Poll watcher Sean Trende (if that really is his name) thinks Massachusetts GOP challenger Scott Brown may have peaked too soon . Hmm. Doesn't necessarily look like it. .... Mark Blumenthal has some guidance for reading and reconciling all the Mass. polls--it's not just that lower turnout (and tighter voting screens on polls) tend to favor Brown. Everybody knows that! It's also a robo vs. human contest, especially when it comes to independents.
Perhaps it is harder for them to tell a live interviewer they are ready to vote Republican. Perhaps the more anonymous nature of the automated methodology better simulates the act of voting which will ultimately force a decision.
Plus the Incumbent Rule is on the line, yet again. ...
P.S.--Shock Waves Rippling: Trende makes a good point about the possible effect of a Brown win on health care:
[P]eople are predicting that if Brown wins either (1) the Democrats will pass the Senate bill or (2) the Democrats will get the revised bill through the Senate before Brown is seated.
I guess this is possible, but you have to think that a few more Democrats in R-leaning districts or states will be spooked enough by this to resist voting for the bill . Does Evan Bayh really think his seat is THAT safe? If Scott Brown can win in Massachusetts, John Hostettler can sure as heck win in Indiana. [E.A.]
I suppose, if the Congressional id is screaming for a way not to pass health care , the most obvious way that's left would seem to be this: a Senator bails (Nelson, most obviously) or if Coakley is defeated they just can't pass the bill before Brown takes her place. (Darn!) So the bill can't go back to the Senate--any House-Senate compromise is doomed by the lack of a 60th vote. The only hope becomes getting the House to pass the already-approved Senate bill word-for-word (the Sudden Victory strategy). But just enough House liberals declare they can't stomach the Senate bill--on the grounds that the uncompromised Cadillac tax is unacceptable, perhaps, or the subsidies are too low, or that a public option is essential. Presto, a train wreck. Everyone gets to go home and claim they were fighting the good fight. ... P.P.S.: Jay Cost runs down the names of the House swing votes , although he's paying more attention to the moderates who might bail on a compromise, not the liberals who might balk at the Senate bill. ... 2:21 A.M.