Rasmussen's new poll of the MA Senate race between Scott Brown and Martha is in line with some of the buzz being generated about the contest online and by other polls. The poll shows Coakley with a nine-point lead (50-41), which for a Democratic candidate with statewide name recognition in Massachusetts isn't much. Enthusiasm could really tip the scales here: among those who are certain to vote in the January 19 special election, Brown is within two points. That's margin of error territory.
This poll suggests that Brown is hitting on the right strategy of appealing to independents. According to the survey, Brown leads 65-21 among independents. He'll need that block to deliver for him in order for him to come out on top on election day. That's a huge lead among independents, if it's true, and there could be room for Brown to grow. While winning independents is crucial for Republicans, Democrats need them, too. In 2006, now-Governor Deval Patrick won independents 45-41 over Republican challenger Kerry Healey. Kerry was able to win 54% of independents in Massachusetts in 2004. These numbers suggest, I think, an even brighter picture for Brown.
If he can deliver on independents like that on election day, along with a buoyant Republican turnout, Brown might just find himself headed to Washington.