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Brown by 4

Public poll shows Republican pulling ahead in Mass. Senate race.

11:55 PM, Jan 14, 2010 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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The Boston Herald reports that a Suffolk University/7News survey conducted Monday through Wednesday has Republican Scott Brown ahead of Democrat Martha Coakley by 50 percent to 46 percent. This is the first major independent public survey I’ve seen with Brown in the lead—though one should note the lead is within the 4.4 point margin of error. But the result is consistent with two private tracking polls I’ve seen.

Brown by 4

The most striking finding in the Suffolk/7 News poll is that Brown has a 57 percent favorable/19 percent unfavorable rating. Coakley’s fav/unfav is 49/41. There are all kinds of difficulties with polling a special election, especially in terms of turnout—there are no real precedents from which to judge who’s really going to vote. Still, in a normal race, those fav/unfav numbers would suggest the contest is more likely to break wide open than to tighten. But that’s awfully hard to believe. And the Democratic assault on Brown this weekend will be massive.

We’ll know on Tuesday. Having moved away from Massachusetts many years ago, I have no say in the result. But, Oh noble and independent-minded voters of Massachusetts! If you resist the assault and go ahead and elect Scott Brown, I’ll make this pledge: No more jokes, no more aspersions, on your fine and upstanding state, if, on Tuesday, you follow in the footsteps of your brave ancestors and fire a shot heard round the world! 

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