Obama e-mails a message of support for Coakley

By mw | Related entries in Massachusetts, Obama

This is not a TV ad, but was delivered by e-mail and on the web:


So what do you think? Is it going to help? Will it resonate with voters? Is the magic still there?

While the polls remain tight, there is evidence of an emerging groundswell of support for Coakley among Massachusetts Democrats.

UPDATE: Word is, the president is going “all-in” and will be campaigning for Coakley in Massachusetts on Sunday. We’ll soon see if he can still play a winning hand.


This entry was posted on Friday, January 15th, 2010 and is filed under Massachusetts, Obama. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

18 Responses to “Obama e-mails a message of support for Coakley”

  1. Tillyosu Says:

    Maybe I missed something. How exactly does a single Massachusetts Democrat blog post, with 65 comments (and certainly not all of them expressing enthusiasm for Coakley’s candidacy), translate into an “emerging groundswell of support”? Sounds like wishful thinking to me.

    Conversely, and perhaps more scientifically, a new local poll has Brown beating Coakley by 4 points:

    http://www1.whdh.com/features/articles/hiller/BO133471/

  2. Nick Benjamin Says:

    Alone it wouldn’t mean much. But combined with all the other leftist hand-wringing on the race it’s pretty clear that Coakley’s base is swelling. The open question is whether it will be enough to beat the Tea Partiers, especially given that Coakley herself seems so intent on losing.

    Some of this isn’t her fault directly — she didn’t hit that dude from the Weekly Standard — but some is. It’s just not smart politics to mock Scott Brown for meeting ordinary voters outside of Fenway.

    Personally I’d still say this leans Coakley. But her campaign feels a lot like the House GOP’s campaign in 2006.

  3. mw Says:

    I was being kind.

  4. Tweets that mention Donklephant » Blog Archive » Obama e-mails a message of support for Coakley -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Justin Gardner, Donklephant. Donklephant said: DONKLEPHANT: Obama e-mails a message of support for Coakley http://ow.ly/16llC8 [...]

  5. Paul Says:

    A Republican winning in Massachusetts would be a blow to Obama and the Democrats-big time !

  6. Tillyosu Says:

    In case you just skipped over the article I cited, both Republicans AND Independents are swinging for Brown. So this isn’t about beating the “tea partiers.” I think it’s more of a referendum on the Democratic agenda.

  7. Nick Benjamin Says:

    Lots of tea partiers describe themselves as independents. That’s why it’s more popular then the major parties in some polls.

    Now to explain what I meant:
    In special elections turnout is typically very small. Pollsters have significant trouble predicting what will happen because they have no idea who will show up. The tea partiers are committed, and they hate the Democrats, so they will show up. The left is becoming more energized, and starts with a fairly sizable base in Massachusetts, so it’s difficult to say who will win the turnout battle.

    IMO a big part of Coakley’s trouble is Coakley herself. She can’t seem to go a day without being involved in an embarrassing incident. Dissing Red Sox fans, for example, is not great politics in Massachusetts.

  8. gerryf Says:

    I think some people have been sipping the tea. Most polls show Coakley winning but two polls show Brown winning. I seem to recall something back in college statistics courses…oh yes, outliers.

  9. wj Says:

    I’m not so sure that a Brown victory would be a disaster for Obama.

    Sure, it would be a serious wake-up call for those Democrats who think any blue state Senate seats are theirs by right. But Brown looks (from the far side of the continent, admittedly) more and more like the Republican Senators from New England.

    And, if enough Republicans of similar ilk (conservative on fiscal issues, moderate on social issues) get elected, the party may pull back from the abyss of reaction that it currently faces.

  10. mw Says:

    I just updated the post. Obama will be campaigning in Massachusetts on Sunday.

  11. Nick Benjamin Says:

    @wj
    A Brown victory wouldn’t be the end of the world. But it would look really bad. And in politics appearances are a huge deal.

    It would force Obama to rush the health care bill through.which would also look bad. And the maneuver might eliminate any bump he got from winning the issue. Nothing succeeds like success, and that would not look like success.

    If Obama can get the two houses to hammer out an agreement this weekend, and vote on it Monday, that would be one thing. Then it wouldn’t matter who won, and in some ways it would be good for him because successful GOP obstruction of financial regulation would be a great issue for Democrats to run on in November.

  12. wj Says:

    Yes, Nick, a Brown victory could (and doubtless would/will) be painted as a rejection of Obama and/or of the “Democratic agenda.” But it would be more accurate to characterize it as a rejection of the entitlement mentality of the Democratic establishment. Because the real issue isn’t Brown. Nor is it Obama. The real issue, as you noted earlier, is what a terrible candidate Coakley is. And why is she the candidate…? ‘Nuff said.

  13. kranky kritter Says:

    It’s now clear to me that Brown has a real shot, and that it’s because of a sentiment of being fed up with out-of-touch politicians who say nothing and deliver even less.

    The level of outsider input into the race is astonishingly high, and could quite possible backfire. I’ve received more phone calls for this race than other, probably because Massachusetts is never contested in the Presidential race.

    Coakley has run a Hillaryesque campaign of assuming she was going to win, and now she appears flat-footed, and unsure of how to frame herself in relation to Brown. The panic button has been pushed, and there’s good reason to wonder whether this cavalry is the right one. Phone calls from Bill Clinto.? Attack ads sponsored by unions and by the dem natonal committee? An Obama visit? We’ll see.

    I still think Brown is a wide-eyed dope and that his campaign ads are hokey. How often does he really dress in that omnipresent costume of sweater and brown workman’s jacket? But he has stayed positive and made Coakley look bad for attack ads, even if she’s not the one directly responsible for them ( a fine distinction that I bet at least 9 out of 10 voters miss.)

    In my experience, races like this in MA end up swinging back to the democrats, who dominate the state with their big machine. And I think the possibility that Coakley now could lose will draw much higher turnout, which is bad for the GOP in this state. Coakley’s biggest ace in the hole is her overwhelming support among women, as I have pointed out several times already. If Coakley manages to hold on, the breakdowns will show this clearly.

  14. kranky kritter Says:

    It would be more accurate to characterize it as a rejection of the entitlement mentality of the Democratic establishment.

    Spot on guys.

    And I attribute this swelling rejection to the constant blithe dismissals of legitimate criticisms about spending in general and about healthcare reform in particular. As I said months ago, democrats had better be sure this reform is worth it to them, because they’ll pay a real price to pass it.

    That’s how political capital works when you want to pass a really substantial reform. You get the support to gain enough power, and then you quickly (in one congress) use that power to make a big change that somewhat resembles the original plans and promises,over the objections that arise when no one gets what they thought they were promised.

  15. Tillyosu Says:

    @wj
    What’s your support for saying this is a rejection of Coakley and not of the Democrat (i.e. Obama) agenda? I mean, Coakley has always been Coakley. It’s not as if she’s fundamentally changed in the last few weeks. Sure there have been some embarrassing gaffes and some damaging pieces in the local papers, but do you really think that’s enough to explain the Brown surge?

    Consider this, there has been a major shift of support for the health care reform bill moving it’s way through congress. A majority of Massachusetts voters now oppose it, from a majority supporting it in November. Now, Brown’s surge has coincided with that shift. And he has made no secret of the fact that he opposes the bill and will try to stop it when he gets to Washington.

    Of course “it was Coakley’s fault” will be the standard democratic talking point. The Democrats tried that with Deeds in Virginia too, but eventually they’re going to have to take a long hard look in the mirror and rethink how they want to move forward.

    I mean, the IRONY of Ted Kennedy’s senate seat being given to a Republican who has promised to stop a bill being touted as his legacy – in one of the bluest states in the country – is just inescapable.

  16. wj Says:

    Till, since Massachusetts already has mandated health care, the concern there on the subject is, unsurprisingly, relatively low. The folks there may not like the bill particularly, but whether it passes or not won’t impact them directly. Not like folks elsewhere.

    As for whether a loss will be due to rejecting Coakley or to rejecting the Democrats agenda, it might be worthwhile to look at how Obama polls vs how Coakley polls. Or you could just look at the favorable/unfavorable ratio for a “generic Democrat,” then look at the same numbers for Coakley. Sort of dramatic how big the difference is, isn’t it?

  17. kranky kritter Says:

    Yeah, I can’t stress how lackluster Coakley has been. She won the primary easy, and was clearly unprepared for a serious challenge. If she had been really challenged already, she might present a polished figure in speaking for herself.

    But she doesn’t.

    I expect turniut for THIS special election to be as high as it has ever been for any special election.

  18. Tillyosu Says:

    @wj
    Actually, I disagree. In fact, when asked just a week ago, a plurality of Massachusetts voters cited health care reform as the most important issue in the special election:

    http://www.boston.com/news/politics/2010/senate_race/0108010_poll_senate_race/

    So how you reach your conclusion that the concern there is “relatively low” is unclear to me.

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