Scott Brown-Martha Coakley Election Today; Turnout Heavy, Fraud Charges Slow
Turnout is reported heavy in the Scott Brown-Martha Coakley Massachusetts special election that is expected to end the Democrats' supermajority in the Senate. Massachusetts secretary of state William Galvin expects between 40 and 55 percent attendance, unusual for a special election, despite inclement weather. The intense national press attention on the race seems to have drawn voters out.
Polls strongly favor Brown, but cautious conservatives stand ready to cry fraud if things don't go their way. Rightblogger Michelle Malkin has established a "Voter Fraud Watch"; Election Journal finds a woman named Isabel Melendez handling absentee ballots in Lawrence (they describe it as "handing out blank absentee ballots"), and telling people Coakley is "my candidate." "Developing," they add. (Neither Dave Weigel nor Raw Story sees it the same way.)
Last-minute politicking has been intense. At a prayer meeting for Haitian quake victims on Sunday, Boston mayor Thomas Menino told the largely black congregation they ought to elect Coakley to save Obama's agenda from his enemies. Robocalling has been intense, with Obama and Bill Clinton stepping up for Coakley, and Brown represented by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and Brown's daughter, American Idol season five semi-finalist Ayla Brown. The national Republican Party has pumped at least half a million dollars into the Brown campaign.
The Boston Globe briefly put up an election map showing Coakley winning, despite the fact that the polls don't close until 8 p.m. "As you can see," deadpans the Boston Phoenix, "over 2 million people voted, with Coakley eking out a 50-49 victory."
At Psychology Today Dr. Ira Rosofsky offers "Martha Coakley--The Picture of Psychological Entitlement." "I'm loath to make diagnostic pronouncements from a distance... but entitlement is not a diagnosis," says the psychologist.
No tire-slashings claimed yet, but there's more than five hours of voting left to go.
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