Masschusetts Senate Special Election Polls

In analyzing the data from the latest polls coming from Massachusetts with regard to the upcoming special election on January 19th, I have some things to note.

  • Rasmussen polled 500 likely voters on January 4, releasing their results the following day.
  • The Boston Globe polled 554 likely voters January 2-6, releasing their results this morning.
  • Public Policy Polling polled 744 likely voters January 7-9, releasing their results last night. (full .pdf of the results available there)

Beginning linearly with the commencement of the polls, the Boston Globe began first, though it concluded on the 6th. It was not released until this morning, but I think that its results were not influenced by Rasmussen’s numbers, as Rasmussen conducted their poll in the midst, releasing the results toward the end.  They also included Joe Kennedy as an option, whereas neither of the other polls did.  Who knows why it took the Globe four days to release their results, but I think for the time their polling spanned, it is likely accurate.

The excitement, for Republicans and conservatives, began with release of Rasmussen’s poll, showing Brown within nine points of Coakley on January 5th, reaching a full court media press at some point on the 6th.  I say excitement because no one expected a Republican to pick up a seat held by the Kennedy family for more than the last 50 years, and being inside 10 points in the polls is quite more than I expected Brown to achieve, and I am sure Massachusetts voters, especially the more conservative hold that same view.

The Public Policy Polling poll took place in its entirety after the “excitement” that Rasmussen’s created, and shows a stark increase in Brown’s popularity as the national spotlight we saw in New York’s 23rd focus in on this single race.  With reports last week that Martha Coakley is running out, if not already out, of money, Brown’s media blitz began with ads across the state.  He seems to have refined the aim of his message to one that won Virginia… JOBS.

This combination of factors leads to think that Public Policy Polling may be giving the most accurate picture of the race.  Below, I have provided a graph to show the progression of Brown’s movement as time progressed.

MA Polling Data

I am by no means predicting a Brown win, but the developments in the last week certainly warrant watching it closely.  As far as Joe Kennedy is concerned, his presence in the race only helps Coakley.  Stephen Gordon had some great insight about what both the Brown and Coakley campaigns should be doing to make Kennedy’s presence work in their favor in the podcast that will be published tomorrow.

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