Open thread on MA election: Big turnout seen despite weather; Update:No exit polls today, says WSJ; Update: Coakley camp vote-irregularity complaint dated yesterday

posted at 12:55 pm on January 19, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Now that our server issues seem to have been resolved, let’s open up a thread for updates on the Massachusetts special election race.  At the moment, the Bay State is seeing a big turnout for a non-presidential election, let alone a special election in the middle of winter:

Voter turnout is heavy for the special election today to fill the state’s vacant U.S. Senate seat. …

In contrast to the light turnout for the party primaries last month, there are already signs of a heavy turnout.

In the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s district in Barnstable, they’re estimating a 60-percent turnout by the end of the day.

A line of cars stretched for nearly a half-mile from the gymnasium at North Andover High School. Some drivers turned around in exasperation.

Massachsuetts Secretary of State William Galvin told WBZ he expects about 40-percent of voters to turn out for the special election statewide.

Galvin said about 800,000 came out for the primaries and he believes that should double to 1.6 million based on the intense interest in this campaign.

That could be good, bad, or even both.  So far, it seems that the turnout is highest in the suburbs, which is a good sign for Brown.  And as Michelle notes, the Democratic GOTV efforts have already had some backfire:

[Democratic] outreach workers in and around Boston have been stunned by the number of Democrats and Obama supporters who are waving them off, saying they’ll vote for Scott Brown.

Things are looking good, at least thus far.  We’ll see what the first exit polls show, and keep updating the post.

Update: Showbiz Galore reports exit polling in bellwether areas of Gardner, Peabody, and Fitchburg show Brown up by mid-double digits.  However, this looks a lot like Suffolk’s numbers from the weekend.  I think SG may have confused that with exit polling.

Update II: The Wall Street Journal reports in its Political Diary (sent by e-mail) that there won’t be any exit polling in Massachusetts today.  Why?  Well, apparently Democrats weren’t the only people expecting a walkover, but there’s also good news:

Mr. Brown’s surge was so sudden that many of the usual accoutrements of closely-contested elections are missing in the Bay State.
One is exit polls. There will be none tonight from Massachusetts, disappointing journalists and political scientists alike. As Mike Allen of Politico.com reports, the consortium of news outlets that normally organizes such surveys didn’t bother when the race was expected to be a blowout and now “wasn’t confident a reliable system could be built so fast.”
Another casualty of the expectation that the race would be a cakewalk for the Democrat will be an absence of absentee ballot fraud, the preferred method of putting an illegal thumb on the scale in a close race. Applications for absentee ballots had to be submitted by last Friday, providing little opportunity for those with ill intent to organize such an effort once they realized the race had tightened up.

That may be why Isabel Melendez is trying to pass some absentee ballots out on the streets now.

Update III: Here’s the Mike Allen post at Politico’s Playbook:

A DAY WITHOUT DATA: No exit polls from today’s Senate special in Massachusetts, where the polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The consortium scrambled to put something together — for the “why,” more than for the call — but wasn’t confident a reliable system could be built so fast. After all, it was just nine days ago that the Boston Sunday Globe carried the banner headline, “Senate poll: Coakley up 15 points.” (Note to self: In a volatile political environment, don’t save a poll conducted Jan. 2-6 for the paper of Jan. 10.)

Oops.

Update IV: If you see voter fraud in Massachusetts today (really see it, as in witnessing and can testify to it), report it via this link.

Update V: The Boston Globe already has the results of the election, and mistakenly posted them a wee bit too early.  See if you can guess who they want to win.  Oh, let’s not always see the same hands …

Update VI: The Intrade market has collapsed for Coakley, for those who see predictive value in it.  At 17 and falling …

Update VII: Sorry, but this was too funny to pass up:

Just about every election night, Republican pollster Frank Luntz assembles a focus group of likely voters to help predict election results. Tonight you can see Luntz interview an assembly of Massachusetts voters on Fox at 9:10 p.m. EST.

But you probably won’t see all the work that went into it. As of late this afternoon, Luntz was still scrambling to balance his focus group with supporters of Democrat Martha Coakley. “I just lost another one,” Luntz growled over his cell phone from a hotel ballroom at Logan Airport. In the last 24 hours, six Coakley voters have dropped out. By contrast, Luntz hasn’t lost a single supporter of her opponent, Scott Brown.

The problem isn’t money. “They’re getting paid well,” Luntz says, “probably more than they’re making at their jobs. And they still don’t want to do it.”

Instead, says Luntz, they’re ashamed. “They don’t want to be on television defending Martha Coakley. It’s passé. It’s socially unacceptable. I never dreamed I’d see Democrats in Massachusetts embarrassed to admit they’re Democrats.

Update VII: The Coakley campaign just held a press conference with candidate Coakley alleging irregularities with ballots.  Only problem?  The press release they handed out is dated … yesterday.

Cached here.  They changed it after the story started to spread on Twitter.

Update IX: Brown responds to Coakely accusation:

“Reports that the Coakley campaign is making reckless accusations regarding the integrity of today’s election is a reminder that they are a desperate campaign.  In fact, news reports point out that today’s accusation was a pre-dated, in the bag political attack.  Furthermore, Senator John Kerry accused Brown supporters of intimidation and bullying — a tactic taken directly from his own 2004 playbook.  The reality is that Massachusetts voters will determine the outcome of this election despite political attacks leveled by Martha Coakley and national Democrats.” — Daniel B. Winslow, Counsel for the Scott Brown for U.S. Senate Campaign
CLICK HERE [this post] to view a screen shot of the pre-dated attack.

In 2004, Kerry’s Campaign Team Sent A Guidebook To Their Colorado Staff Telling Them To Launch A “Pre-Emptive Strike” If “No Signs Of Intimidation Techniques” Are Reported. “If no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a ‘pre-emptive strike’ (particularly well-suited to states in which there techniques have been tried in the past).

  • Issue a press release

i. Reviewing Republican tactic used in the past in your area or state

ii. Quoting party/minority/civil rights leadership as denouncing tactics that discourage people from voting

  • Prime minority leadership to discuss the issue in the media; provide talking points
  • Place stories in which minority leadership expresses concern about the threat of intimidation tactics
  • Warn local newspapers not to accept advertising that is not properly disclaimed or that contains false warnings about voting requirements and/or about what will happen at the polls” (Kerry-Edwards 2004, “Colorado Election Day Manual: A Detailed Guide To Voting In Colorado,” 11/04)

The changed date may just be a typo — or not.


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Less than an hour to go Helen Thomas

I will sleep with Helen if Scott wins. May even French Kiss the old hagula.

OmahaConservative on January 17, 2010 at 12:16 AM

macncheez on January 19, 2010 at 7:13 PM

For me, New Mexico’s finest Alien Amber Ale, this ones for you Teddy, you sleazy, low rent bilge rat.

Lincoln Cadillac on January 19, 2010 at 7:13 PM

ROTFLMFAO

Reagan zombie needs to destroy all democrats.

EZnSF on January 19, 2010 at 7:13 PM

I’ve never seen cops so one-sidedly support a candidate but every cop car that passed us honked and gave the thumbs up….

russcote on January 19, 2010 at 6:14 PM

How much is a backlash from Barry’s The Cambridge Police ‘acted stupidly’ comment

phreshone on January 19, 2010 at 7:15 PM

I will sleep with Helen if Scott wins. May even French Kiss the old hagula.

OmahaConservative on January 17, 2010 at 12:16 AM

macncheez on January 19, 2010 at 7:13 PM

That is more than being a company man, that is a Patriot of the first order. Chills down back thinkig of that and I also just threw up in my mouth a bit.

bluemarlin on January 19, 2010 at 7:15 PM

OmahaConservative 1-17-2010 @ 12:16 AM
I’ll settle for watching HumpBot while inebriated.
Please, no more mention of Helen Thomas. I want to keep my drinks were they currently reside.

mountainmanbob on January 19, 2010 at 7:17 PM

LIVE ELECTION RESULTS & CHAT: Scott Brown vs Martha Coakley: http://mittromneycentral.com/2010/01/19/live-election-results-chat-scott-brown-vs-martha-coakley/

dnlchisholm on January 19, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Do they have gate guards at Arlington Cemetery? I got a date with Ol’ Teddy boys place of repose.

Lincoln Cadillac on January 19, 2010 at 7:17 PM

For me, New Mexico’s finest Alien Amber Ale, this ones for you Teddy, you sleazy, low rent bilge rat.

Lincoln Cadillac on January 19, 2010 at 7:13 PM

I think I will cap off the win with a little bit of Johnny Blue, in honor of Teddy`s drink of choice being Scotch. Can only pull that stuff out for very special occassions, this would qualify!

bluemarlin on January 19, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Cognac to toast a win, Dewar’s 12 year to drown a defeat….Gotta cover yer bases. Don’t want to waste a good crisis…so to speak.

Oldnuke on January 19, 2010 at 7:19 PM

Is Shep Smith weeping??? I have the Fox Report on mute so I can listen to Hugh Hewitt (who has an extra hour tonight)

You know who this benefits…

America

phreshone on January 19, 2010 at 7:19 PM

If Brown wins, can we finally bury Ted? Pleeeezzzeee

bloggless on January 19, 2010 at 7:19 PM

Shep Smith is a frustrated ballerina trapped in a little boys body.

mountainmanbob on January 19, 2010 at 7:21 PM

Do I hear people celebrating already? Are you trying to tempt the thing up upon the thing? Go outside, spin around three times, and then spit.

amerpundit on January 19, 2010 at 7:06 PM

Save the celebrations! Don’t tempt fate and incur the wrath of the great whatever from high atop the thing.

Sorry to do it, but here it is again!

RDuke on January 19, 2010 at 7:22 PM

I have a nice bottle of 14 year old Islay, though I’m not touching it either way; drinking on Tuesday night is verboten.

Bishop on January 19, 2010 at 7:22 PM

Matthews opening on Hardball tonight:

“If Brown wins this will be a deliberate, premeditated murder of national health care”

I got no problems with that.

thomasaur on January 19, 2010 at 7:23 PM

Here’s one more anecdote. My husband and I held signs outside our polling place here on the South Shore. Tremendous turnout. We estimate the ratio of thumbs up to grumpy faces to be about 8 to 1. But my stomach is still in knots….this ain’t over till it’s over.

4Freedom on January 19, 2010 at 7:24 PM

RDuke on January 19, 2010 at 7:22 PM

One of my favorite pieces of dialogue from that show.

amerpundit on January 19, 2010 at 7:24 PM

This is our Saratoga….

vsunited on January 19, 2010 at 7:24 PM

Shep Smith is a frustrated ballerina trapped in a little boys body.

mountainmanbob on January 19, 2010 at 7:21 PM

so is rahm emanuel.

p.s. lurker here, out of the woodwork. :)

an-artist on January 19, 2010 at 7:26 PM

UPDATE: Secretary of State Williaw Galvin says the charges are BOGUS!
The Massachusetts secretary of state is discounting reports of voter irregularities in the state’s Senate special election.

A spokesman for Secretary of State William Galvin said Tuesday two reports of spoiled ballots could not be verified or found to be widespread.

In one case, someone voting in Cambridge claimed a ballot had already been marked for Republican Scott Brown. There was no way to verify the claim, but the ballot was destroyed.

In another case, a person in Boston reported finding a ballot inside a privacy folder also marked for Brown. Officials say it may have been left inadvertently by an earlier voter.

Aides to Democrat Martha Coakley called a news conference to raise voter awareness of the concerns.

canditaylor68 on January 19, 2010 at 7:26 PM

Watching Kudlow, Showed Coakly victory hall empty- Brown victory hall pretty damn full.

creek on January 19, 2010 at 7:26 PM

mountainmanbob on January 19, 2010 at 7:17 PM

That makes 2 of us!

huskerdiva on January 19, 2010 at 7:26 PM

RDuke on January 19, 2010 at 7:22 PM

ok, that was a good scene…I must say

cmsinaz on January 19, 2010 at 7:27 PM

I will sleep with Helen if Scott wins. May even French Kiss the old hagula.

OmahaConservative on January 17, 2010 at 12:16 AM

macncheez on January 19, 2010 at 7:13 PM
That is more than being a company man, that is a Patriot of the first order. Chills down back thinkig of that and I also just threw up in my mouth a bit.

bluemarlin on January 19, 2010 at 7:15 PM

Thats Medal of Honor stuff there buddy, to be quickly followed up by a Purple Heart

TheVer on January 19, 2010 at 7:27 PM

Don’t count your chickens, people. This thing ain’t done yet!

But by God, pray for Scott Brown!

victor82 on January 19, 2010 at 7:27 PM

Matthews opening on Hardball tonight:

“If Brown wins this will be a deliberate, premeditated murder of national health care”

I got no problems with that.

thomasaur on January 19, 2010 at 7:23 PM

It’s what I am praying for and why I made all those bolded and obnoxious fundraising pleas over.

OmahaConservative on January 19, 2010 at 7:28 PM

Thats Medal of Honor stuff there buddy, to be quickly followed up by a Purple Heart

TheVer on January 19, 2010 at 7:27 PM

+1000

huskerdiva on January 19, 2010 at 7:29 PM

I got no problems with that.

thomasaur on January 19, 2010 at 7:23 PM

That’s kind of the point Chrissy

gophergirl on January 19, 2010 at 7:33 PM

huskerdiva on January 19, 2010 at 7:29 PM

All for the cause, all for the cause.

Timidly asking, is she it still alive tonight? crosses fingers, and puts woven garlic around neck.

OmahaConservative on January 19, 2010 at 7:34 PM

It’s what I am praying for and why I made all those bolded and obnoxious fundraising pleas over.

OmahaConservative on January 19, 2010 at 7:28 PM

A valiant effort which will be long remembered!!!
Great job keeping us all on task

huskerdiva on January 19, 2010 at 7:35 PM

Aides to Democrat Martha Coakley called a news conference to raise voter awareness of the concerns.

canditaylor68 on January 19, 2010 at 7:26 PM

That is more than she did for the girl who was raped with a curling iron.

pedestrian on January 19, 2010 at 7:35 PM

The changed date may just be a typo — or not.

The fact that it was dated yesterday…and not one person involved knew that JANUARY 19 was the election day, early enough to correct it, or retype it? Bull!!! This looks like a last desperate attempt, by a desperate campaign, desperate to win. Because after all….she’s entitled to that seat by the sheer fact that she’s a liberal, and Teddy would want it that way!

Geeze, does it get much lower than this?

capejasmine on January 19, 2010 at 7:35 PM

LMFAO at Marcia Coooookley’s latest gaffe. Can’t say she isn’t consistent. She reminds me of Ahab stabbing futilely at the great white whale. “For hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee….” C’mon, Massachusetts….WE CAN DO THIS!

Huckabye-Romney on January 19, 2010 at 7:35 PM

LIVE ELECTION RESULTS & CHAT: Scott Brown vs Martha Coakley: http://mittromneycentral.com/2010/01/19/live-election-results-chat-scott-brown-vs-martha-coakley/

dnlchisholm on January 19, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Great site.

Romney is shrewed and innovative in getting people to support a candidate to win. Having a live elections result page and inviting people to chat about the elections as it progresses is pretty clever.

Do you see Palin or Huckabee doing anything remotely close to what Romney’s been doing for helping Scott Brown win?

Conservative Samizdat on January 19, 2010 at 7:35 PM

Does that mean it is “voter fraud fraud”?

No is fraudulently fraudulent voter fraud fraud.

kringeesmom on January 19, 2010 at 7:36 PM

All for the cause, all for the cause.

Timidly asking, is she it still alive tonight? crosses fingers, and puts woven garlic around neck.

OmahaConservative on January 19, 2010 at 7:34 PM

Do I detect a bit of boaster’s remorse????

huskerdiva on January 19, 2010 at 7:37 PM

WooHoo! Just got credit for forwarding Gereghty’s post about the yesterday date on the press release on the local talk radio!

Love me some Darla Jaye :)

JamesLee on January 19, 2010 at 7:38 PM

Haha. Top story on the Springfield NBC affiliate is the “spoiled ballots”.

http://www.wwlp.com

reaganaut on January 19, 2010 at 7:39 PM

Thats Medal of Honor stuff there buddy, to be quickly followed up by a Purple Heart

TheVer on January 19, 2010 at 7:27 PM

Are we anticipating Helen will scratch Omaha?

Red State State of Mind on January 19, 2010 at 7:39 PM

New election open thread up…

Missy on January 19, 2010 at 7:39 PM

All for the cause, all for the cause.

Timidly asking, is she it still alive tonight? crosses fingers, and puts woven garlic around neck.

OmahaConservative on January 19, 2010 at 7:34 PM

OmahaConservative: I’ll chime in as well,kudos for
a lot of your effort OC,especially
the money raising for Scott!!:)

canopfor on January 19, 2010 at 7:39 PM

Do I detect a bit of boaster’s remorse????

huskerdiva on January 19, 2010 at 7:37 PM

He may be getting mugged by the reality of the situation about now! Doh, my eyes!

bluemarlin on January 19, 2010 at 7:41 PM

O/T
Wait time for pizza delivery = 3 hrs
3 hrs!
Looks like this election has electrified us all
Do us proud MA ! Go Scotty B !!

macncheez on January 19, 2010 at 7:41 PM

Are we anticipating Helen will scratch Omaha?

Red State State of Mind on January 19, 2010 at 7:39 PM

There HAS to be some bodily harm that would come of it….ahhhh the brain pictures! -GAG-

TheVer on January 19, 2010 at 7:41 PM

Do you see Palin or Huckabee doing anything remotely close to what Romney’s been doing for helping Scott Brown win?

Conservative Samizdat on January 19, 2010 at 7:35 PM

Every warrior needs to choose the weapons that allow him/her to win. Neither Sarah or Huck were the right choices for this battle.

Red State State of Mind on January 19, 2010 at 7:41 PM

NEW ELECTION THREAD ON THE MAIN PAGE!

battleoflepanto1571 on January 19, 2010 at 7:41 PM

There HAS to be some bodily harm that would come of it….ahhhh the brain pictures! -GAG-

TheVer on January 19, 2010 at 7:41 PM

My only advice to Omaha is to check for a pulse first. Otherwise he would be breaking a few laws.

Red State State of Mind on January 19, 2010 at 7:42 PM

Wait time for pizza delivery = 3 hrs
3 hrs!

macncheez on January 19, 2010 at 7:41 PM

Where?

Oldnuke on January 19, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Wait time for pizza delivery = 3 hrs
3 hrs!

macncheez on January 19, 2010 at 7:41 PM
Where?

Oldnuke on January 19, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Coakley HQ

TheVer on January 19, 2010 at 7:46 PM

Wait time for pizza delivery = 3 hrs
3 hrs!
Looks like this election has electrified us all
Do us proud MA ! Go Scotty B !!

macncheez on January 19, 2010 at 7:41 PM

Ben Nelson ordered pizza for the house and senate dems, who are shiiting their pants, thats why.

OmahaConservative on January 19, 2010 at 7:46 PM

If the good people of Massachusetts actually vote this mongoloid into office I’m going to Australia to live with the Aborigines.

Goldy1 on January 19, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Ben Nelson ordered pizza for the house and senate dems, who are shiiting their pants, thats why.

OmahaConservative on January 19, 2010 at 7:46 PM

You would think Nelson would have had enough of pizza for a while, glutton for punishment

TheVer on January 19, 2010 at 7:49 PM

He may be getting mugged by the reality of the situation about now! Doh, my eyes!

bluemarlin on January 19, 2010 at 7:41 PM
+100000000

huskerdiva on January 19, 2010 at 7:50 PM

You would think Nelson would have had enough of pizza for a while, glutton for punishment

TheVer on January 19, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Nah- he just has to order out now- no more dining in the restaraunt-lol!

huskerdiva on January 19, 2010 at 7:52 PM

moving to other thread….. over and out.

kringeesmom on January 19, 2010 at 7:52 PM

Where?

Oldnuke on January 19, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Santa Clara, CA

macncheez on January 19, 2010 at 7:52 PM

must suck being a pariah

TheVer on January 19, 2010 at 7:53 PM

WTF is wrong with AP? High jacking the open thread on the MA election. Is his contract up and he gets rewarded on the number of comments on his threads? That’s quite the dickless move.

ray on January 19, 2010 at 7:55 PM

Goldy1 on January 19, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Non sequitur of the day?

BlameAmericaLast on January 19, 2010 at 7:56 PM

Omaha,

You get the Oak Leaf cluster, but not the Good Conduct medal. And my eternal respect.Sir.

Lincoln Cadillac on January 19, 2010 at 7:56 PM

I’d give anything to be a fly on the wall when Obama finds out Brown wins.

Conservative Samizdat on January 19, 2010 at 7:58 PM

lol…this site is rockin

TheVer on January 19, 2010 at 8:01 PM

And now the counting…

ray on January 19, 2010 at 8:04 PM

It’s what I am praying for and why I made all those bolded and obnoxious fundraising pleas over.

OmahaConservative on January 19, 2010 at 7:28 PM

Not obnoxious — more like dedicated and consistent! I imagine your efforts made a difference in Brown’s funding. Worked for me! Stay strong OC!

redwhiteblue on January 19, 2010 at 8:24 PM

21% in and Brown up by 7!!!!

redhead on January 19, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Where are the comments? Did AP steal those too?

ray on January 19, 2010 at 8:48 PM

Drudgereport isn’t loading for me. Is it possible to overload his server?

darwin-t on January 19, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Yeah, servers everywhere are overloaded or something. Several posts did not go through. Oh well, nothing matters ’cause it was a freakin’ Brown’out tonight!

ray on January 19, 2010 at 9:31 PM

I was just watching PMS-NBC, increasing their viewership at least 3 percent all by myself.

Rachel Maddog (whatever) first was interviewing Howard Dean. Believe it or not, DEAN BLAMED GEORGE BUSH!!

Then Chris Mathews got a turn. This was amazing! Mathews actually said that he thinks voters in Mass are worried about the debt and how we can afford all the social programs without raising taxes and MATHEWS ACTUALLY SAID he thought they had a point. If Maddog had one of those old vaudeville hooks, she would have put it around his neck and pulled him off her show.

EconomicNeocon on January 19, 2010 at 9:52 PM

I will sleep with Helen if Scott wins. May even French Kiss the old hagula.

OmahaConservative on January 17, 2010 at 12:16 AM

Ahem…we are expecting a report by the end of the week…and uh no pictures necessary.

TheVer on January 19, 2010 at 10:26 PM

THANK YOU, MASSACHUSETTS!!!!!

Mirimichi on January 19, 2010 at 11:05 PM

Comment pages: 1 6 7 8