FITCHBURG, Mass. — Today at breakfast in a local diner, my friend Da Tech Guy finally found a genuine undecided voter: She is sure she’s going to vote Tuesday but doesn’t know who she’ll vote for. “They’re so nasty,” the elderly woman said, referring to the negative campaign ads now flooding TV airwaves throughout Massachusetts.
Seeing the Senate campaign from ground level is weird, in that you see and hear things — TV ads, mailers, local news coverage, the comments of voters — that aren’t visible from outside the election battle zone. So you’re watching selected microcosms of the campaign that don’t necessarily match the Big Picture the national pundits are commenting on.
Example: The phone just rang here at my friend’s house where I’m staying. It was a pre-recorded “robocall” from Republican Scott Brown’s daughter, Ayla, saying that Democrat Martha Coakley has “crossed the line” with her latest “disgusting and malicious” attacks. This state’s phones are being flooded with robocalls, and you have to wonder what the effect will be.
Meanwhile, this afternoon, a friend on Twitter asked:
@rsmccain What do think about MAsen’s poll’s similarities to NY23’s? its making me sweat it a little.
Indeed, the Brown surge is remarkably reminiscent of Doug Hoffman’s out-of-nowhere campaign in New York’s 23rd District, which came heartbreakingly close to victory. Unlike Hoffman, however, Brown is an experienced politician with the support of a major national party. On the other hand, Massachusetts is far more heavily Democratic than New York’s “North Country.”
The latest poll from American Research Group reinforces the perception that Brown has pulled ahead of Democrat Martha Coakley. From my point of view, though, poll-mongering is a waste of time at this late stage of an election campaign — like speculating about the rumored Lindsay Lohan sex video.
What really counts now is turnout, which is why Barack Obama is coming to town Sunday: To try to fire up Democrats to get out the vote. It doesn’t matter if Obama actually sways any undecided voters. His appearance in Boston is aimed at inspiring those discouraged Democrats who might not bother to vote if they think Coakley’s already lost.
And so it goes. We’re about to head out on the road to cover Scott Brown’s “Bold New Leadership” bus tour — the kind of retail politics Brown does best, and at which Martha Coakley has proven so disastrously inept, as witness her stupid attack on Red Sox hero Curt Schilling.
The phone here just rang again with a phone call from the National Organization For Marriage, a family-values outfit. My friend worries that the call might hurt Brown with some Republican voters who support same-sex marriage. But who knows? It’s like that Lindsay Lohan sex video — at this point, everything’s just speculation.
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