Massachusetts | News

Race for Kennedy Seat in Massachusetts Has Dems Worried

Haven't had a chance to discuss this the past few days, but it's coming down to the wire.

CoakleyRepublican Scott Brown, a former nude Cosmo centerfold, is running a too-close-for-comfort race against Democrat Martha Coakley for Ted Kennedy's Senate seat. The special election is a week away: "The winner of this race will be the deciding vote on the Democratic legislative agenda: health care reform, immigration, and all of the upcoming LGBT bills -- ENDA, DADT repeal, and the Uniting American Families Act."

 The Washington Post reports: "GOP excitement was fueled in recent days by the latest polls in the race. Two automated polls -- a controversial methodology -- showed the contest within single digits, and a Boston Globe poll released Sunday showed Coakley and Brown tied among those "extremely interested" in the race. Although Coakley carries a sizable 15-point advantage in the Globe poll, and leads on most issues, special elections are low-turnout affairs and are notoriously difficult to poll accurately, allowing both sides to spin the numbers. Sensing opportunity, national Republicans are beginning to mobilize. The American Future Fund, an independent conservative group, is spending more than $400,000 on ads slamming Coakley on taxes, and sources familiar with the organization say there's more where that came from."

DC Agenda:Brown

A poll published Saturday by Public Policy Polling shows state Sen. Scott Brown, the GOP candidate vying to succeed Kennedy, one point ahead of Democratic nominee and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.

In a poll of residents who planned to vote in the special election — which occurs Jan. 19 — Public Policy Polling found that 48 percent said they intended to vote for Brown, while 47 percent said they would vote for Coakley. Six percent of responders said they were undecided. Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said in a statement that the poll shows the special election is “shaping up to be a potential disaster for Democrats.”

“Martha Coakley’s complacent campaign has put Scott Brown in a surprisingly strong position and she will need to step it up in the final week to win a victory once thought inevitable,” Debnam said.

Public Policy Polling’s poll speculated that Brown found strong support in an overwhelmingly “blue” state because of depressed Democratic interest in the election and because he’s favored by independent voters.

The poll could be an outlier. Another poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center and published Sunday by the Boston Globe found Coakley had a 17-point lead over Brown. Fifty-three percent of responders said they would vote for her, while 36 percent said they intended to vote for Brown.

John Kerry has launched a last-minute fundraising push for Coakley. The Stonewall Democrats are raising money for Coakley. You can contribute HERE.

The race has inspired a flurry of recent ads which are getting attention. One from Coakley, paints Brown as a "lockstep Republican" and "highlights an amendment that Brown filed in 2005 that in certain cases would have allowed doctors to deny emergency contraception for rape victims."

Brown's daughters have demanded Coakley pull it.

Watch that ad, and Brown's response ad, plus a moment from last night's debate between the candidates, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. And Pres. Obama has done what to keep the seat Dem?

    I'd love to hear what the Kennedy's have to say about how much help Obama has given as the race tightens.

    Posted by: bkmn | Jan 12, 2010 8:18:06 PM

  2. It's just a matter of time before Scott Brown is caught crawling out of someone's bed, hopefully mine!

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Jan 12, 2010 8:29:57 PM

  3. Guess which Gay is NOT going to give money to the DNC for Martha Coakley or anyone else? This one. Until our federal government decides to see my husband and I as something more than complete legal strangers to one another, this pocketbook is closed.

    Posted by: Jeff | Jan 12, 2010 8:47:14 PM

  4. gee, i wouldnt think that this has anything to do with the disaster that has been the democratic control of the legislative and executive branches this past year.

    i voted for obama, but he pulled the wool over my eyes. the next year is likely to be a bigger disaster. the only thing that will save his presidency and make him a better leader would be some balance in government to keep him in check and actually lead.

    then again, we were sold on hope and change from someone with no executive record so we will see.

    first thing he should do is sack axelrod and rahm emmanuel.

    this site could do alittle to not be so fawning over obama either.

    Posted by: tofer david | Jan 12, 2010 9:08:46 PM

  5. alright, I have this really big pie...I just don't have anyone to throw it at scott brown.

    To the DNC and Democrats: NO MONEY FOR APARTHEID!

    Posted by: TANK | Jan 12, 2010 9:53:44 PM

  6. It also has this Bostonian worried too!

    Posted by: Ben | Jan 12, 2010 10:03:39 PM

  7. Coakley is NOT necessarily the deciding vote on issues other than health care. In fact, there are at least 2 GOP (Collins and Snowe) who will vote for ENDA. However, it should be said that Coakley is a pro-equality candidate who actually initiated a lawsuit to overturn DOMA on behalf of Massachusetts. She's definitely one of the good ones.

    Posted by: Bruno | Jan 12, 2010 10:07:09 PM

  8. The National agenda is not working for me.. I'm keeping my money local DNC

    Posted by: frank | Jan 12, 2010 10:59:31 PM

  9. Thank you for posting about this very important race but it would be helpful if, in any future posts on this race, you note the significant differences in the records of the two leading candidates on LGBT issues. Given the significant consequences that the outcome of this race will have on the prospects of a progressive agenda, including ENDA and DADT, advancing in this Congress, it is very important for gay and lesbian voters in Massachusetts and others who support equality to get to the polls and vote for the pro-equality Ms. Coakley and against the pro-discrimination Mr. Brown.

    First, the facts.

    From a article about Brown: "In 2001, he said it was “not normal’’ for then-state senator Cheryl Jacques and her partner to have children. He also referred to her “alleged family responsibilities.’’" The same article notes that not only does Brown oppose his state's recognition of marriage equality; he also "helped efforts under former governor Mitt Romney, an outspoken opponent, to put a ban on the state ballot. Brown also won his state Senate seat in 2004 in a campaign that aired his opposition to same-sex marriage, and he has since accepted campaign contributions from activists and groups that have fought gay marriage."

    In contrast to Brown's support for discrimination against gay men and lesbians and dismissive remarks about the authenticity of our families is Attorney General Coakley's strong record of support for equality. As Bruno notes above, last year she became the first AG in the country to bring a lawsuit against the federal government challenging DOMA.

    Does Tofer David really believe that the election of a man like Scott Brown will be good for the cause of advancing equality in this country? By all means, be frustrated with Democrats; I'm often frustrated with Democrats. Let's just not allow our frustration with Democrats to lead us to act foolishly, like by standing by while a candidate with a great record of supporting us, Coakley, is challenged by a Republican who shares his party's support of discrimination against us.

    You don't want to contribute any more money to the DNC? Great idea; I won't either. I don't want to run the risk that some of those funds might be used to support Blue Dog Dems like Ben Nelson or Harold Ford. It makes no sense, however, if you are a person who is inclined to donate funds to political candidates, to withhold funds from individual candidates like Martha Coakley who have not been among the Dems who have let us down recently.

    Finally, let's not overplay the frustration angle. Thirteen months ago the occupant of the White House was a man who attemtped to enshrine discrimination against us in the U.S. Constitution, who repeatedly nominated for lifetime federal judicial appointments some of the worst homophobes imaginable and who opposed even what should be the least controversial of gay rights legislation, ENDA. Today, the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act is the law of the land and it seems increasingly likely that DADT will be repealed during 2010. I fully expect that ENDA will be enacted during the President's first term and I also fully expect that DOMA unfortunately will not be repealed during that same time frame. None of this should be news. Despite all the good feelings and talk of change during 2008, this is still a relatively conservative country where federal legislation needs to move through a body - the Senate - where conservatives have many procedural weapons at their disposal to stop progressive legislation. Anyone who felt that DOMA was going to be repealed within the first two years of the President's administration has been smoking something which they should pass along to me and has not closely followed the debate over health insurance reform and observed how an idiot like Joe Lieberman can unilaterally stop progress in its tracks. The Justice Department's brief in support of DOMA was inexcusable but let's not forget all that we've gained also from having President Obama in the White House and Democrats in control of Congress. Most significant among them? A great new Supreme Court Justice who will no doubt be on our side if the litigation which many of us are following out of San Francisco now eventually makes it to the Supreme Court. A McCain appointee to that seat would have been a certain vote against us.

    Bottom line: by all means withhold funds from the DNC but let's not throw out the baby with the bath water. Martha Coakley has never turned her back on us and she deserves our support and energy in her efforts to defeat a pro-discrimination Republican next Tuesday.

    Posted by: Patric | Jan 12, 2010 11:29:02 PM

  10. Well, if Brown wins and we get defeated over a number of issues, just remember that you didn't look for the greater good but pouted because you didn't get your way before even a year was up.

    Posted by: Ed | Jan 12, 2010 11:31:01 PM

  11. Go Scott Brown! Stop the madness.

    Posted by: LincolnLounger | Jan 12, 2010 11:34:26 PM

  12. Don't punish the individual candidates, punish the party bosses. Keep that conservative Republican out of the seante. This Dem is pro-gay everything and completely deserves the job! The last big republican to come out of MASS was Romney and we all know what a DISASTER he is!

    Posted by: KFLO | Jan 13, 2010 12:03:46 AM

  13. What a great response. He is right. It "isn't a Kennedy's seat. It isn't a Democrat's seat. It's the people's seat." If more supposed public servants would think that way, we'd be better off.

    Posted by: JohninBR | Jan 13, 2010 12:17:06 AM

  14. The best way to punish the party bosses is to deny them the filibuster-proof majority. Scott Brown is no lock-step conservative if you look at his record. Coakley's debate performances were atrocious ("There are no terrorists in Afghanistan").

    Posted by: LincolnLounger | Jan 13, 2010 12:17:11 AM

  15. Well LincolnLounger

    If he wins he's no more local he is very much FEDERAL. And I dare him to step out of line and stand up for Gay issues on a Federal front not with the Rethugs in DC.

    I betcha he won't. Be careful what you wish for Miss One.

    Posted by: Ma Barker | Jan 13, 2010 1:05:47 AM

  16. I'm voting for the Republican over the Democrat. I got sick of Obama treating us like the useful idiots. He's quick to say he's pro-gay when he needs our vote but incredibly silent when he doesn't. The delay in the repeal of DADT is unacceptable to me.

    Obama and the Democrats are going to find that we in the GLBT are unforgiving when you lie to us.

    Posted by: alan | Jan 13, 2010 7:01:13 AM

  17. The Democrats are now saying they're looking at repealing DADT soon. Well, hello. It just seems so incredibly convenient that they've come out with this just as the polls are showing a very tight race in the Massachusetts senate seat. Who do the Democrats think we are? They must think we're stupid.

    It's time to not vote Democrat, folks. They've been a huge disappointment and insulted our intelligence. Obama does not deserve our vote.

    Posted by: jason | Jan 13, 2010 7:04:52 AM

  18. I find it irritating that the most new comments get placed at the bottom of the pile on towleroad. It means I have to click on "next page" several times to get to them. Could someone at towleroad please change the order so that the most new comments are placed at the top of the sequence rather than at the bottom?

    It would make for a more accessible, user-friendly site. Thanks.

    Posted by: jason | Jan 13, 2010 7:09:20 AM

  19. Did I just read that someone is scapegoating the gays already for the Coakley election?

    SHE is the one pushing the DOMA lawsuit into federal court.

    Obviously the Democratic (really Rahm's) playbook for the aftermath of the ass spanking that they will take in the midterm elections is very clear...scapegoat the gays for ALL of it.

    Punk ass motherfuckers, the Dems are.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Jan 13, 2010 7:22:37 AM

  20. Damn he's cute.
    I get sick of hearing "Kennedy's seat" - I would like just once to hear it called "the People's seat" or "American voters' seat." These fucking Senators (and other politicians) who sit in DC filling their pockets their whole lives is exactly why our government sucks.

    Posted by: Shane | Jan 13, 2010 7:44:03 AM

  21. I dont care what party he's on... I just want him in me

    Posted by: Laba Minora-Majora | Jan 13, 2010 7:49:50 AM

  22. I don't want either to get it. I would have preferred Jack E. Robinson III to have been the repug candidate ( But alas, he lost the primary :(

    Posted by: seth | Jan 13, 2010 8:42:18 AM

  23. A majority of you bitter queens sound like spoiled brats. Did you really think DOMA and DADT would be repealed instantaneously? It amazes that such a large amount of commentators on this site whine and groan on about their desires not happening fast enough. So suddenly you're getting cold feet after a year just because you didn't get your way? What about all of the other issues that exist besides DADT and DOMA? Obama certainly hasn't turned his back to LGBTQ Americans and if you think so, you are an absolute idiot. Try letting a Republican fight for DADT and DOMA. I'm sure that'll go over well. Just go on ahead and bitch some more instead of keeping up your end of the deal. We are at a time where every persons commitment counts for the Democratic party. Coakley's election is an important one for the LGBTQ cause. Try dropping the Paris Hilton brat act and wake up to reality.

    Posted by: Joseph | Jan 13, 2010 12:09:59 PM

  24. As Shane stated earlier, It's not Kennedy's "Seat" - it is the People's seat.
    And, and a Massachusetts citizen, I am not too thrilled with Coakley's cronyism and backroom politics. She sucked in her last job so I don't know why she should be given this job.

    Maybe Brown will do something about illegal immigration - something which the Dems refuse to deal with in a sensible way.

    Posted by: Charles | Jan 13, 2010 12:16:44 PM

  25. Amen, Joseph.

    It is mind-boggling to read gay men writing that the election of Scott Brown, a man who bragged about his assistance of Mitt Romney's efforts to overturn marriage equality in Massachusetts by constitutionally banning it and who made the outrageous comments about a lesbian legislator and her family which I cited above, would be a good thing for the cause of equality, much less other progressive causes.

    Nice way to distort Attorney General's debate comments on Afghanistan, LincolnLounger. While my position on the topic differs from hers and while I think that Attorney General Coakley's response to this and other questions in the debate could have been stronger, I think that it is important that people actually watch the debate before commenting on it and not just recite from the talking points on Rush Limbaugh's and other right-wing web sites in describing Attorney General Coakley's response to this particular question. In defending her opposition to the President's proposed surge in Afghanistan, she indicated that, if the goal of our initial invasion of Afghanistan, which she supported, was to remove the Taliban because they were harboring terrorists, then we've accomplished our goal because "they're gone . . . they're not there anymore." Indeed, the Taliban is out of control and, while they of course are still very much present in the country and pose significant risks both to the current government, the populace and coalition forces, an overwhelming majority of Afghans oppose their return to power and most experts on the region doubt their ability to retake control of the country. Attorney General Coakley was merely noting that we have indeed accomplished the aim of dislodging the Taliban from power within Afghanistan in supporting her opposition to the President's proposed surge.

    You also suggest that Brown is "no lock-step conservative" yet offer nothing with respect to LGBT issues to support this contention because you cannot. The fact that he's come around to supporting civil unions now that he's running for statewide office in a State where his starting position - no marriage or civil unions - enjoys the support of perhaps 20% of the electorate and after his record on LGBT issues until now had been distinguished only by assisting Romney to try to write anti-gay discrimination into his State's constitution and making disparaging comments about a lesbian legislator and her family? Well, it's hardly surprising that the Log Cabin types out on the plantation, the same group who praised John McBush's selection of Sarah Palin 15 months ago, would feel enormously grateful for this but you'll have to forgive me if I'm not impressed.

    I'm sticking with Ms. Coakley, the only one of the two leading candidates to support equality for LGBT people and one with a record to back up her pledges.

    Posted by: Patric | Jan 13, 2010 1:41:11 PM

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