January 24th, 2010
01:42 PM ET
4 years ago

Pollster confirms little polling by Democrats in Senate race

Pollster Celinda Lake said Sunday that Martha Coakley, the Democratic candidate who lost last Tuesday's special Senate election in Massachusetts, ran no polls for several weeks in the short campaign because Coakley's campaign lacked funding.
Pollster Celinda Lake said Sunday that Martha Coakley, the Democratic candidate who lost last Tuesday's special Senate election in Massachusetts, ran no polls for several weeks in the short campaign because Coakley's campaign lacked funding.

Washington (CNN) - Money talked in the Massachusetts special election last week that reshaped the U.S. political landscape by filling Ted Kennedy's Senate seat with a Republican.

Democratic pollster Celinda Lake revealed Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that Martha Coakley, the Democratic candidate, ran no polls for several weeks in the short campaign because she lacked funding.

According to Lake, Coakley, the Massachusetts attorney general, asked national Democratic organizations for funding for her campaign but was turned down. Lake said Democratic officials told Coakley, "You don't need it."

By contrast, Brown ran daily field polling from Dec. 31, said Republican pollster Neil Newhouse. Brown's campaign received strong backing from conservative groups and national Republicans.

The revelation added to a widespread perception that Democrats believed Coakley would easily win the race for the Senate seat held for almost 47 years by Kennedy, a liberal Democrat, until his death last August.

In addition, no Republican had won a Senate election in Massachusetts since 1972.

Coakley won the Democratic primary vote on Dec. 8, and Lake said her campaign had no polling from a baseline result in December that showed her well ahead until mid-January - shortly before the Jan. 19 special election.

By then, Republican Scott Brown had overcome Coakley's lead and eventually defeated Coakley by a 52-47 percent margin in the special election.

Brown's election denied Democrats their 60-seat Senate super-majority necessary to overcome a filibuster, imperiling President Barack Obama's top domestic initiatives including health care reform.

–CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this story.


Filed under: Martha Coakley • Massachusetts • Popular Posts • Scott Brown • Senate • State of the Union
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    The Democrats are going to continue patting each other on the back and celebrating their historic 2008 victories until sometime in the middle of November when they realize that voters really do demand performance from the Federal Government. Until then...party on!!! This gig is once in a lifetime!

    January 24, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  2. lifelong democrat

    The DNC spent a lot of money in MA, sprint to the finish and failed. It was like the hare and the tortoise race. The hare made a decision the seat left vacant is a democrat seat, boss(DNC) of the hare never bother, it's "in the bag" as far as they're concern. Tortoise knew the odds was against him, he's not famous, only thing he can rely on are volunteers who believes in him and his GMC truck. Tortoise drove his truck all over MA while hare goes on vacation.

    My party will be losing a lot of seats this November, I for one, will stay at home or change party affiliation to INDEPENDENT. I don't want to be linked anymore with my CORRUPT party. Nowadays, to be known as a democrat is like a felon with a long sheet of criminal record, people sneer at you!

    January 24, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. SocialismBad

    She had no money??!! What a bunch of BUNK! The truth is she and everybody else took Massachusetts for granted. "Ted Kennedy's Senate seat"?????? (repeated above) Brown's statement that this was the PEOPLES SEAT turned it into his seat. The arrogant Democrats is Massachusetts are so out of touch with the people, much like Obama, that they will suffer the consequences. They derided and attacked the Tea Party people which were probably all independents.

    January 24, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. Aaron

    The Dems are so cocky, they thought they could win an election without investing any money in it. Get off your high horse! People are not going to side with you just because you're Dems! Your know it all attitude is killing this country!!!

    January 24, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. Ted

    The dems have a big problem. People are finding out that ACORN is setting Obamas agenda. He told them that if they got him into the white house he would get them free health care. Wake up people.He wants the people that work to pay for the ones who DO NOT want to work. That's what he needs a trillion dollars for.

    January 24, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. LM

    "I'm not a member of any organized political party. I'm a democrat."

    – Will Rogers

    January 24, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. valwayne

    Poor Marth Coakley! First they hit her with the Louisiana Purchase, the the Cornhusker Kickback, then a Christamas gift of "The System Worked" and reading the Underwear Bomber his Miranda rights instead of interrogating him. The just days before the election Obama broke his promise to put the negotiations on C-SPAN and worked out a totally corrupt $60 billion union payoff. Now we find out they wouldn't even help her with enough money to run polling. Martha Coakley should be furious at Obama and the national party....just furious!!!

    January 24, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  8. disgustedman

    Frankley it was her "attiutude" that nailed her. While Brown was out, hitting the streets, she was sitting on her butt. at one point she was asked why she wasn't out campaining. "Stand outside a ballpark in the cold shaking hands?" Was her response.

    Oh..I'm sorry to think we're not GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU TO SHAKE HANDS WITH...

    January 24, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. JLM

    Polls do little when you are dealing with turncoats.

    January 24, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  10. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Democrats never had 60 votes in the senate. They had 59 and Lieberman, which is more like having only 55 votes because of his negative influence.

    January 24, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Who would have thought that MA wanted a centerfold truck driver to represent them in the senate? It is a little late, but now we know what is on the mind of voters.

    January 24, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  12. Hope to Change

    More to come in November. We've learned our lesson and never again let this happen. we almost lost our freedom of speech, that was a very scary one. We will make sure they can't pass anything without the agreement from the other side of the isle.

    January 24, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. trueDEM

    the gop & mr. brown shold thank oprah & ted kennedy for placing Obama. The Dem would've won by a landslide if HILARY was in, Obama is doing a good job cleaning up the mess from bush/cheney,DEMS are best for the U S A

    January 24, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  14. cmoore

    Polling does not win elections.... Policies do!

    January 24, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  15. gr

    Republicans are not the answer to this country problem because they are the ones that created this mess.

    January 24, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. Preston k

    Pkm brown mass voted for him because of his looks surprise surprise to bad i was not running

    January 24, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. Larry S

    But it could not happen because it was not a problem of the democrats . . . it was Coakley fault as stated by the WH.

    January 24, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  18. JMikey54

    I did not know that Martha had been turned down for money from the democratic leadership. I am surprised and saddened to learn this.

    January 24, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  19. lovable liberal

    Worst campaign I've seen in a long time...

    January 24, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  20. obama the liar

    pompous elitist., from the top down.

    January 24, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  21. Sue

    Martha and the Democrats did not do any polling..........because they thought that they automatically had this election "in the bag".

    They thought that because this is Massachusetts-–and this is a Kennedy seat--that the Democratic candidate just had to show up to get her crown and continue the Kennedy monarchy.

    If the Democrats had any clue that they were going to lose this seat-–they would have shoved Obamacare down our throats before this election--whether the MAJORITY wanted it or not.

    January 24, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. Nimises

    Congradulations MA. Your vote was bought and paid for by the GOP. Propaganda still works well. Maybe a truck will go to Washbington and make it all better for you. NOT!

    January 24, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. Ron Baldwin

    Once again the Democratic Party forms a circular firing squad, and it's:

    Ready
    Fire
    Aim

    January 24, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  24. Brian

    So it wasn't health care, a poor candidate or President Obama that lost this race. It was the fact that Brown was the known, Coakley was the unknown. Pretty simple.

    January 24, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |