Many have noted that today's Boston Globe poll is an outlier in showing a 17-point advantage for Coakley (53-36), a bigger advantage than any recent poll has given. While other polls are showing Brown within single digits or even ahead, this Globe poll puts him at a more significant deficit. What gives?
I think a lot of the discrepancy between this poll and other polls boils down to the independents. According to this poll, the Registered Undeclared voters support Coakley over Brown 48-42. This number is wildly out of line with the recent polls released by Rasmussen and PPP, both of which show Brown leading handily with independents, winning at least 60% of their votes (Coakley hangs at between around 20% and 30% of independents). If, using all the other weighting methodologies of the Globe poll, you change the undeclared levels of support to 61% for Brown and 31% for Coakley (her highest number in the most recent polls), you come up with a 47-44 lead for Brown.
Is it credible that Coakley should have such a commanding lead among independents, when so much evidence would seem to suggest increasing independent disenchantment with the Democratic brand? Brown's supporters should not lose heart from this poll. Instead, they should use it as a reminder of how crucial independent support is.