In an early surprise of 2010, Republican State Senator Scott Brown is picking up steam in the special election to fill the Massachusetts Senate seat left vacant by Ted Kennedy’s death last year. Of course, he’d need a lot of steam, since even Rasmussen’s polls put him nine points behind Attorney General Martha Coakley – who still polls at 50%. A deeper reading of the poll shows some reasons for even further optimism, though:of those who “definitely” plan to vote, Brown’s disadvantage sinks to 2%. In a special election in January in New England, leading among independents and the most passionate voters is enough to be within striking distance.
Massachusetts Republican-leaning bloggers from conservative thinker Dan Flynn to scum-of-the-Earth, fake-bloody-sock-wearing Curt Schilling have expressed excitement about Brown’s run. And given the political environment in Massachusetts, this is an against-the-spread race. If Brown finishes within 5-10 points on election day, he’ll start the media narrative that, even in the bluest of blue states, support for the Obama agenda is wavering. And it will help excite the Bay State Republican Activists who would be crucial for later contests – including a Governor’s race later this year.