That's what the Public Policy Polling Institute is saying about the special election for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, having looked at the numbers due to come out this weekend. Two key points on the matchup between Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley and Republican State Sen. Scott Brown, according to the outfit's website:
At this point a plurality of those planning to turn out oppose the health care bill. The massive enthusiasm gap we saw in Virginia is playing itself out in Massachusetts as well. Republican voters are fired up and they're going to turn out. Martha Coakley needs to have a coherent message up on the air over the last ten days that her election is critical to health care passing and Ted Kennedy's legacy- right now Democrats in the state are not feeling a sense of urgency.
-Scott Brown's favorables are up around 60%, a product of his having had the airwaves to himself for the last week. By comparison Bob McDonnell's were at 55% right before his election and Chris Christie's were only at 43%. Coakley's campaign or outside groups need to tie Brown's image to national Republicans and knock him down a notch over the final week of the campaign.
Even with these numbers, everything would have to break right for a Republican to get elected to Ted Kennedy's Senate seat. But at the very least, Brown is starting to look like the most serious Republican senatorial candidate in Massachusetts since Bill Weld took on John Kerry in 1996.
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