Tuesday, January 19, 2010

All Political Eyes on Massachusetts

With hours left before polls close in the Bay State, political junkies, insiders, and the press are looking forward to what are expected to be close results.

We’ll be blogging during the returns tonight, but for the meantime, here are some good articles on the race…

“Finger-Pointing Begins for Democratic Insiders” (Politico): Nervous Democrats have already begun to blame one another for putting at risk the Senate seat Ted Kennedy held for 40 years.

“Five Things to Watch for in Massachusetts” (Politico): To make some sense of the early returns, POLITICO put together a guide of five things to watch as the results come in, after polls close at 8 p.m. (EST).

“538 Model Posits Brown as 3:1 Favorite” (FiveThirtyEight): The FiveThirtyEight Senate Forecasting Model, which correctly predicted the outcome of all 35 Senate races in 2008, now regards Republican Scott Brown as a 74 percent favorite to win the Senate seat in Massachusetts on the basis of new polling…which show worsening numbers for Brown's opponent, Martha Coakley.

“Martha Choakley?” (FiveThirtyEight): It's still not entirely clear to [author Tom Schaller] that Martha Coakley will lose today… Still…Even though a short, six-week race in February of an off-year cycle is more than the normally disadvantaged, minority Republicans could hope for, that argument could be turned inside out, too: how much damage can a majority-party standard bearer like Coakley do to herself in such a short time? Quite a bit, apparently.

As of right now, I would agree that this race is not over. Coakley still has a reasonable shot of pulling off a victory. But this will be close, and the odds are surprisingly against her.

We’ll see you back here when polls close tonight.

UPDATE: Here are some more stories coming out of Boston...

• A good Boston Globe article from this morning.

• In what should be good news for Coakley, the Globe reports that voter turnout has been pretty high so far today. However, it appears that the enthusiasm gap is much higher for Brown, which may be why David Axelrod is saying Brown ran an impressive campaign.

The Boston Globe also broke with protocol earlier today and briefly posted the results of the exit polls taken so far. The Boston Phoenix made sure to post the results on their website. They have Coakley winning over Brown 50% to 49%. Usually, however, releasing exit polls early is a burden to the one in the lead.

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