Senate race no laugher
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Scott Brown
and Martha Coakley
squaring off for the Senate seat once held by the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy
Last year’s special election in which Brown eked out a surprising win over Coakley may have ended with the Democratic nominee being a “Saturday Night Live” punchline
but a new poll of Massachusetts voters
shows a rematch may be no joke. And that could make national Democrats, already fretting about what they perceive as a weak field
against a vulnerable Republican, a bit nervous.
North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling
shows Brown leading Coakley by a 49-40 margin. But the poll shows that Coakley is the only contender not trailing by double-digits. Rep. Michael Capuano
, who lost the primary to Coakley and is trying to keep his profile up as he ponders another run, trails Brown by a 10-point margin, 48-38, with Rep. Ed Markey
showing the same gap, behind at 47-37.
Three announced candidates, City Year
cofounder Alan Khazei
, activist Robert Massie
and Newton Mayor Setti Warren
, trail by 19 to 25 points.
Coakley, who was reelected to the AG’s post last fall, is maintaining in public and through spokesmen that she has no interest in leaving her job
(“I have said voters told me twice last year they want me to be Attorney General,” Coakley has joked several times.) But the numbers in the poll are intriguing.
Keep in mind that Brown won by a 52-48 margin in a special election
in mid-January that had a 54 percent turnout. The 2012 election will be with the backdrop of a higher turnout presidential election and President Obama
remains very popular in Massachusetts. Among Obama’s voters, Coakley beats out Brown 60-26. Coakley also shows slightly better than Brown among some key demographic groups such as women, younger voters, and minorities.
Coakley has little money in her federal campaign account
compared to Brown, who is sitting on $8.5 million
to kick-start his reelection. But she has no debt and showed the ability to raise nearly $9.5 million in last year’s election. She is the highest profile name of all the potential opponents, save MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow,
who continually gets thrown into the mix despite declaring no interest
. And Coakley, who is not up for reelection until 2014, would not have to risk her job, unlike Capuano or Markey.
If Coakley does decide to jump back in, don’t laugh. --JACK SULLIVAN BEACON HILL Gov. Deval Patrick
may have some tips for President Obama
on how to turn around your approval ratings.
Less is more? The DiMasi defense rests
after calling just three witnesses. Peter Gelzinis wonders
how DiMasi’s silver-tongued lawyers will explain away the $965,000 in payments prosecutors trotted before the jury. The Herald speculates
that Alan Dershowitz
’s recent appearance in court means DiMasi and company are already gearing up for an appeals fight. Jim Braude
has on Globe
columnist Brian McGrory
State House leaders are nearing an agreement
on casino gambling
legislation that would allow one racino license.
Radio Boston hosts a discussion
about the controversial Secure Communities
program. The Lowell Sun
, in an editorial
, criticizes Gov. Deval Patrick’s
A Fall River
marina owned by the City Council
president did not pay water and sewer charges for four years
after the Water and Sewer Department
inexplicably deactivated the account but kept the services flowing.David Bernstein examines Boston
’s strangely quiet off-year city council race. The Bay State Banner
gets behind the headlines on the recent troubles at Carson Beach.
The Lowell Sun
, in the first article
in a two-part series, reports on rising property taxes.NATIONAL POLITICS/WASHINGTONUS Rep. Anthony Weiner
may find that life in Congress
won’t be any better if he stays. US Rep. Niki Tsongas
is the lone member
of the Bay State’s congressional delegation calling on Weiner to resign.
Slate does not wish a happy 10th birthday
to the Bush tax cuts
Another day, another ratings agency threatening
to downgrade the US’s credit rating. ELECTION 2012
No waffling here: Mitt Romney
sticks to his guns on climate change.
Plenty of waffling here: Rick Perry might run
for president. Then again, he might not. Karl Rove
provides a sneak peek at election-season attacks
on the White House’s handling of Medicare
J-1 visa workers in Orleans
complain about rental conditions.EDUCATIONTime
in private K-12 schools is declining.
The UMass board of trustees gave final approval yesterday
to a 7.5 percent increase in student fees. The increase, which will add $826 to an undergraduate’s annual tab, has prompted concerns that the cost of attending the state’s public university is getting out of reach for Massachusetts families. UMass trustees Phil Johnston,
the former chairman of the state Democratic Party, and Mike Fox
, the student member of the board, discuss the financing challenge facing UMass in CommonWealth’s latest installment of Face to Face
, our new webcam-based video conversation feature. US News & World Report
is out with its college tuition surveys and among the top 10 private schools in cost, the usual suspects from Massachusetts were not on the list, although the Bay State did have two “winners.
Alas, no schools from Massachusetts made the list of the 10 least expensive private colleges
The Springfield Republican
reports on the “tornado class” graduation
at Monson High
with Gov. Deval Patrick
in attendance. WBUR also reports
on the celebration.
Is the value of an expensive college degree being oversold? No, says Kevin Carey
, emphatically, in The New Republic.Boston College has gone to court
to try to stop British
officials from gaining access to confidential oral history interviews BC has with former Northern Ireland
’s Red Line
and Orange Line
trains are in rough shape, and things will only get worse, the Globe reports
The National Review
says the reason many Democrats are backing the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act of 2011 -- or NAT GAS
-- that gives concessions and subsidies to the natural gas industry is that it contains a backdoor entry
for the Environmental Protection Agency
to finally get regulatory control of greenhouse gas emissions.
The developer of a two-turbine wind project in Wareham
is seeking help from the attorney general’s office
after a town meeting vote to change a zoning bylaw put his plan in jeopardy.
The snow pile
isn’t going anywhere any time soon.