Wide Variation in Polls on Massachusetts Senate Race

The special election for Ted Kennedy’s old seat is extremely significant. Besides directly determine if the Democrats can hold on to sixty votes (at least when they are willing to compromise with conservatives such as Nelson and Lieberman) this is bound to influence how willing some Democrats are willing to stick their necks out this year.

Polls on special elections are often not predictive due to difficulties in determining who will actually turn out to vote. Supporters of either party can select a poll to please them. Public Policy Polling has Republican Scott Brown leading Democrat Martha Coakley 48-47. A Boston Globe poll has Coakley leading by 15 points.

Which turns out to be correct will depend a lot upon who turns out.  Turn out this time of year might be heavily influenced by factors such as the weather. Republicans have more intensity in their opposition to health care reform but I wonder if the release of polls showing a close race will get some Democrats to turn out who might otherwise have not bothered. Josh Marshall also believes that Public Policy Polling has been over-sampling Republicans in recent elections.

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5 Comments

  1. 1
    Fashion says:

    The wide variation in these polls, added to the 9% difference in the Rasmussen poll shows that in a low-turnout special election polls are probably worthless. That this is even an issue shows how week Coakley is. If there is an upset here, extremely unlikely in my mind, panic will ensue in the Democratic Party.

  2. 2
    Eric says:

    RT @JanSimpson: ALERT CONSERVATIVES: Liberal Values Site says Scott Brown Race is Important that Dems WIN _ http://bit.ly/4yXNMu

  3. 3
    MLC says:

    RT @JanSimpson: ALERT CONSERVATIVES: Liberal Values Site says Scott Brown Race is Important that Dems WIN _ http://bit.ly/4yXNMu

  4. 4
    topsy_top20k_en says:

    ALERT CONSERVATIVES: Liberal Values Site says Scott Brown Race is Important that Dems WIN _ http://bit.ly/4yXNMu

  5. 5
    susan rector says:

    RT @JanSimpson: ALERT CONSERVATIVES: Liberal Values Site says Scott Brown Race is Important that Dems WIN _ http://bit.ly/4yXNMu

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