Even before the polls close, the finger pointing has already begun. If she loses, many DC Dems want to put all the blame on Martha Coakley for running a bad race. While she probably did not run the best campaign, she’s not some political novice. She has previously won a statewide election to become Attorney General. In the primary she managed to surmount a very serious challenge from long-term House Democrat Mike Capuano.
It is important to remember that Coakley is not an anomaly. All over the country, polls show that voters are not happy with the Democrats. Vic Snyder and Steve Driehaus were suppose to be in toss up districts. Polling last week by FDL/SurveyUSA found them to be 17% points behind their Republican opponents.
Senate Democrats are not doing any better. Chris Dodd was trailing badly behind his likely Republican opponent before he dropped out. Blanche Lincoln’s numbers are extremely low in Arkansas. A new poll shows appointed New York senator Kristen Gillibrand losing badly to former Governor George Pataki. Even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s numbers are trapped in the low 40%, despite the large amounts of cash he’s dropped on campaign ads.
Did Martha Coakley make many mistakes? Yes. Could she have run a much better campaign? That is probably true, although no one on the Democratic side was really taking Scott Brown seriously until very late in the game. Despite the possible failings of Coakley, it is important to remember that her problems were definitely not all of her own making. Even in a blue state like Massachusetts she was running into a strong national headwind. Voters are angry, worried, and disappointed right now for a variety of reasons and much of their frustration is being direct at the party in power in Washington. A party that is not being viewed as using the power it has to fix the problems in the country that regular people are facing right now.