Scott Brown’s big day

Massachusetts GOP Senate candidate Scott Brown set out to raise $500,000 yesterday. In the event, Brown took in more than double his goal, racking up $1,303,302.50. Brown is going to need every penny and more to respond to Democratic opponent Coakley’s attack ad (now with Massachusetts spelled correctly!) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s $567,000 last-minute ad buy. Contribute to Brown here.
Brown’s big fund-raising day led into his debate with Coakley and the conveniently named third-party candidate Joseph Kennedy. In the debate Brown got in the line of the night as the insufferable David Gergen, acting as moderator, sought to take him down.

Coakley’s best line was more a gaffe than a zinger. Coakley announced that it was time for the United States to pick up sticks in Afghanistan. No need to worry about any militant extremists: “They’re gone. They’re not there anymore.” (Ed Morrissey comments here.) Coakley also stood by her previously expressed support for the treatment of enemy combatants as criminal defendants.
Well, Coakley needed some help, and Gergen did his best to supply it. John McCormack draws attention to Gergen’s work near the end of the debate. Gergen had two questions for Brown and Coakley each. After putting Brown on the spot over Roe v. Wade and “climate change,” Gergen lobbed a couple of softballs to Coakely. “Do you think it was right to insist on three people being at the debate?” Gergen asked Coakley. “As you look back on the campaign, do you have any second thoughts on how the campaign has unfolded?” What a chin-pulling hack (certified as “[o]ne of the nation’s most respected political thinkers” by the Minneapolis Star Tribune).
Politico reports that Coakley appears to hold a double digit lead in the race according to the most recent Democratic poll. This is consistent with Scott Rasmussen’s reading of the public polling in the race.
Please note, however, that although Rasmusen’s continues to see the same general dynamics at work in the race as in his earlier analysis, his latest take shows a sliver of daylight between Brown and Coakley. Those of us holding out hope that Brown will pull off an upset in this race can also look to William Jacobson’s second and third reports from Brown HQ.
UPDATE: Jacobson comments on Rasmussen’s latest poll and last night’s debate here

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