7:50 Ok, I’ll be blogging continuously at this site from now until the race is called. If you want to see election returns as they come in, you can try this Globe site and hope it doesn’t crash:
Polls close in 10 minutes. Look for the eastern cities, like Cambridge, to get reports in first.
For reasons that escape me, we are close to setting a record for most hits on the PresidentialPower site ever – more, even, than the 2008 election site. Does this race carry that much interest? Or are people just fascinated that my nearly 80-year old mother uses a treadmill?
Whatever the reason, I’m wondering if we can break the record tonight – almost one year to the day since Obama’s inauguration!
7:57. According to Chuck Todd, expect about 25% of Massachusetts votes to be counted within the first hour. I suspect that won’t be enough to call the race unless someone is really running away with this.
In case you are interested, there’s an automatic recount if the margin of victory is less than .5% (1/2 a percent)
First Returns in! Mom called. She voted for Coakley, but only after getting calls from Clinton and Biden. She was holding out for Obama, but he never called.
WBUR is evidently projecting 40% turnout. Conventional wisdom says this isn’t high enough to overturn the polling projections, which were based on 35-40% turnout projections, if I recall correctly. I think this is probably good news for Brown.
8:11 Well, what do you know? Rasmussen is giving us the next best thing to exit polls – looks like they did their own poll today? go to:
If Rasmussen is right, more good news for Brown: 22% of Democrats voted for him. This is consistent with what the polls were predicting. So far, no evidence of that surge in Democratic turnout that Coakley is counting on. ON the other hand, how do we know Rasmussen’s polling is accurate?
other tidbits from Rasmussen:
- Among those who decided how they would vote in the past few days, Coakley has a slight edge, 47% to 41%.
- Coakley also has a big advantage among those who made up their mind more than a month ago.
- Seventy-six percent (76%) of voters for Brown said they were voting for him rather than against Coakley.
- Sixty-six percent (66%) of Coakley voters said they were voting for her rather than against Brown.
Orion – looks like you got your wish for a Rasmussen poll!
We are going to obliterate the Election Night hits at this rate – and yet only one comment! I have to think the blogging audience is mostly composed of Coakley supporters who view this as a funeral. Or at least a wake. If it’s going to be a wake, at least make it an Irish one. That way I can open the scotch earlier.
8:22 Ok, we are getting some very early returns (I’m reading these off the Globe running tally). about 75% of votes reported in Bolton and Ashland. Bolton is on the rte. 495 corridor, a rural bedroom community that Brown needs to win. And he’s up there, and in Ashland by about 1,000 vote out of about 9,000 cast. And so it begins…
Ah – now the comments come. Thanks for the updates – remember, I don’t have the cable here….
75% of concord voters in – a town Coakley has to win, and she’s up 5435 – 3271. She has to win big in these affluent suburbs. First town I see her winning.
Marc Ambinder is tweeting that White House is, in effect, telling people “you know what’s going to happen.”
Just a side note on how much technology has changed election night coverage. There’s just so much more information out there. but the fact that Rasmussen can put a poll into play on election day is a potent indicator of how far automated polling has come.
116/2168 precincts reporting – Brown 54,240/52% – Coakly 49,077/47%
Grafton is a former mill town near Worcester – one that Brown needs to win. It’s reporting, with 60% in, Brown 4372 and Coakley 2442.
Well, I should have expected this. My Boston Globe site has crashed. I’ll need to find another source I think for town-level data. STay tuned….
NOpe, it’s back up, but struggling. Haverhill, a pretty large community has Brown up with about 45% of the vote in, by 11069 to 7259.
I’ll need to check back to the 2008 results, but so far Brown is in line or performing better than what was projected in the polls, based on my familiarity with these towns.
Ok, I’ve switched over to the AP feed. Much better! 40% of precincts reporting, Brown up 53-46%. But we still have Coakley’s big guns to report in: Cambridge and Boston. She’s not out of this yet. (NOte that that’s 40% of precincts – not of the vote!)
Apparently somebody at RCP (Sean Trende) is arguing that Brown is undeperforming based on the Romney city by town model – ignore that. Brown is drawing on a different coalition than Romney, so I don’t think that comparison will tell us much.
Newton – one of those liberal Boston suburbs that Coakley has to win, is going for her 68-32% (14,000-7,000)
Ok, everything is slow here on my end -sorry. But AP is reporting partial results for Boston: 35% of precincts in, Coakley up 61%-38%. My recollection is that if Brown wins 33% or above in Boston, that would be a huge problem for Coakley.
This is not looking good for her. I can’t see where in Boston these precincts are coming from, but she really needs 67% or more there.
9:16 As Marty point out, when my blog was set up, they must have put my time an hour ahead. So yes, I’m calling it for Brown. The rest of you will see this in an hour!
Seriously, I don’t see how she makes this up unless she completely dominates in Cambridge, Lowell and the rest of Boston. There’s just not that many votes out there. With 66% of the precincts in, Brown is up 53%-46%.
NOte this is almost exactly what the final polling average is – another triumph of head over heart.
That’s assuming it holds up!
jack’s comment remind me to expect the long knives to come out. Coakley’s people will be blaming Obama and the Democratic leadership for coming in far too late, despite pleas for help. Obama will distance himself from Coakley and say she ran a horrible campaign. And the news media already has their frame written: voters reject Obama, health care!
Wrong – all of it in my view. I think this election turned on two issues – unemployment/sluggish economy and the Christmas bombing. Fundamentals exacerbated by a campaign that failed to address the fundamentals. By aligning herself with the establishment, Coakley inadvertently made herself the target for voter anger over the economy. And by laying low during Christmas, she let Brown steal the security mom vote, compounded by her failure to counter that charge during the debate.
Why didn’t health care play a bigger role among Brown’s supporters? Because they already have universal health care. The national debate meant alot to the national punditry and the press, but not so much to Brown’s local voters.
That’s my read. Anyone else want to take a shot?
Great job tonight – two historic events! Brown wins Kennedy’s …er…the People’s Seat, and you have obliterated the record for most hits on this site, previously held by the Election 2008 night crowd.
I’m going to pour a scotch. I’ll be write (yes, pun intended) back with some post-race analysis.
Ok. my first thought is to echo Tarsi – everything I thought I knew about massachusetts politics told me Brown couldn’t win this. But the data said otherwise. Some pundits (see Nate Silver!) ended up fudging the data because – and it’s human nature – they just didn’t want to believe what it was telling them. The hardest thing in the world is to resist letting your heart color your analysis. This isn’t to say that we always get this right, or that we have perfect understanding of political events (and by “we” I mean all those researchers whose work provides the basis for what I do here. ) But we do have a methodology and we try to stick with it. A week ago, without consulting data, I would have told you Coakley was going to win this, easily. But the data came in and said otherwise. we went with the data. Yesterday, as Charles Franklin put it, the trend line indicated that Brown was going to win this by 6%. It looks like Franklin may have hit this on the nose. I hope this gives you a better appreciation of what we try to do on this site. Go elsewhere for the echo chamber effect and to worship among fellow converts. That’s not what we do here.
But….I can’t believe Brown won.
Must….resist….lashing…out….at George! Quick – one of you who has heard my rant on campaigns, please answer George before my head explodes. Explain what I said about campaigns! Quickly!!!
82% of precincts in, Brown holding at 52-47.
Ok, here’s who just got elected to replace Ted Kennedy – below the picture I’ve toyed with some slogans for the new Senator. But I’m open to suggestions…
Ok, try these slogans out:
We take our pants off – one leg at a time.
When I say transparency, I mean transparency!
Scott Brown: He won’t give you the short end of the … stick.
Best slogan gets a “It’s the Fundamentals, Stupid” t-shirt.
Thinking more broadly about the results, I wonder what this does to Romney’s presidential bid?
As for health care, alot of rumors floating around that Democrats will try to ram this thing through before Brown is seated. I think that is absolutely insane. If they do that, you risk spreading voter anger. I think Kirk will find it difficult to cast a vote for health care if Brown instructs him not to. Not to mention how hard it is going to be for Pelosi to whip the blue dog democrats into line to support a straight up vote in favor of the Senate bill. I just don’t see it happening – to me, this is the same wishful thinking that led people to believe Coakley was going to win this. I think after people sleep on this and realize we are living in a different world tomorrow, saner heads will prevail. We are either going to start over on health care or see more modifications to the existing bill.
Great question from Marty regarding why Kennedy’s legacy seem to carry so little weight, and it reminds me that both Marty and Matt Hoenck hit the nail on the head last night, in my view, in explaining why this election was trending toward Brown. As Marty notes, Kennedy was a beloved figure, but his flaws were also part of the package, and I think that a certain segment of the voting public was ready to move on after his death. The Senator is Dead, Long Live the Senator! Moreover, the machinations by Democrats, who twice altered the rules in the last five years in an attempt to prevent Republicans from possibly winning Senate seats may have had longterm repercussions here. In the end, I think Brown’s argument that this wasn’t Kennedy’s seat, it was the people’s seat, really resonated and in a sense gave voters an excuse to turn Kennedy’s picture to the wall. Would it have been different if his Vicki had run? I guess that depends in part on whether she came across as credible. I honestly don’t know, but it’s a great question.
This is also a reminder that we forget that Coakley smoked the field in the Democratic primary – nobody was critiquing her campaigning skills then. I really think that by inheriting the position of Lady-in-Waiting, she actually weakened her political strength. It became really hard for her to pivot in the last few days and try to become the insurgent candidate responding to voter anger.
That was, in my view, the unpredicted factor in this race: the depth of voter anger at the perceived incumbent.
Jeff – You are right. Most of the blue dog democrats will probably prefer the Senate version. So one difficulty Pelosi will have is keeping her Left flank in line if she pushes for a straight up acceptance of the Senate bill. But I also think some of the Blue dogs, who must sit for election in less than a year, are going to find it difficult to vote for the Senate bill. There’s going to be tremendous pressure to bring the Olympia Snowes back into this debate – at the risk of alienating the Left in both chambers. That means no straight passage of the Senate bill. I just think Democrats are going to pause to collect their wits after this election, particularly since the media is going to spin this a anti-health care and anti-Obama.
11:00 pm. Ok with almost 100% of precincts reporting its Brown 52%, Coakely 47. This is about 1%less than the simple linear trend line Pollster.com predicted. In other words, the polls nailed it. I’ll be on tomorrow with a more thorough analysis of the polling and a look at what Rasmussen is reporting on the election day polling, which is the closest we are going to get to an exit poll this time around. At this point, the raw vote totals are Brown, 1,161, 586 and Coakley 1,055,409. I assumed Brown would win if he cracked 1 million votes, but turnout exceeded my predictions – closer to 50% (I need to check this tomorrow. If that number holds up, it supports my prediction that higher turnout would in fact help Brown, or at least not hurt him.
Truly a historic night. I want to thank all of you who posted or logged on to this site tonight – you shattered the record for hits. I’m still not sure what that means, frankly. did this race really attract that much attention? And what do I have to do to keep you tuning in? There are only so many nude pictures of Scott Brown, the next Senator from the Great State of Massachusetts.
It’s a helluva country, isn’t it?
More tomorrow. Good night all….