Democrat Martha Coakley is not just down in most polls against Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts, but the trends in the poll numbers seem to be moving strongly against her.
All polling firms that have tested the race repeatedly, except, ironically, Pajamas Media, have shown Coakley losing support and Brown gaining steam. Suffolk, Rasmussen, PPP, Research 2000, and ARG all have the same pattern. While the polls vary significantly in their projections for the final margin, across the board, there appears to be a major surge in support for Brown.
Of course, the problem with special elections is that they are “special.” There is no voter history for elections that take place the Tuesday after a three day weekend in January. There is only one race on the ballot. Until three weeks ago, that race was seen as a sleeper--but it has recently blown up, drawing huge national attention. As a result, it is extremely difficult to project who actually turns out to vote.
Pollsters, however, need to guess who will turn out to vote, and this makes actually polling a special election difficult because your poll is only as good as your estimate about the makeup of the voter universe. While this will affect pollsters’ accuracy about the final result, it should not affect the general direction that voters are moving. Clearly, Brown has the wind at his back.
So, the real question for tomorrow will be: can the Massachusetts Democratic machine overcome Brown's momentum? The Democratic machine is Massachusetts is very strong. Democrats have a large registration edge, and the DNC/OFA have a huge list in the state. There are a lot of Democratic voters in the state, even though they are very unenthusiastic about the race. If the Democratic machine can literally drag them out to the polls, they might be able to push Coakley over the edge. Will it be the Democratic machine or the Brown surge that wins the day tomorrow?