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I was taken aback by Zogby’s prediction that Coakley would narrowly win the race today. All of the polling information of the past week had seemed so positive and undeniable that, while I remained skeptical myself due to potential fraudulent and unethical election activities, I had assumed the untarnished numbers were clear enough. So I checked them again.
While the Brown lead over Coakley has been generally increasing with each new poll, and hence the Brown +4 and Brown +9 numbers have been heartening, the actual percentage for Brown has been holding relatively steady at 51 or 52 points with only a couple of outliers to either side. Ever since the race became more well-known and Brown began leading, his support numbers have remained mostly level while Coakley’s have eroded. That explains the increase in the polls’ predicted margin of victory for Brown. Unfortunately, that also means that 51 or 52 points may be all Brown can muster, since those abandoning Coakley have not yet decided to vote for Brown. Those voters, perhaps Democrats or liberal independents who have been unimpressed by the Coakley campaign or some of her more egregious blunders, are an unaccounted-for voting bloc. I suspect Zogby anticipates that today, in the end, those voters will overcome their mild dislike of the Coakley campaign and vote for the party and the ideology which they favored initially.
Finally, all of the latest polls are of Likely Voters. Brown supporters have been much more excited and enthusiastic than Coakley’s, which means most of those supporters are already counted. If the unexcited and unenthusiastic liberals who don’t really like Coakley end up going to the polls anyway because this election has become so big a deal, that could skew the final results away from the latest predictions.
All of this is to say that now is not the time for complacency. This moment is still the greatest opportunity we citizens will have to affect the outcome of the health care reform battle. Each and every one of the 51 or 52% of likely Massachusetts voters supporting Scott Brown will be needed. Do not hesitate now. Be not dissuaded by foul weather, busy schedules, or long lines. Go forth and cast your vote. We are all counting on you.