Massachusetts's special election to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat wasn't supposed to be this interesting. Yet here we are, mere hours before polls open, and no one really knows how the battle between Martha Coakley and Scott Brown is going to end. If recent polls are any indication though, it's going to end with Scott Brown giving a victory speech to millions of cheering Republicans across the country.
Among the bad news for Coakley is a poll conducted Sunday night by InsiderAdvantage for Politico that puts Brown nine points ahead of Coakley. Another poll, conducted by the American Research Group from Friday to Sunday, gives Brown a seven point lead. In fact, not a single poll released in the past few days gives Coakley the edge. The closest she has come is a Research 2000 poll that has both candidates tied at 48 percent (Brown was down seven points in a poll by the same company last week).
More good news for Brown comes from Nate Silver, who says Coakley has only a 25 percent chance of winning.
She is basically relying upon getting solid turnout from a "silent majority" of voters who have done little to make themselves seen and heard. We know that there are a huge number of potential such voters in Massachusetts, which remains a very blue state and which until the past three weeks had not behaved unusually in any obvious way. But the pollsters are no longer seeing and hearing from them.
These terrible polls for Coakley come only a day after President Obama made his way to Boston to stump for her. The Coakley campaign used that appearance to cut a commercial that hit airwaves today. It's all part of a last minute assault by Democrats, which includes a desperate attempt to tie Brown to a ridiculous comment made by a ridiculous person at one of his rallies.
Democrats have so little confidence in Coakley that they're putting together a plan to quickly push the Senate's version of health care reform through the House and get it in front of the President (a Brown victory would deny Dems the 60 they need to advance the bill any further). As for Coakley's confidence in herself, it has been so shattered that's she's now casting herself as the ultimate underdog: Rocky Balboa. Perhaps someone should remind her that he loses his first fight on the big stage.