Your next Senator from Massachusetts


BOSTON – The race to succeed the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has turned into a proxy battle over the fate of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. A once-pedestrian contest between Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown has coarsened with a week to go, as the two have cast themselves as custodians of the pivotal Senate vote to determine the bill’s fate. The shocking poll from Public Policy Polling shows Republican state Sen. Scott Brown leading Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley by 1 point, 48 percent to 47 percent, which would mean the race is effectively tied.

Among independents, who make up 51 percent of the electorate in the Bay State, Brown leads Coakley 63 percent to 31 percent. Just 50 percent of voters view Coakley favorably, while 42 percent viewing her unfavorably.  Brown, who began an advertising blitz this month, sports a strong 57 percent favorability rating, with just 25 percent viewing him unfavorably — very strong numbers for a Republican in the heavily Democratic state. On the issue of health care, which Brown has emphasized that he would be the deciding vote against, 47 percent said they opposed the plan in Congress, while 41 percent supported it.

About Terry Crowley