Saturday, January 09, 2010

MA Senate Update – Poll – 1-9-2010 - Republican Scott Brown Leads Coakley 48 to 47

The latest poll is now showing that Republican Scott Brown is leading Democrat, Martha Coakley in the race to fill the vacant Senate Seat in the January 19th, MA Special Election.

The pollster, Pubic Policy Polling just released the data this evening:
From their blog:

Here's the reality: the Republicans and GOP leaning independents are going to come out and vote for Scott Brown. There's no doubt about that. But there's also a much larger pool of potential Democratic voters in the state. If Coakley can get them out, she wins. But this race is well past the stage where Democrats can take it for granted that will happen. It will be fascinating to see what happens the final ten days and we'll do a second poll on the race next weekend.

One gets the feeling, here in Massachusetts, that Brown is crossing party lines, pulling not only the Republican and Independent voters, but Democrats in growing numbers. Brown held a Town Hall today by phone for residents of the Bay State – this bloggers phone has been ringing off the hook ever since. It will continue to be an uphill battle, one should take nothing for granted, here, in MA – but the fact that the Secretary of State refuses to certify the election for 10 days to wait for absentee ballots, makes one believe that the Democrats are taking no chances. In addition, that move seems to have solidified the vote behind Brown. There is a “take no prisoners” attitude by the electorate one has not seen since November 1979. If Massachusetts is to make history, the citizens of the Bay State cannot lay idle based on polls, and it appears that, for the first time in decades, they are more than aware of what is at stake.

Poll Resultshere

New Poll on Mass Senate Race Due Out This Weekend – Pollster Sees Virginia Enthusiasm in MA

Public Policy Pollingwill be releasing results of a survey on the Massachusetts Special U.S. Senate Election sometime over this weekend.
Some points made in their decision to survey:

  • 1) Heavy interest in the race.
  • 2) The plurality between the enthusiasm seen in Virginia and Massachusetts amongst voters
  • 3) Browns favorables are up around 60%

  • Although Public Policy Polling’s numbers for the NY 23rd we’re not consistent with most pollsters, should the come close to Rasmussen’s 9 point Coakley lead for all polled, and 2 point Coakley lead for voters that are going to vote, then Massachusetts will see History being made.

    What is not mentioned:

  • 1. Democrats are fielding Candidates for Browns MA Senate Seat
  • 2. Mass. Secretary of State Galvin will hold results for 10 days toeing the “Party Line” giving interim appointee, Kirk, the ability to vote on Health Care:

  • The longtime aide and confidant of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who was handpicked by Gov. Deval Patrick after a controversial legal change to hold Kennedy’s seat, vowed to vote for the bill even if Republican state Sen. Scott Brown, who opposes the health-care reform legislation, prevails in a Jan. 19 special election.
    “Absolutely,” Kirk said, when asked if he’d vote for the bill, even if Brown captures the seat. “It would be my responsibility as United States senator, representing the people and understanding Senator Kennedy’s agenda. . . . I think you’re asking me a hypothetical question but I’d be pleased to vote for the bill.”

    The above actions alone lead one to believe that State and National Party Democrats have their own internal polls; these are actions that would denote preconceived defeat.

    Friday, January 08, 2010

    Abridged Transcript Brown, Coakley, Kennedy U.S. Senate Debate WGBY Springfield, January 8th

    WGBY Springfield Brown, Coakley, Kennedy Debate January 8th - photo WGBY

    The following is an abridged transcript of the WGBY Debate on the program “The State We’re In”. The debate form was informal and by far allowed for a most lively debate, allowing each candidate’s personality to come forward. Joe Kennedy, the Libertarian candidate appeared more relaxed and even quipped that he agreed with Scott Brown for a change. Brown was also relaxed, and confident in each response, while Coakley appeared as if she were “scolding” at times, while trying to move to the middle, and accusing Brown of not stating a particular fact correctly, then countering with: (abridged) that’s not what I meant to say, what I mean to say was… Brown was most in control, with Kennedy appearing more competent than Coakley.

    Transcript (abridged - unedited)

    Moderator: This is not a formal debate there will be no time for rebuttals, we will be allowing two minutes for closing statements.

    First Mr. Kennedy
    National unemployment out holds at 10% net loss of 85M drops nationwide, what ‘s your interpretation, does it mean that the economy has leveled off and is improving or are we stalled

    Kennedy: Not only are we stalled, more and more people have given up looking for work – that’s the worst thing you can see in the economy that figure is not reported in those numbers, it’s going to get worse because we haven’t started to do what we need to do, all we are doing is mixing the pie, and not creating jobs in the private sector.

    Coakley: A little over a year ago, we were on the edge of the worst disaster in economic issues, the past administration caused this failure, and people said it was going to be a tough haul coming out of this – in some ways the news could be worse, we still have a lot more work to do, in order to get the economy moving, we need to look at how this is going to work, take the squeeze off the middle class,

    Scott Brown: We’re 85000 jobs is not holding the line, it’s about differences were in a tough spot, and there are plenty of blame to go around, there difference between me and Martha is that I am looking at JFK style across the board tax cut, put more money in people’s pockets – you can’t put more taxes on business and expect them to expand, we have cap and trade scheme which is going to put businesses out of business, I’m going to go down there and hold the line on taxes

    Coakley: Scott did you not agree with the tarp and stimulus?

    Brown: No I do not agree with the stimulus, we’re 49th out of 50 in releasing the money and so that hasn’t work, I’d recall the money and use it to create job, I would have allowed it to help but not pay out huge bonuses that others were getting. I’m glad you brought that up as there are so many differences between us about taxing –
    Martha you know we haven’t released that money –

    Coakley: We held the line, we haven't lost jobs- we kept police and teachers,

    Brown: no we were supposed to create jobs in Mass., it hasn’t worked, I wouldn’t support another stimulus

    Coakley: it wasn’t supposed to create jobs; it was supposed to save jobs.

    Kennedy: every single dollar of money that goes to the federal, we get 20 cents back – we are losers as a state. So the fact that were’ arguing about who gets a bailout or who doesn’t we are a state that every single time a citizen pays the federal tax, we lose money –we need to cut taxes, so that we can start spending money, and we need to get out of the way of business.

    Coakley: people on Wall Street didn’t do their jobs, we were without a play book last year, and most people agreed that without some kind of bailout and the need to get stimulus money out there, we would have been in a great depression.

    Kennedy: no there is a playbook, look at what Harding did, it is a playbook, look at what he did, and he pulled us out within a year.

    Brown: we’re in a situation now were we have a sales tax, meal tax, we have so many taxes, we’ve gone from a surplus to being broke, marriage penalties are coming back, and this is where people need to do their research and see what people are going to do in Washington, Martha wants the tax cuts to expire, and if you look at what she wants is 2.2 million in additional taxes, no one has trust in them, I can do better , I can go down there and tell them to hold the line –

    Coakley: Scott says this time and time again, and says he supports the status quo, that we don’t’ have a climate change issue, he ignores where we are – and I know that I am a fiscally responsively attorney general – and for people in the Commonwealth – I know we need to address the issue, and the only tax I talk about is that we have supported the top 2% of the country is the one that should expire, I think that the middle class is being squeezed,

    Brown: With all due respect all the audience would think Martha is a tax cutter, I’ve been at the state house, I cut taxes, and voted to – this isn’t something I made it up – what we need is a tax cut, a JFK tax cut, we have very clear differences –

    Martha: I said you’re wrong, and I support difference,

    Moderator: Health care – some sort of final vote in will take place in mid-February or sooner, our new senator will be voting on this.
    Ms. Coakley what needs to be in here and what won’t you vote for

    Coakley: I support what the senate proposal is, I don’t love it, but I think in general it provides two important to get people covered and it addresses the costs – we haven’t done that in MA – we cannot afford the status qua in health care and it’s not sustainable at any level, I think we need more transparency, I don’t think the bill gets there yet, and I will say that over the past three years I’ve worked closely with the health care program in Mass., and if we don’t’ do it now, people won’t’ get the health care they want

    Brown: Thank you for the question, the health care plan is not good for Bay State Health Center here in Springfield, I worked on that health care bill, the problem with it is that we have 98% of our people insured and we have to look at pricing it’s getting out of control – but the Federal plan, taking a half trillion from Medicare, why would we go and subsidize the failure of other states – not only would we be paying for our plan, we’d be paying for everyone else – and look at the back door deals – I think people have lost confidence – and I think that we need to go back – I’d work on it – why do we need a one size fits all government approach we already did it.

    Kennedy: We did it and did it poorly, our premiums are going up faster – what s the one area in health care that goes down in price, elective surgery – but if you take a look there are a number of things that take place during both – anesthesia is cheaper, under elective, but because of regulations, it’s higher in most cases – 57% of the insurance benefits are regulated, and insurance companies are not allowed to compete, we didn’t do it in MA and we’re not going to do it in WA and we have to address that first,

    Coakley: let me address ma first, it’s important to understand that cost is going up 8% so you’re going to tell me, Scott that your proposal to cut costs is to take away mammograms and give the insurance companies a break – the senate bill that we’re talking about is good for Mass we are going to get reimbursed we will get benefits from this bill including the ability to cross state lines

    Brown: First it’s preposterous that you would say that I would cut women’s services - it is unfair – and disingenuous – I live in a house full of women – we need to look at mandates, we need to look at managed care and billings – when you look at what the Connector would do – make suggestions and look at people who fit that mold – people would have the ability to have different plans – we didn’t do that, but to think that we would actually take a plan we have already done and instead take a Federal plan that costs a trillion dollars, and cut Medicare, the fact that Kerry managed to save some of that by going to Washington hat in hand - we don’t’ need to take a tin can to Washington – we can fix this, we don’t need to subsidize what we need to do….

    Coakley: if the mandates are in place, but if the mandate then the insurance company won’t do it to save costs, the people won’t use it, it’s better for people and its better for costs, don’t’ say your solution isn’t to cut benefits

    Brown: To think that we would cut those covered - it was to get a basic plan – I never said I would remove mandates – your misrepresenting – certain mandates, so if they want certain elective benefits they can pay an additional fee – they need a basic plan. I agree to disagree

    Kennedy: consumers lose because of mandates, this is one of the few things Scott and I agree upon,
    Different people have different needs, and want certain things from their coverage. People are not getting equitable coverage – so they lose out on that bill – we should repeal Obama care and mass health care and then when costs are driven down, then we take the 8 or 10 percent hat are not covered.

    All agreeing to disagree

    Moderator: Mr. Brown - Your reaction to Obama’s reaction to the terror bombing on Christmas day
    Making things tough, the Obama administration is asking for better coordination of intelligence, hold someone’s head have rolled?

    Brown: the President reacted too slow, and as someone who's at 30 year member of National Guard I think about war and peace on a daily basis and this particular issue, there is nothing more important to me than protecting our citizens, but to lawyer the individual up and give him lawyers at the taxpayers’ expense, we should have treated him like an enemy combatant and we should have found out if there were other attacks coming – the difference between me and Martha, she's in favor of Mohammad in New York getting an at our expense, we’re all paying for it, it’s wrong –
    Kennedy: I think someone’s head should roll, Janet Napolitano should step down, to address some of Scott’s issue, we need to take anyone who s a military combatant and bring them to a military tribunal they don’t belong here with our rights – from a security standpoint, I’m against policing the world, we have significant forces in Germany and Japan protecting them, we need to bring people back and focus on having a strong national defense, secure our borders and our airlines, if we are not able to do that , then the people sitting in the country are at risk, we cannot police the world, it makes us more vulnerable – it think it was telling when the gentlemen from Israel said we don’t have a security sys in America we have an annoyance system;

    Coakley: we all agree, and how we knew that was with the wake up call on 9-11, I know in 2 and a half decades I’ve worked in keeping people safe, there is a way in which we do it, we have to do it smartly, look at Richard Reid, he was indicted and charged and convicted in MA – we have a very effective form of government in this country he will be tried, and convicted, and he will presumably be convicted, we have a dismal failure with the military tribunal system, we had people that had to be sent back – I think we have to keep people safe, and I think attorney general Holder has done this.

    Brown: I am a jag and I think that to pay for attorneys for people who are trying to kill us is wrong - and when Mohamed was told us we were trying him in New York - he said I’ll see you in my with my attorneys - we’re at war in our airports and in our shopping centers and we can do better – making sure we are getting information pursuant to all applicable laws, Richard Reid was tried in a military tribunal first.

    Coakley: We will disagree, and let’s see where history takes this – we will take the best course of action to keep people safe, we all agree that this is our worst nightmare; we need to step up as Obama said, and the way we hold people accountable I don’t think the military tribunals will be effective.

    Brown: we’re paying 100's of millions of dollars and giving them constitutional rights which they don’t deserve, and were’ not getting the information – we are at war, with al Queda, and they are looking to kill our kids and to kill us –
    Martha if you find Bin Ladin, do you want to Mirandize him?

    Coakley: We’re not going to find him, if we find him he’s going to be tried as military tribunal

    Brown: Why wasn’t Mohammed tried?

    Coakley: Because Holder wanted to do it this way

    Brown: It’s going to be a show for al Queda we’re making a huge mistake

    Coakley: we can agree to disagree

    Kennedy: – I think we’re giving him incentive – if you’re living in a cave, a jail center looks a lot more attractive, they attack us because we occupy their country’s and we have a history of meddling with their affairs, why isn’t it one of the other European countries, why isn’t it American, because we have a history of messing with them,
    We will continue to incite this violence to this country

    Coakley: – we’ve seen terrorism all over the world, especially with democracies – and they have to do whatever it takes to keep people safe –

    Kennedy – When you hear al Queda on the radio - we must kill the American infidels, it is because we occupy their territories, and if I were a kid growing up and I had a foreign military person walking by it would be easy to convert me

    Coakley: that’s why we need intelligence –

    Moderator: Mr. Kennedy, UMass flagship campus – has had a significance increase in fees and costs, some of the federal stimulus dollars will help but what will happen when stimulus goes away –
    What about the future, would you have any qualms or would you help fund higher public education in this tough time.

    Kennedy: –I understand the laws of supply and demand, the reality is we create bubbles every time we push money into a situation, and from education the strain it puts on a new college graduate, before grants were in place, the college price increased with inflation, every time someone takes out a grant that institution is flush with cash – hey you can go to college and the college gets any money, it doesn’t increase tuition by 2 or 3 percent, it goes up to 8% the person who loses is the person who graduates, what we need to do is put solutions in place and see how to cap the increases in spending, not send money to them

    Coakley: Mass is blessed we have an embarrassment of riches here - I believe that every child in this Bay Sate and the country should have access to college – I think UMass is a flagship university I think the money that went to keep jobs, as part of the stimulus, you cited a problem we already have, we save jobs, we hope that as the private sector comes back, and we maybe provide for tax credits for people that that are in college.

    Brown: we’ve reviewed the budgets in the State Senate - every line - in the senate we’ve discussed at length - every issue that there will be an artificial – we asked them to do a top to bottom audit to see where they can save money –we haven’t seen any jobs created, so Umass and all the other systems we offered a billion dollars in cuts, the film tax credits, some of the naming rights, we had the ability to find real cuts and use the money we had in the rainy day fund – we could have funded those projects and we didn’t do it. (Talking about the Democrat Controlled Mass. Legislature) And the fact that we haven't done an across the board tax cut, a payroll reduction, the stimulus bill -the idea of fixing it by raising the tax burden, it’s not working

    Kennedy: –Scott makes a good point, the issue isn’t taxes, it’s cuts, we need people in Washington that will cut spending, in the private sector we have a bad year, we have to lay off or cut back on the budget, we don’t’ do that in the public sector, we bring on a bailout or subsidize it, we create a bigger bubble and time an time again it -

    Coakley: we had speculation and we had Washington not taking tract of what was going on – so we did have opt spend money to get out of it – we agree to disagree on stimulus – I think it was necessary to save jobs and keep us moving, we’ll see if a second stimulus is necessary –
    You need a government with smart regulation to make sure there aren’t artificial bubbles; we don’t need to do nothing like Scott and the Bush Cheney administration

    Brown: I’ve cut taxes,

    Coakley: –you want to give the 2-1/2 % of the richest keep their money

    Brown: – if I can finish my answer… when you’re talking about Bush Cheney you’re talking about the marriage penalty coming back – federal obligations will increase to the IRS, the child tax credit cut in half, you’re talking about an increase for every citizen across the country –we need to do more nationally– the out of control spending, our kids our great grand kids will never pay it back, to think we have to go to china that we have to pay everything back
    Martha says its working, and we’re 49th in stimulus spending
    The quick fixes are over, refer back to bush Cheney, I’m not looking back, I’m not bush Cheney, I’m Scott Brown from Wrentham you're running against me, the Bush Cheney thing is old, that jokes old – we need an across the board JFK tax cut.

    Coakley: Can we get a simple answer – you would let the top 2% keep the tax cuts?

    Brown: You asked me the question and I’ve answered it - the small business and not big corporations you’re talking about hurting mom and pop businesses, you want to hit them with health care bill that is going to crush hem in mass. I can appreciate your trying to come back to the center on this, you’re a very nice woman, but you’re wrong on these issues.

    Coakley: Scott as attorney general I brought back money

    Brown: – well that’s your job

    Coakley: well I did it well

    Brown: that’s your job

    Kennedy: – I would keep them in place (Bush tax cuts), but no one wants to talk about spending, I will repeal every dime of Obama care

    Closing statements

    Coakley: Thanks for hosting us here today because on January 19th you can pick who goes to Washington to face the serious and other economic issues we need opt address, I grew up in MA, my dad was in the navy, he had his own insurance agency, we walked to school we came from a small city I brought those qualities with me, I have worked consistently to make sure I have been fiscally responsible, I was the one who brought money back from wall street, I understand exactly how you have to address the spending and how to address tax relief for the middle class and I worked hard to keep our kids safe, I know a little about public safe and balancing that with the constitution you want a senator that will address the problems not pretend we don’t’ have any

    Kennedy: I have to start by saying no candidate hat advocates continued spending, understand how the economy works, no one wants to talk about cutting entitlements – you have to cut taxes, but before you cut taxes, you have to cut spending – if I got to Washington I will cut billions of dollars by cutting spending, I will bring back troops, I will repeal it, I will repeal increases on pay raises for federal government employees. I will repeal every hack job of the current administration since Obama took office I will file legislation to end the Federal Reserve, and I will look at waste under Bush Cheney and then I will go after the federal income tax; no one talks about the hard decision we have to make

    Brown: – thank you very much it’s nice to be back in Springfield my mom has been divorced, my dad as well, and I was on welfare, and one of the reason I am a republican is because I believe in the value of a dollar I know we are spending too much, if you don't like the way things are going, the lack of transparency, the giveaways, increasing our taxes and giving rights to terrorists, you need to send me down to Washington I’ll fix that – its’ about differences you have a candidate that wants to decrease taxes and create jobs, I can stop the health care bill as the 41st senator , and the cap and trade, will put us out of business, and the expiring tax cuts, it’s a bad time, we’re in bad shape now, we need someone who is going to hold the line – wouldn’t it be nice to send someone different? Someone who would create dialogue?

    As noted, this is an abridged transcript of the debate. The entire debate can be downloaded at in podcast format.

    Mass Senate Race Updates: Local Democrats Eye Brown’s State Senate Seat, Debate Tonight at 7:00 in Western Mass., The Nation Jumps In Mass. Politics

    Democrat Petere Smulowitz eyes Browns MA Senate Seat - image Beth Isreal

    Democrat Peter Smulowitza physician from Needham, Mass. met with the Attleboro Democrat Committee this week. Smulowitz has already begun campaigning for the State Senate Seat currently held by Scott Brown. Smulowitz is the first to announce his candidacy to fill the State Senate Seat, as the likelihood of Brown taking the U.S. Senate Seat becomes more of a probability – he is the first Democrat to step forward. Republican State representative, Richard Ross, has expressed an interest in the running for Brown’s seat, but has not begun to actively campaign. From this perspective, in the Eastern Part of the State, where the population is heaviest, the Democrats getting a replacement ready for the vacant State Senate Seat speaks volumes about their confidence in Martha Coakley, the Democrat Candidate going to Washington. One thing about Beacon Hill, it is all about the stranglehold the Democrats have on Massachusetts state government and the opportunity to pick up an even greater majority by one seat, has them on the move.

    Tonight, the Western Part of the State has the opportunity to watch a debate on the Public Television Station: WGBY Springfield There appears to be some confusion as to the actual airing of the debate: The State were in, will air sometime between 7PM and 7:30 and last approximately one hour – podcasts are available to those outside of the are here

    The debate will feature the two major candidates, Scott Brown, Republican, Martha Coakley, Democrat and Joe Kennedy, the Impendent Candidate. What to watch for: Brown will fend off several direct attacks by Joe Kennedy, who will sound as if he may be campaigning for Martha Coakley. This has occurred in the last several debates. It was at Coakley’s insistence that Kennedy be included, her handlers’ assumption was that Brown and Kennedy would appear to be similar – not the case. Brown is anti-war and pro-abortion – so much more in line with Coakley than Kennedy. As to Coakley, she has, in past debates, spoken directly to her base.

    Watch specifically for references to Karl Rove/Dick Cheney/Republican Attack Machine references in respect to Brown. Brown, who is a moderate and has a record of crossing the aisle, has been garnering attention from outside groups. One PAC has begun running ads in the Bay State, which Brown has denounced. The ads are on the line of “attack” ads – (i.e. Ads painting the opposition in less than glowing terms.) John Kerry immediately jumped to Martha's defense by a reference to the Swift Boat Veteran.

    Brown’s ads, to his credit, have not mentioned his opponent, rather have been about what he feels is good for the stae, the ad by American Future Fund is in stark contrast to Browns personality. Again, as in past debates, Coakley may continue her march left, in order to speak to those Democrats who outnumber the Republican voters in the State. The problem is that the majority vote comes from Independents, who are aligned with neither party and who Brown (according to a Rasmussen Poll) is drawing 3 to 1. The hour-long debate, which will be watched by those who turn in on Friday nights to WGBY, or are heavy political junkies, will do little to reach those who prefer to watch paint dry than tune into anything political (the majority of the voters). For comparison, all candidates’ ads: Browns 2, Coakley’s 1 and the PAC will be shown below.

    The nation, specifically from a grass roots perspective has begun to realize that it is more than possible for a Republican to take seat in Massachusetts, no matter if it was a seat held by 47 years by one, Ted Kennedy – the average voter is going to look at the following in the voting booth (those who get out and vote on the 19th) Brown (R), Coakley (D), and Kennedy (L) or possibly (I). As the news is not a priority for most people in this day and age – unless you consider “entertainment tonight” news, then an average Democrat is going to see a choice between Coakley and a Kennedy – they’ll have no clue as to what the “L” or “I” stands for – let the reader decide who the Democrat that cannot stand voting for a Republican will pull that lever for (goes to bias against women, and the fact that Coakley hasn’t been visible in the Commonwealth.

    Brown has, in recent days, begun to make believers out of those in Washington, specifically the NRSC and the GOP, who, at this late date, by raising funds, most likely want to at the very least, be able to take credit as the likelihood of a Brown making history becomes more plausible. It is more likely, however, that the individual donations and those working phones from afar for Brown (Chicago gets extra points), will do more in making this horserace in the Bay State one of the most exciting “special elections” in a long while.

    To date, there has been no word of a visit from Obama or Biden or any other “high profile” democrat to Rally the Troops in support of Martha Coakley – there are two scenarios – they either believe the situation is such that a Republican simply cannot win, or understand that it would be another wasted trip (see Virginia and New Jersey). The jury is still out – and the outcome of such may be predicable based on past results.

    Scott Brown First Ad

    Scott Brown Second Ad

    Martha Coakley 1st Senate Ad (to date)

    “Attack” Ad by America Future Fund

    Thursday, January 07, 2010

    Massachusetts Democrats on Vacation - The Kennedy Endorsement of Coakley – and Coakleys First Ad - Too Little Too Late.

    Although Scott Brown, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts has been racking up endorsements from a variety of sources including Senator John McCain, former Boston Sportsman, Curt Shilling and most lately, former Senator and Radio Host (NY 23rd) Fred Thompson, Martha Coakley appeared to have the endorsement of Bill Clinton alone. Granted, the Clinton’s are popular with Massachusetts Democrats, Hillary specifically. The latest batch of Caokely endorsements are coming from the Kennedy family – according to the Boston Globe. Ted Kennedy’s second wife, and widow, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, will endorse Coakley. It was Victoria Kennedy who pushed for the interim appointment of Kennedy family friend, Paul Kirk, to keep the “seat warm” for the next Democrat to come down the pike. A move that was applauded by the Commonwealth Political hierarchy (and appalled those on who vote.)

    Not for nothing, but the last time the Kennedy’s got behind a candidate in Massachusetts, it was not the candidate their constituents chose. The candidate, Barack Obama, did not win the popular vote in the primary in Massachusetts, Hillary Clinton did; it was Kennedy and Kerry who were the first to endorse Obama, over the tide of support for Senator Clinton.

    With 12 days to go until the election – an endorsement by Ms. Kennedy, may rally the “troops” that Coakley already has in her corner – those that are committed to voting for her – but, as the past Kennedy endorsement have left many feeling a bit of buyer’s remorse, this latest endorsement may prove to be no more than ‘eyewash’.

    Coakley’s first television ad,(shown below) on the heels of Brown’s second, is the same theme (right down to the scenes) she used during the primary – in a nutshell, how her position as attorney general will somehow improve the economy. Martha speaks to the base, once again, evoking corporate greed, and her work to put predators behind bars (which, Massachusetts does not have a strong record of doing so).

    Coakley continues to use keywords and pulls endorsements that speak to some of the 35% of those who consider themselves Democrats in Massachusetts. She has failed to move to the middle, which leaves Brown with the majority of the unenrolleds, as well most Republican voters. In addition, Martha’s vacation from the campaign, other than a few hand-picked debates (which Brown handily won) has not endeared her to her own base. Coakley, who has name recognition to a point, is doing too little, too late, to pull out a stunner. One evokes name recondition because, ask the man (or woman) on the street who the Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth is, they have no idea – the same goes for Attorney General.

    This will be a very close race, one in which Scott Brown has the momentum, and the last minute endorsements (on both sides) will do little to motivate. The lines have been drawn in the proverbial sand. As Brown continues his tours of the Commonwealth, as his grassroots organization continues to call and go door to door, (indeed!), the momentum continues to grow. Browns lead among independents as well as Hispanics (marginal’s from Rasmussen) will take this race down to the finish line – again, having no crystal ball – prediction that the race will be called with matter of points, in Browns favor – may be conservative.

    Wednesday, January 06, 2010

    Chris Dodd (D-CT) & Byron Dorgan (D-ND) Retire – Kitchen Getting A Bit Hot in Court of Public Opinion – DSCC’s Menendez in Hot Seat over Mass.

    DSCC's Chair, NJ's Menendez, Next to Retire? photo

    Chris Dodd, the 5 term Democrat Senator from the Nutmeg State has announced that he will not seek re-election in 2010. Dodd, who has watch his political stock decline following several scandals dealing with the nation’s mortgage and subsequent financial scandal, has been polling behind Republican challenger Rob Simmons by up to 14 points. According to the Hartford Courant National Democrats did everything possible to improve Dodd’s numbers, but began to get “antsy” when the numbers failed to improve. The Democrats are most likely going to run Richard Blumenthal, the State’s Attorney General – the premise: Blumenthal is one of the most popular politician’s in the state. Democrats remain confident that Connecticut will remain firmly in Democrat control that said they were also confident that Dodd would recover and continue his “work” in the Senate.

    Over in North Dakota, Bryon Dorgan, claimed he would prefer to pursue other interests than the Senate. Again, Democrats were confident Dorgan would recover from low polling against a hypothetical challenge from Republican John Hoeven.
    The one factor in all media reports regarding Democrats who are retiring, switching parties, and or facing a special election (see Martha Coakley D. versus Scott Brown Republican in the Mass. Special Election to fill the vacant Senate Seat in the Commonwealth), is that “Obama carried the state”. Apparently, that data is no longer valid in terms of saving one’s own political hide in any given state. That was 2008, this is 2010, and polling on the President’s job performance and programs match that of the embattled senators, congressional members and governors who are getting out, rather than face costly campaigns the results of which are far from certain.

    The Chair of the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee apparently has his hands full between retirements and specifically the contest in Massachusetts. Recently, CQ Politics blog declared the State of Massachusetts “Safe Democrat”, that was prior to a poll released by Rasmussen showing that Democrat Martha Coakley, who had appeared to take the seat for granted, might have to cut short her vacation and campaign. It may be a little too late, and in the normal finger-pointing that appears so frequently in party politics, the victim, according to the same CQ blog, will be the Senator from New Jersey, Robert Menendez. According to CQ, (who incidentally gave Coakley an extra point based on the Rasmussen Poll) should the State of Massachusetts fall to Scott Brown, then Menendez would take the blame. Apparently, the Title says it all: “A Mess in Massachusetts for Menendez”. The writer lists everything possible that Menendez can do to get Coakley elected (short of voter fraud) and the result is the same, good news for Republican Scott Brown.

    Of special interest, this is the first time an article on this race or any other “blue state “race, has not finished with “Safe Democrat”. Once again, all articles regarding the race in Massachusetts focus on the popularity of Obama, rather than the unfavorable of the Democrat who is actually running for office.

    With Dodd, it was clearly a question of why throw good money after bad, and a sense that there was no way he could retain his seat. Dorn was most likely doing the same math, and factoring in a battle that, given both men’s age, could possibly upset retirement plans post government jobs.

    Reid, over in Nevada is the next one to watch. Although Democrats are sticking to their guns, confident that Reid will win out over a 7 to 10 point disadvantage regardless of which Republican is polled against him, are clearly smoking something. There is a groundswell of conservative activism coming out of Nevada, and spreading across the states, these activists are looking at races in places as far flung as Massachusetts, including the U.S. Senate Race between Coakley and Brown, and the Massachusetts 4th District Race, where incumbent Barney Frank is facing Republican Earl Sholley.

    One factor to consider in the Massachusetts races, they are being largely ignored by the national parties – given the fact that Obama carried the state handily, Massachusetts by 62% (Connecticut by 61%, and Nevada by 53%). in 2008 That, and the fact that Massachusetts and Connecticut have both been held by Democrats (for the most part) since the 1970’s. What they are not factoring is the substantial increase in “unenrolleds” or “unaffiliated” voters in both states. In the case of Massachusetts the “unenrolled” are the majority party, eclipsing the Democrats by 20 points – that cannot be ignored. Additionally, when viewing Obama’s poll numbers – from Rasmussen to Marist to Quinnipiac the news is not good - a November poll suggested that Obama had lost the independent vote “who went from 3 points negative to 14”.

    It is now January and those numbers have not improved. Add more woes to Menendez and the DNC in general: a new study by Rasmussen suggests that the number of American’s identifying themselves as Democrats has fallen to the lowest point in seven years.
    What’s in a poll? Polling, for the most part, is a scientific estimate, pollsters can skew polls and results by asking questions in a certain manner or, for example, eliminating factors from a poll to improve results. See Rasmussen Poll on Massachusetts – they did not include Joe Kennedy, the Libertarian Candidate by name – although it is doubtful that Kennedy would acquire more than 6% of the vote in any case (based on historical patterns – Democrats who are not inclined to vote for Coakley may choose Kennedy – giving Brown a better position. Of course, all pundits keep pointing to the Obama popularity factor in all states and treat it as a given that regardless of the candidate and or the office, it should follow that the Democrats will ultimately win. One is getting the impression however, that those retiring, or switching parties, are doing so because they are mindful of 2006 – and the George Bush brand gone bad through the constant pulse of the media. Today it is not the media that is pushing the brand of the Democrats; rather it is their constituents, who apparently object to the policies of the current administration and the overall job performance of the Congress and the President.

    The next question, how many more “retirements” will take place in the coming months (prior to filing deadlines) and which of the remaining high-profile Democrats will decide not to seek re-election 2010 and 2012?

    Tuesday, January 05, 2010

    Rasmussen MA Senate Poll Results: Coakley has 9 Point Lead over Brown Margin of Error: 4.5 – Key: Brown Leads Independents 65-21%

    Rasmussen Reportsreleased the first polling for the Massachusetts Special Election to fill the U.S. Vacant Senate Seat today. Democrat, Martha Coakley shows a 9 point lead over Brown, with a margin of error of 4.5 and 7% undecided. Rasmussen did not include Libertarian Candidate Kennedy in the polling, rather listed: other candidates, which may have skewed results in Coakley's favor. The biggest factor in this particular poll is the lead Brown has among Independent Voters - based on Rasmussen: Brown leads 65 to 21%.

    Contrary to popular MSN opinion – Massachusetts in this instance is not “Safe Democrat” – The Bay State has a horserace on its hands. Due to the fact that in special elections in Massachusetts the Republican normally has the advantage, plus the high percentage of unenrolled voters turning to Brown (the majority of the electorate in MA) and the money is on Scott Brown to win.

    Rasmussen Reports Polling Mass Special Election Race – Citizens Poll Shows Brown in Lead over Coakley – Science and Grass Roots Polling

    The Washington Independentreleased a short article last night noting that independent pollster Rasmussen, was polling the Bay State for the January 19th, Special Senate Election. Rasmussen had confirmed to this blog that there would be a poll, but did not give a date. It should be noted that there are very few polls conducted by national pollsters in Massachusetts races – races in the Commonwealth are normally considered “safe Democrat” – as in “why bother wasting resources” (See CQ Politics article here regarding Scott Brown’s newest television ad which began running yesterday. (Ad below) The logic used by CQ Politics is that Coakley is heavily favored in the race, yet there has been no known data to back this up, with the exception of Coakley’s FEC report being slightly higher than Browns.

    Money can’t buy votes.

    Brown has been highly visible, crisscrossing the state, and doing one bang up job on the ground, while Coakley has been – non-existent. Other than one web ad, rebutting Brown’s first televised ad little has come from the alleged CQ Politics frontrunner.

    The next debate is set for February 8th in Springfield, MA on WGBY Television. WGBY is a public television station, which has the smallest market share in the DMA, that said, there has been a growing interest in the race, on the “ground” so to speak in MA, therefore, one might expect an increase in their rankings for the 8th .

    To date, there has been one unscientific poll, a citizens poll taken by a husband and wife team blogging out of Buzzards Bay. the poll was conducted using a phone book, calling all corners of the Bay State, over what appears to be several days (or weeks) – the results available here have Brown up by 11 plus points. Although of interest, the poll was conducted based on one question, regarding who one would support in the special election – Brown or Coakley. Understanding that these individuals were motivated by a lack of polling, and had no prior polling experience, one has to give them credit for putting in those hours, and at least presenting results – results that can be used to compare with other polling data released by Rasmussen. That said, they did not include the third party candidate: Joe Kennedy, and did not ask party affiliation.

    In Monday morning quarterbacking (guilty), had they asked both, they may have found that putting Kennedy in the “mix” would yield a different picture. The reasoning: most Massachusetts voters are just beginning to be aware of the race, via Browns advertising. Asking a Democrat to choose between Republican, Brown, Democrat Coakley, or Libertarian Kennedy, may see those Democrats who would not vote for Coakley under any circumstances, voting for Kennedy based on name recognition alone. Additionally, asking party affiliation, would have given insight into which the Unenrolleds are choosing, as well as who the Democrats will ultimately choose. That’s the information that is gleaned during internal polling, which may be why Martha has been so silent as of late. Knowing you’re within the margin of error in Massachusetts and a Democrat means that the race might be tight, but the chances of victory slim.

    Trolling for votes

    Another reason that Coakley may feel she has an edge – corruption in the State Party’s get out the vote. The Blog SISU on the Brown/Coakley race, suggests that Coakley’s will be aided by an inordinate amount of “dead people” in order to get her over the top. Although one would think that might not be necessary in the Bluest State, it is not uncommon for activists to troll nursing homes in order to get a vote for the Democrat candidate. (Personal experience, mother with dementia, in a nursing home in Western Mass, was about to “vote” for Al Gore, although she had no idea of who Gore was, or who I was – resulting: volunteer was summarily shown the door – letter to Secretary of State – result ignored.)

    Therefore, based on the theory of corruption put forth by the SISU blog, and the alleged corruption that may be employed – one would have to assume that ACORN, the SEIU, (who cannot control their membership when it comes to the voting booth), and a plethora of nursing homes and mortuaries (or cemeteries) in the state, are polled and vote for Coakley, will it be enough to get her over the top? One also has to ask would the State’s Attorney General knowingly stoop to such a crime?

    The most likely scenario at this point: should the poll come within the margin of error, or be within 10 points (either way), the race is going to be tight. Brown, who has the edge on Coakley in experience (MA Senate) as well, getting his message out to every nook and cranny in the State (which is resonating with voters). In addition, it is which candidate can actually inspire to get out the vote – Brown’s grassroots organization is tight, Coakley does not have a grassroots organization, and will have to rely on the same old “machine”. Turnout is critical and the grassroots is motivated. Should the above-mentioned hold – Scott Brown will be going to Washington.

    Note: Rasmussen polling, although an independent pollsters, has come under fire from DNC activist as being in the RNC’s pocket (so to speak), due to the fact that polls taken show a rejection of both programs and candidates. That said, the methodology used in the polling, random phone calls in a given area, (much the same as the non-scientific poll mentioned above) and automated polling (key in an answer), make that claim fallacious to say the least.) What to watch for in the Rasmussen Poll: the marginal – voters’ polled, political affiliation, and the inclusion of the third party candidate.

    The result of the Rasmussen poll will be published once available.

    New Scott Brown Television Ad

    Monday, January 04, 2010

    Mass. Senate Race Update: Scott Brown Endorsed by John McCain, Martha Coakley Endorsed by NARAL (Pro-Abortion) Brown’s stock Rising

    The special election in Massachusetts on the 19th of January to fill the seat left vacant by Ted Kennedy’s demise, has seen something unusual take place in the Bay State – the rise of Republican Scott Brown to within, as some are quick to point out, striking distance of the Democrats.

    Brown, a State Senator from Wrentham has the experience, as well as record as a moderate in the MA Senate. His primary objectives, over the years he has spent in the legislature (while also serving in the National Guard), have been the protection of women and children. In addition he has kept his constituents informed about what is taking place on Beacon Hill through a series of monthly newsletters. (said newsletters are still being published while he is on the campaign trail – copies can be found here at He is a fiscal conservative, and dead set against adding another nickel to the growing deficit, yet will cross the aisle when it helps his constituents. Brown, in other words, is the real deal, offering his constituents the transparency that has so often been touted but so often non-existent.

    Martha Coakley, the State’s Attorney General, hailed from the western part of the Bay State, the Berkshires, and her performance as the State’s DA has been questioned, especially by an article in Boston Magazine where she had co-mingled funds from two different campaigns – this gives a preview of an individual who may be willing to bed the law a bit in order to get from point A to point B. The article, by Paul Kix, is entitled “ Running Scared : Martha Coakley
    Martha Coakley has many wonderful qualities. So why doesn't her Senate campaign 
feature any of them?”
    is worth the read, as it highlights some key points in Ms. Coakley’s career that are at odds with her campaign rhetoric.

    One must realize that no matter which candidate, and for what position in government, it is impossible for any candidate to be perfect. Therefore, one must choose the candidate who they feel will best represent their political ideology, regardless of party. This is in evidence at Brown campaign offices across the state where volunteers are proud to call themselves Democrats, Libertarian, Green, Unenrolled or Independent, and, yes, even Republican. The reasoning: Health Care and a general distrust of Politics as usual. (In the interest of full disclosure this blog has not visited one of Martha Coakley’ four offices.)

    As the clock winds down, endorsements can be expected, and those endorsements are decidedly (for the most part) partisan. From the Brown Campaign, an endorsement came via Senator John McCain who stressed Scotts military service as well as his fiscal record in the State Senate.

    On the flip side, Martha Coakley, has been endorsed by Emily’s List as well as N.A.R.A.L., for her pro-active support of abortion, beginning prior to her political career – she is not in favor of parental consent, she was adamant that private medical facilities tow the public line regardless of religious or moral issues, when it came to dispensing birth control and abortion in Massachusetts, etc. The article from the Boston Globe outliens the differences between Brown and Coakley, as regards “reproductive rights” (i.e. Abortion).
    Martha has also picked up the endorsements of several local politicians, right in Scott Browns District, those include selectmen and school committee members. Those members are easily identified as Democrats, therefore, Martha can be seen to be picking up the endorsement of local Democrats, in the final hours of the campaign, while Brown is picking up the endorsement of one of the most moderate Republican’s who has a national platform.

    It really comes down to political ideology and which candidate one feels would best serve the interest of the people, rather than the interests of a given political party. That has been evidenced through the debates, given Browns records as an independent thinker, (to paraphrase his words in the WBZ debate), while Coakley is ready to go to Washington to support the President and his agenda.

    Just a note: in the Boston Globe article there is a reference regarding some of Coakely’s advisers telling her to tone down the pro-abortion language (soften) it a bit. This is most likely in response to Shannon O’Brian’s strong abortion language which cost her the Governor’s office (that went to Mitt Romney). In all, Massachusetts can be seen as a liberal state, up to a point, and a social issue, such as unlimited abortion access at any age, any procedure, can put off voters in a hurry – specifically those 51% and counting of those who consider themselves unenrolled. Should Coakley attempt to soften her stance in the coming two weeks, it would go directly to character, or lack thereof.

    Sunday, January 03, 2010

    HR 4173 – Barney Frank Continues to Bail Out Banks – Files It Under Consumer Protection - Frank is up for Reelection in 2010

    Hr 4173, a bill devised by Barney Frank, and introduced on December 2nd, 2009 referred to the Financial Services Committee (along with several other Committees by Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, is, in essence, yet another bail out of the Big banks.
    Suggested reading: An article by David Reilly of Bloomberg entitled: “Bankers Get $4 Trillion Gift From Barney Frank”

    Reilly pointed out several concerns, chief amongst them:

    Instead, it supports the biggest banks. It authorizes Federal Reserve banks to provide as much as $4 trillion in emergency funding the next time Wall Street crashes. So much for “no-more-bailouts” talk. That is more than twice what the Fed pumped into markets this time around. The size of the fund makes the bribes in the Senate’s health-care bill look minuscule.

    In addition, the bailout of Frank’s pet projects, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, resulted in yet another loss for taxpayers – an estimated $400 Billion. Article Here also at Bloomberg

    Although Frank’s seat is considered “safe” (the norm for Massachusetts entrenched politicians), internal polling from one opposition campaign, showed a 30% approval rate for Frank in the 4th district. That said, even though logic dictates that Frank would not be returning to Congress in 2011, that is not always the case with Massachusetts politicians. Frank is facing opposition from Earl Sholley (website here) who ran against Frank in 2008, garnering approximately 30% of the vote. Sholley had entered the race late in 08 and has a solid campaign together going into 2010. Sholley, a conservative, is running as a Republican. Keith Messina (website here) is also running as a Republican. Messinna has never run for elected office. Frank also faces Democrat Rachel Brownwebsite here. It is evident that Frank is inspiring people in Massachusetts and his district - to run for his seat.

    However, should sister Pelosi, lose her majority (looking more probable by the day), (and/or John Dennis wins in San Francisco, where Nancy does not enjoy great popularity (John Dennis for Congress) Frank would be downgraded to less lofty position (or one from which he can no longer destroy the economy). That said, retirement would be preferable, as he would no longer be eligible to get his hands on the taxpayers pocketbooks.

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