Rasmussen and Coakley
One more point about the Rasmussen poll that’s refocused some attention on Massachusetts. On Nov. 24, 2009, Rasmussen did the last big poll on the Democratic primary for the special election. Coakley led the field with 36 percent support to 21 percent for Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Mass.). Pollster Scott Rasmussen saw some evidence of stagnation.
In early September, she earned 38% of the vote, while Capuano only received seven percent (7%) support. But they were the only two out of five candidates polled at that time who ultimately declared for the race.
While Coakley appears to have gained no ground over the past two-and-a-half months, she may be in a good enough position in a four-person race to come out the clear winner.
Rasmussen’s analysis was correct, but his numbers understated support for Coakley. She won 47 percent of the vote to 28 percent for Capuano and a total of 25 percent for other candidates. More revealingly, she won 310,227 votes out of 664,195 cast. Brown, facing a token challenge in the GOP primary, won 145,465 votes out of 162,706 cast.
All of this is to say that Brown supporters admit (or admitted before more polling came out) that their best shot at the race is for Coakley to blow her advantage and for disgruntled Democrats to stay home. Unless there’s a reason to believe that Democrats are much more frustrated than they were a month ago, there’s no reason to think Coakley’s turnout machine will falter in the home stretch.