Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm, releases a stunning new poll:
The race to replace Ted Kennedy in the US Senate is looking like a toss up, with Republican Scott Brown up 48-47 on Martha Coakley.
Brown is benefiting from depressed Democratic interest in the election and a huge lead among independents for his surprisingly strong standing. Those planning to vote in the special election only report having voted for Barack Obama in 2008 by a 16 point margin, in contrast to his actual 26 point victory in the state.
That decline in turnout from Obama voters plagued Democratic candidates for Governor in Virginia and New Jersey last fall. Beyond that 66% of Republicans say they’re ‘very excited’ about turning out while only 48% of Democrats express that sentiment.
Brown leads 63-31 with independents and is winning 17% of the Democratic vote while Coakley receives only 6% support from GOP voters. Both candidates are relatively popular, with 57% viewing Brown favorably to only 25% unfavorable and 50% with a positive opinion of Coakley to 42% negative.
Those folks planning to vote in the special election are actually opposed to Obama’s health care plan by a 47/41 margin and only narrowly express approval of the President’s overall job performance 44/43.
It's great news for Brown to be neck and neck with Coakley, but on the other hand this poll will probably spur the Democratic machine to kick into high gear. Get ready for a wild ten-day slugfest in Massachusetts.
More on the race here and here.