Republican Scott Brown has pulled to within two points of Democrat Martha Coakley in the special election to fill the Massachusetts Senate seat once held by Ted Kennedy, according to a new Rasmussen poll, and now trails 49 percent to 47 percent. A week ago, the same pll showed Coakley up 50 percent to 41 percent.
Rasmussen finds Brown enjoying overwhelming support from Republicans and independents:
Coakley is supported by 77% of Democrats while Brown picks up the vote from 88% of Republicans. Among voters not affiliated with either major party, Brown leads 71% to 23%.
The new poll comes on the heels of a survey by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling showing Brown up by 1 point, and another poll published in the Boston Globe showing Coakley up 15 points. I explained how the polls were different here. And Massachusetts native Jim Antle provides a lot more context on the race in his article for today’s main site.
UPDATE: Dave Weigel notes that it’s a testement to how poor Coakley’s campaign has been run that she’s struggling to win a race in Massachusetts, where voters support health care legislation by a 52 percent to 46 percent margin. But as with other health care polls, if you look at the numbers a bit further we see that the level of intensity is higher among opponents of the legislation. Specifically, Rasmussen found that 37 percent of those in Massachusetts “strongly oppose” the Democrats health care proposals, compared to 30 percent who “strongly favor” it. If this is the sentiment in a deep blue state, one can only imagine what it is in swing states and districts.