Keeping Score: The Massachusetts Senate Race

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Item: The DSCC released an ad attacking Scott Brown for his opposition to President Obama’s proposed tax on big banks to repay lost TARP funds. All to be expected, except that one screen shot of the ad showed the World Trade Center in the background. Doesn’t seem intentional as much as klutzy.

Keeping Score: Scott Brown 1, Martha Coakley 0

Item: Brown came out against the aforementioned tax late Thursday in a statement, after dodging a reporter’s question. No question the issue makes Republicans nervous, and Brown in particular. Coakley plans to hammer it home over the next four days.

Score: Brown 1, Coakley 1

Item: Coakley has been attacking Brown for supporting denial “emergency contraception for rape victims,” a reference to Brown’s support for a law that would allow hospital staff to object to the procedure for religious reasons. In a recent radio interview, Coakley tried to explain how she feels about the issue. “You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room,” she said. Ooof.

Score: Brown 1.5, Coakley 1.5

Item: If you have not yet seen Brown’s 1982 Cosmopolitan magazine nude centerfold picture, you need not wait any longer. It is widely available online. In the accompanying interview he says, “My ideal woman is a liberated go-getter who still loves to get roses and doesn’t always wear jeans!” He also says, “hmm, I’m getting excited!”

Score: Brown 4.25, Coakley 2.75

Item: President Obama has announced plans to stump for Coakley in Massachusetts on Sunday, a visit that could excite turnout both among the Democratic base, and the enraged anti-Obama vote.

Score: Brown 4.5, Coakley 3.75

Item: Three reputable handicappers–Charlie Cook, Stuart Rothenberg and CQ–have recently moved the Massachusetts Senate race from lean Democrat to toss up.

Score: Brown 5.5, Coakley 3.75

Item: Coakley is getting lots of newspaper endorsements, including one from the Boston Globe, which offers this take: “A vote for Brown is hardly a symbolic protest against congressional gridlock and the ways of Washington. It’s a vote for gridlock, in the form of endless Republican filibusters, and for the status quo in health care, climate change, and financial regulation.”

Score: Brown 5.5, Coakley 4

Item: The polling seems to be trending towards Brown, though there is so much variation, and turnout is so uncertain, that it is not clear what this all means.

Score: Brown 6, Coakley 4*

*If you have not yet guessed, these numbers don’t really mean much of anything. Bottom line: This race is way too close for comfort for Democrats, and no one knows what is going to happen Tuesday. Also, if Brown wins, it could be catastrophic for the Obama agenda.

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