Some largely overoptimistic thoughts on tomorrow’s election
There are Republicans, Democrats, and independents (unenrolled) here in Massachusetts. The first of these will have a huge turnout, but they’re only 13% of all registered voters. I’m guessing registered Republicans might cast something like 22% of the votes tomorrow. Democrats account for something like 35% of the electorate. They won’t turn out in the same percentage as the GOP, but they should nonetheless turn out in higher percentages than independents; I don’t think it’s out of the question about 45%-48% of the votes cast tomorrow could be by registered Democrats. If Coakley does slightly better than expected among Democrats (most polls I’ve seen suggest Brown will pick up at least 25% of the Democratic vote) — perhaps holding onto a full 80% of this cohort — and Democrats get to the polls in greater numbers than independents — it could get interesting.*
*I’m thinking one possible scenario that would be less than the worst case would be a very narrow win for Brown. If he beats her with, say, 50.9% of the vote, a somewhat more leisurely certification process will look a lot more justified than if Brown wins pretty convincingly and Coakley calls to concede at 9pm. And that just might buy enough time to produce and score a melded bill and get the cloture vote out of the way. I half wonder if Brown himself — despite vows to the contrary — might not actually welcome the chance to avoid being blamed for killing the healthcare bill. If he’s smart, he’ll have already begun to think about 2012.
Anyway, this is all probably wishful thinking because, though my head tells me by rights it should be a close contest and Martha’s still got a shot, my heart (and my eyes — you simply don’t see any Coakley signage even here in Boston) tells me Martha’s numbers are collapsing and Brown could thump to a huge — approaching or surpassing 60% of the vote — victory.
I certainly hope I’m wrong.