Here are some additional observations from the Massachusetts Senate poll we released over the weekend:
-I wrote last week that if the turnout drop off in Massachusetts for Democrats was as bad as it was in Virginia and if Scott Brown and Martha Coakley got the same proportions of the McCain and Obama vote that Creigh Deeds and Bob McDonnell received that it would equate to a three point win for Coakley. But Brown is getting 15% of the Obama vote, better than the 12% McDonnell got in Virgina, and that's why he's in such a strong position right now. Who are these Obama voters going for Brown? Mostly white independents who seem unhappy with the Democratic Party across the board right now. Despite having voted for him they now give Obama just a 25% approval rating. Only 11% of them have a favorable opinion of Congressional Democrats. And they give Deval Patrick only 8% approval. The Democratic brand is not doing well with these folks across the board.
-Brown is winning moderate voters 49-42. Republicans just don't win with moderates these days. Even the day before they went down in flames Creigh Deeds and Jon Corzine were winning moderates in their races by margins of 56-42 and 47-37 respectively. It's going to be interesting to see if the attack ads going up against Brown now cut down his standing with voters in the middle.
-Even among people planning to vote for Brown 39% have an unfavorable opinion of Congressional Republicans to just 38% favorable. We're seeing this in a lot of our polling right now- people hate the GOP but that's not rubbing off as much as you would expect on the party's candidates. Figuring out a way to have voters make that connection more is going to be critical not just in this race but for Democrats across the board in the fall.
-Coakley was doing very well among minority voters on our poll, leading 89-11 with Hispanics and 79-14 with African Americans. The candidates are mostly fighting over the white vote in this final week of the campaign- that's what will decide it.
It'll be very interesting to see where things stand over the weekend after this flurry of activity.