Brown’s campaign took off through the online community. A reflection of this surge is that Browns Twitter followers (@ScottBrownMA)(3269 for Brown v 1966 for Coakley) and Facebook (13,345 for Brown v 6,382 for Coakley) followers have taken off, while Coakley has been stagnant for weeks.

I called this race as a possible shocker in my very first post on the election, on December 9:

But keep an eye on Massachusetts. It’s a special election, and turnout could be low as it was in the primaries, which gives the party with the motivated base an advantage. Throw in some possible bad weather in mid-January, and anything could happen….

So don’t count this one out, yet. If Coakely wins, as expected, but by only single digits, that would be something. If Brown were to win, that would be something else.

Everything that has happened since December 9 confirms that Brown has a chance. Rasmussen’s poll last night is just the latest evidence.

Will the national GOP, which has ignored Brown, get involved now? I’m not sure I care anymore.

Update: Many bloggers have been doing yeoman’s work on spreading the word about Scott Brown. Check out SISU, Dan Riehl, Jules Crittenden, HillBuzz, Fred Bauer, Jumping In Pools, and special credit to Instapundit, HotAir, Michelle Malkin and Gateway Pundit for taking these issues to their large audiences.

Update No. 2: Rasmussen has release the poll results. Interesting points in the analysis:

  • “Twenty-one percent (21%) of those likely to vote in the special election have a very favorable opinion of Coakley, while 22% have a Very Unfavorable view. For Brown, the numbers are 25% very favorable and 5% very unfavorable.”
  • “Special elections are typically decided by who shows up to vote and it is clear from the data that Brown’s supporters are more enthusiastic. In fact, among those who are absolutely certain they will vote, Brown pulls to within two points of Coakley. That suggests a very low turnout will help the Republican and a higher turnout is better for the Democrat.”
  • “Brown leads 65% to 21% among voters not affiliated with either of the major parties.”

These details show that turnout will be everything here, and there is no strong base of support for Coakley. Independents are strong for Brown.

Update No. 3An Open Letter to Jane Hamsher

Related Posts:
Coakley Glances at Her Watch – For Six Days
“What’s Martha Afraid Of?”
Martha Coakley’s Political House On Fire
Coakley $25 Tweet A Sign of Trouble
Scott Brown Winning The Online Battle

For my complete coverage of the Brown v. Coakley MA Senate Race, click here

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