Thinking about the unthinkable, Part Three

According to Real Clear Politics, all four polls that have come out since the beginning of the weekend show Scott Brown leading Martha Coakley. The lead ranges from 3 points (ARG) to 10 points (PJM/CrossTarget). Not surprisingly, given these results, the betting money, as reflected by Intrade, now strongly favors Brown.
Public Policy Polling (PPP), a Democratic polling firm, has Brown up by 5 points, 51-46. PPP polled more than 1,200 likely voters, which means that the margin of error is less than 3 percent. GIven the sample size (the largest of any I’ve seen in this campaign) and the fact that PPP is Democratic (but highly respected), this poll strikes me as particularly significant.
According to PPP, Brown’s voters are more committed than Coakley’s. Among those who say they are “very excited” to vote, Brown leads 59-40. He also leads 64-32 among independents. By a 56-37 margin, Massachusetts voters view Brown favorability. Coakley is viewed unfavorabley by a 44-51 margin.
PPP also provides further insight about how those who are likely to vote in Massachusetts this year view both Obamacare and Obama. They oppose the former by a margin of 48-40. This is less opposition than the 15 point margin found in a Suffolk University poll, but it still bodes badly for Coakley.
As for the president, likely voters are essentially split down the middle. 44 percent approve of him and 43 percent don’t. These numbers suggest that Obama’s ability to assist Coakley, who polls at better than 44 percent, is quite limited. Thus, it’s questionable whether his rather tepid speech on her behalf yesterday will have a major impact on the race.
It won’t be easy for the uninspiring, gaffe-prone Coakley to prevail in a state where Obama’s favorability rating is break-even, if that’s truly how far it has fallen.
UPDATE: Stuart Rothenberg has moved his assessment of the race from “toss-up” to “lean [Republican] takeover.” He writes:

[T]he combination of public and private survey research and anecdotal information now strongly suggests that Republican Scott Brown will defeat Democrat Martha Coakley in tomorrow’s race to fill the remainder of the late-Sen. Edward Kennedy’s seat. Brown is running extremely well with Independents in the Bay State, and unless Democratic turnout exceeds everyone’s expectations, Brown is headed for a comfortable win.
(emphasis added)


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