The People’s Republic of Johnson County will come through for Democrat Janelle Rettig in today’s special election for county supervisor, if the early vote figures are any guide. John Deeth posted more turnout data today.
I wish I had a better feeling about the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The impressive GOTV effort of the past few days probably won’t be enough to save Democrat Martha Coakley, unless almost every pollster was working from a very flawed turnout model. Coakley apparently only held 19 campaign events in the 40 days since the primary. You can’t take anything for granted in politics, especially when unemployment is above 10 percent.
Some “senior Democrats” didn’t have the decency to wait until polls closed before giving journalists blind quotes on who’s to blame for the debacle.
On the optimistic side, former aide to Senator Ted Kennedy thinks Coakley will pull through and explains why using numbers from past Massachusetts elections.
At Swing State Project, Crisitunity posted a very helpful map with “town benchmarks,” indicating how many votes Coakley needs in various towns to win a plurality statewide.
At the Blue Mass Group blog, Hoyapaul posted “town by town bellwethers and what to watch for on Tuesday.”
I’ll update this post later as results come in.
UPDATE: Things are looking grim for Coakley with about half the votes counted. She is underperforming in most towns that have reported and not winning the Boston precincts by large enough margins.
Turnout was higher than expected, which in some ways is even more depressing. When Scott Brown got close in the polls, I assumed Coakley would win easily once Democrats became aware that this was a real race. Instead, Brown surged into the lead despite an onslaught of ads and direct mail from Democrats. There is plenty of blame to go around. Coakley ran a horrendous campaign, but the Obama administration hasn’t handled economic and health care policy well these past several months. The DSCC ads don’t seem to have helped either–stale negative attacks.
SECOND UPDATE: Coakley has conceded. Many post-mortems to come, and Peter Daou’s is worth a read.
FINAL UPDATE: Rettig won big in Johnson County; read Deeth for details. Republican Lori Cardella won’t have a supervisor’s seat to distract her from helping Chris Reed’s campaign in Iowa’s second Congressional district.