Last week, the DSCC jumped into the Massachusetts special election on behalf of Martha Coakley to improve her “messaging.” Their first impact on the race came when Michael Meehan assaulted reporter John McCormack, which was captured on videotape and by an AP reporter … not exactly improving Coakley’s chances. Later in the week, they used an image of the World Trade Center to demonize Wall Street and Scott Brown, and had to quickly pull back the TV ad in order to fix it. Today, Pollster.com’s Mark Blumenthal publishes that a DSCC leaker tells him that Scott Brown is leading in their internal polling by five points, emphasis mine (via Geoff A):
Does the nationalization of the Massachusetts Senate race combined with the heavy negative advertising blitz qualify as the same sort of last minute surprise? Perhaps, but it seems like a stretch to me. …
Yes, the internal Coakley campaign poll numbers that have leaked out show a dead even race and perhaps a slight improvement over last week. However, there was more than one internal poll conducted by Democrats[.] A little birdie tells me that the final tracking survey conducted by the Mellman Group for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had Brown ahead by five points.
So for me it boils down to this: I was a Democratic consultant for long enough to want to believe that Coakley can still prevail, and there is still a remote chance that the polls in this race will be as misleading as they were in New Hampshire. However, my head is not my heart. Barring another polling meltdown, Scott Brown is the likely winner.
Be sure to read the entire post, as Blumenthal more or less buries the lede here while explaining that the counter arguments to all of the polling really don’t hold water. The DSCC leak was given as support for his argument, as an admission against interests by the DSCC — and by extension, as Blumenthal rightly discloses, by himself, too.
If the DSCC’s own internal pollster has Brown still ascending and ahead by five points, probably still using a somewhat-optimistic turnout model, then the bottom has almost certainly fallen out for Coakley. And that will impact the turnout model even more negatively for Coakley, especially in bad weather that will plague Massachusetts today. Brown voters will joyously stream to the polls, while Coakley supporters won’t be inspired at all to bother.
For our friends in Massachusetts, just remember that the game isn’t over until the votes are cast. Be sure to make your voices heard today, because it will make the powerful tremble in Washington DC.
Update: Who could have done a worse job in messaging than the DSCC? Perhaps its sister committee for the House, the DCCC, which tried tying Brown to George Bush but instead invoked Ted Kennedy in the worst possible way (via Instapundit):
“Why would you hand the keys to the car back to the same guys whose policies drove the economy into the ditch and then walked away from the scene of the accident?”
That’s Chris Van Hollen, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, meaning to help Coakley win Teddy Kennedy’s seat, and running right off the road into a ditch called Chappaquiddick.
Update II: The weather isn’t as bad as predicted, especially in the more pro-Brown areas.