Brown Has 9.6% Lead in New Poll

State Senator Scott BrownBrown supporters focused most on pocketbook issues, Coakley supporters on healthcare reform, undecided voters split

A poll conducted by the Merriman River Group (MRG) and indicates that Scott Brown leads Martha Coakley 50.8% – 41.2% in the contest to fill the seat of the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Liberty Party candidate Joe Kennedy pulls in just 1.8% support, while 6.2% of voters are still not sure. Brown and Coakley both have most of their supporters locked in. 98% of both candidate’s supporters say they are definitely or probably going to vote for their candidate. In contrast, 22% of Kennedy’s supporters are just leaning toward him, suggesting that Brown and Coakley may both want to take aim at swaying those voters.

Not surprisingly, nearly all of Coakley’s supporters approve of President Obama’s job performance, while three-quarters of Brown’s supporters disapprove. Coakley may see a glimmer of hope in the fact that more than two-thirds of undecided voters approve of the president’s job performance while only 6% disapprove, especially in light of the president’s swing through the state to campaign for her later today.

47% of Brown’s supporters say that taxes, jobs, and the economy represent the most important issue to them in this race, while half of Coakley’s supporters say that healthcare reform is most important to them. Undecided voters are nearly evenly split between the two issues—40% say they’re most concerned with taxes, jobs, and the economy with 37% saying that healthcare reform that most concerns them. “For Coakley to have a chance, she needs to convince voters that the Democratic party’s agenda for the economy is the right one, and she needs to do it fast,” said MRG’s executive director, Matt Fitch.

The recent dust-up between the candidates over abortion laws seems to have had minimal impact on the race. Only 8% of Brown’s supporters and 5% of Coakley’s supporters say it’s the most important issue to them.

The endorsement in Medford on January 7 of Martha Coakley by members of Senator Ted Kennedy’s family appears to have had little effect on most voters and to have backfired with others. 55% said that it was not important to them, but 27% said it made them less likely to vote for Coakley, while only 18% said it made them more likely to vote for her. As for undecided voters, more than two-thirds said the endorsement was not important. “The Kennedy family endorsement seems to have hurt more than it helped Coakley, despite the popularity of the Kennedys in the state and in Medford,” said Allison Goldsberry, Editor of

What seems to tip the race in Brown’s favor most is his popularity among Moderates, Independents, and men, and Coakley’s lack of an advantage among women. Brown nearly doubles Coakley’s total among Moderates, 62% – 32%, and has an even bigger margin among Independents, 64% – 26%. There’s also a one-way gender effect that favors Brown, who holds a nearly two-to-one lead over Coakley among men while women are split evenly between the two candidates. Brown does best among white voters, while Coakley leads among non-whites, suggesting that minority turnout may play a crucial role on election day. Brown is also leading among all age groups.


MRG surveyed 565 likely voters between 5:00 P.M. and 8:45 P.M. on January 15, 2010 using touch-tone polling technology. The margin of error is +/– 4.1%. Some columns do not sum to 100% due to rounding.

Merriman River Group, founded in 1998, is a full service consulting organization specializing in election management, opinion research and communication. In 2008 and 2009, MRG provided nationally representative telephone survey data for the for the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership’s annual National Leadership Index: A National Study of Confidence in Leadership. is Medford’s first and only exclusively online news source. It was founded in 2007 by Allison Goldsberry, a former newspaper reporter and T.V. journalist.

For interviews, please contact Allison Goldsberry at (781) 526-1997.

For questions about the poll, please contact Matt Fitch at (203) 675-8322 or Seth Rosenthal at (781) 704-1223.

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 17th, 2010 at 2:24 pm and is filed under 2009-2010 Elections. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

61 Responses to “Brown Has 9.6% Lead in New Poll”

  1. jack says:

    WOW. “Man proposes, God disposes.” Am I the only one struck by the irony that a seat, held by a family dynasty since 1952, is about the leave the clutching hands of Democrats….in the bluest of blue states. And that Ted Kennedy’s public life was dedicated to national health insurance….and less than six months after his death, national health insurance is about to be killed by….by the election of his successor???

  2. Rick says:

    I am being forced to move to Mass next month , the place sucks , high taxes , high cost of living -probably because of all the corrupt Government
    I wish I could vote for Brown and start to change the state.

  3. Mika says:

    It’s Karma man. If Ted Kennedy did not push to chg the election law in 2004, the seat would have been secured by Patrick picking a dem and hold it till 2012 election. What goes around comes around.

  4. Jaime says:

    Yes, Brown would kill the wrong health care reform not any reform. And he would be elected to do so. I am OK with my HC, are you. Kennedy was dedicated to use power and to give us what none of the Kennedys ever had: sub-standard health coverage. He used the power given by the people against the people who elected him. Did I hear enough?

  5. Eric Dondero says:

    Ouch! You all made a freudian slip. Not such a bad one, but an error no less. It’s the Libertarian Party, not the “Liberty Party.”

    I’m a Libertarian Republican pulling for Scott Brown. But also think the Libertarian Party deserves to have their name listed correctly.

  6. don says:

    totally phony rightwing poll. you don’t have th stones to admit it

  7. Gwen says:

    I truly wish that I could vote for him. But I’m in FL. I hope the good folks of Massachusetts have good sense and see that it’s time for a change and go vote for Mr. Brown. I’m praying for him!

  8. haley says:

    Go Scott! Good job Massachusetts. You rock and we’ll be forever grateful if you get Scott Brown elected.

  9. Amy says:

    So they surveyed people one night with no call backs. Not only is that a terrible methodology in general, but what make it even worse is that it was a Friday evening, when young people and folks with kids are not home.

  10. insidemedford says:

    MRG is a non-partisan political consulting firm, it is not “right-wing.”

  11. Jim says:

    I took a drive around Medford (Coakley’s hometown) looking for yard signs. NONE on Main St, Riverside Ave, Fellsway, Salem St, Boston Ave, Harvard St and finally found 5 on High St. I’m working on a video.

  12. Amy says:

    By the way, signs don’t vote.

  13. Joe says:

    The folks in Alabama are depending on you guys in the Great State of Massachusetts to elect Scott Brown. We love the Red Sox and Celtics!

  14. correction says:

    @Eric Dondero:

    Actually, Kennedy requested his party be listed as “Liberty” on the ballot.

  15. Becky says:

    Why was this poll taken on a Friday night when most people are out for dinner, or going to a movie, etc??

  16. Chris B says:

    Face it – real Americans are on to the grotesque liberal agenda that has bankrupted California, destroyed jobs in Michaigan (thank the unions) and have driven a mass exodus from NY, NJ and other liberal cesspools in search of jobs. High taxes, runaway entitlements, unions and now throw in the most corrupt, lying administration in history – anyone wonder why there’s backlash? Roughly 235 years ago Americans stood their ground in Boston against tyrrants – it’s going to happen again. GO SCOTT BROWN!

  17. ToniV says:

    It is not about red or blue. It is about stoping the arrogance pompus attitude of the Obama socialist conies. Teh tea party movement started in this great state more than 200yrs ago. The new tea party is about to speak in 1-19-2010. Back to the future December 23, 1775. Best of luck on Tuesday and in Washington.

  18. roni says:

    Our country has a great dependency on Scott Brown winning. However, the BIG brother is stepping up to the plate tomorrow,(monday) wonder what kind of raw dirty deals will be pulled to get Coakley elected. Who will the Dems buy? Time will tell. Come on Scott…You can do it and the people are with you. I am in NC, wish I could vote for you.

  19. Jim says:

    In Massachusetts, signs vote.

  20. Joe says:

    Unions get a sweet heart deal, and Obama preaches change. lol typical Chicago used car salesman. Go Scott!!

  21. JuntaCo says:

    Brown only knows how to drive a truck and take off his clothes, but you are so afraid of change you will do anything to derail what the people by virtue of 60% of the Senate clearly want.

    Vote for what Ted would want, Healthcare for all, suffering and bankruptcy for on one who gets terminally ill…

    Jesus would weep for the idea of withholding the compassion of health-care from anyone.

  22. Orednod Cire says:

    Hahaha… look who shows up on blogs scared of the libertarians – Eric Dondero!

    You’re about as much a libertarian as Lenin was a capitalist. Keep trying to maintain the neo-con status quo; we’re coming for you. Joe Kennedy is the only limited-government candidate running.

  23. George says:

    Sanity is finally returning to America. Say goodbye to Obamanism and his socialist agenda, not to mention his lousy health reform bill, which I hope will be DEAD when Scott Brown is elected. God bless America and the people of Massachusetts for electing Scott Brown to balance the arrogant and incompetent democrats.

  24. boxerpaws Sarver says:

    The people of Pa are counting on the people of Mass.The whole country is watching!

  25. Barbara says:

    I’m astounded on the sign count. When I lived in Massachusetts, you just didn’t put up signs for Republicans. Even that’s a victory, whatever happens in the election. A one-party state is never a good thing, and this is showing that Massachusetts has become a two-party state again.

  26. denise says:

    God works in mysteries ways, his wonders do unfold. It is God’s will that the seat vacated by Kennedy, who supported Health Care, should be filled by Candidate Brown who has been prayed into the Senate by the hearts of the American People.

  27. joesixpack31 says:

    If I were a betting man, I’d wager Ted Kennedy is frying in hell as we speak along with most of the rest of the Kennedys.

  28. John Dumas says:

    What is wrong with 1 party ruling all? It works in red China just ask Google!

  29. TightlinesinCO says:

    I live in Colorado…as have many Americans..I have donated generously to Scott Brown’s campaign..Obamacare is bad legislation..full of backroom deals serving Liberal special interests..a disaster waiting to happen… Obama spoke at NE Univeriversity yesteday..again and again..he attempts to dismiss the will of the people..cloaking his arguments in the context of some great social agendas.. Its capitalism and our economic system that has made this country great and prosperous…not socialism and not entitlements that forever enslave the heart, soal and spirit of man.. Obama is accustom to an audience of community organizers..who followed him like he’s learning that the American public thinks for themselves..

  30. EyesOpen007 says:

    ooouuuhhh, the poor little liberals are all angry and scared because they KNOW they are about to lose!! Don’t you just feel so sorry for them? NOT!

  31. DavidA says:

    Are the dems ready to truck in Acorn?? Obama is at his best with acorn!

  32. Defend America says:

    Some Polls Before Tomorrow’s Special Election in Massachusetts…

    Massachusetts Senate Poll

    Scott Brown leads Martha Coakley 51-46 in our final Massachusetts
    Senate poll, an advantage that is within the margin of error for the

    the last week Brown has continued his dominance with independents……

  33. Gary says:

    Looks like Obama, the democrats and their graft and corruption is about to come to a screeching halt. Thank God!

  34. Eugene Davis says:

    “It’s not Ted Kennedy’s seat, and it’s not the Democrats seat. It is the Peoples seat”. Scott Brown

    That is all we need to know.

    No Communism on America!

    JFK democrat for Scott Brown

  35. sandy says:

    Im a patriot way down here in Georgia and am pulling and praying for Scott Brown…lets get him in and then start with a clean slate to get real healthcare reform passed without bankrupting America. Croakley looks and acts like another nancy pelosi. Mass.,don’t let another liberal democrat use you for their own agenda. We have seen a year where the liberals have not listened to us Americans. They have stomped on our voices and our liberties. Im sure many of you went to Washington on 9/12 and our president had the audacity to leave the White House and go to Minnesota. Ronald Reagan would have stepped out and spoke to the 1.7 million Americans who come to see him, but then Ronald Reagan loved this country so much he sacrificed to bring this great nation back from the brink of the Carter depression. Godspeed Scott Brown!!!!

  36. Bobby says:

    Roni, let big brother step up, it’s to late, old brother has to face Curt on the mound.
    I’ll put my betting money on him and Scott.
    One day left, as usual Gov timing is way off.
    I’m in CA and I don’t remember anything like this out here. Fun Stuff

  37. carol ruplenas says:

    900 signs flew out of Brown’s Plymouth headquarters this weekend. Signs don’t vote but the people who put them up do! People are making their own signs because headquarters ore out–again. Coakley’s husbands union backs Brown! Many union members do too! Vote Tues!

  38. Broadcast News says:

    Broadcast News said…

    Not only do signs not vote, Carol, the Republicans have brought a huge force in from out-of-state. I have great concern about this election being stolen – people walking in to polling places, voting Brown, then getting on a plane and getting away with it. Look at the nasty outbursts that Republicans have leveled at Coakley and the theft of her campaign signs allegedly by out-of-staters.

    The Republican yapping in Massachusetts has been shipped in from out-of-state. The GOP is pouring in a ton of money and resources from everywhere into Massachusetts. The GOP ignored Scott Brown, suddenly they “love him, despite the allegations of Brown’s people stealing Martha Coakley’s signs, his use of the “F” word to high school students in 2007 (and calling those students out by name).

    He’s a selfish man who would love to thwart good policies. In fact, he’s not running on anything substantial or “new”.

    The “Grand Old Party” emphasizes old. Scott Brown is the same old same old.

    It would be refreshing to find a Republican candidate to vote for, but you see what happens to a good man like Colin Powell, they make him lie to the U.N. and then feed him to the wolves. The Republican Party is a mess today and not worthy of anyone’s vote.

    Joe Kennedy, the independent, had the best ideas but since he stopped campaigning hard he doesn’t deserve consideration. It leaves us with Martha Coakley, a flawed candidate who is far superior to the incompetent Scott Brown.

    Which is what amazes me about the Conservatives around here (and around America). They know Scott Brown is just a pretty face in an empty suit but they want someone, anyone to block the president’s agenda. There is a bit of racism inside that mission as well. Scott Brown isn’t just a bad candidate, he’s an awful candidate whose family values are sadly lacking.

    People voting for Brown haven’t thought it out. It’s a knee-jerk vote. People voting for Coakley are going to hold her feet to the fire and she knows it. If anything, Scott Brown has helped us put Martha in a position where she will have to work for the people. For that we must thank you. It will be Senator Coakley and she will be more open to listening after this experience.

  39. MARK says:

    OK, you rightwing-nuts, you don’t want healthcare? you want Brown to win? you want to save 200 dollars in taxes and die of cancer because you can’t afford the drugs (which easily cost $1000 a shot)? be my guest, we have universal healthcare in massachusetts, you teaparty rednecks can die “free” and stupid, as far as I’m concerned….

  40. David says:

    As a retired Army citizen I fully support Scott Brown’s position on national defense and to not take over national healthcare — thanks,


  41. DavidA says:

    Broadcast News aka socialist news media! Republicans don’t use democrat ACORN tactics, Community Organizers do! Do you know any community organizers besides Obama? Drop your fake “news” disquise!

  42. Barryob says:

    50.8 is 23% higher than 41.2, not 9.6% as the headline suggests.

  43. michael p says:

    Go Scott!!! The people of Illinois are pulling for you. The “shot heard around the world” will be fired tomorrow!!

  44. Bobby says:

    the white people in Mass think that Obama a man who staunchly defended REV Wright a black nationalist racist that hates the USA for twenty years likes them lol funny

  45. lynn says:

    “great concern about this election being stolen”

    ME TOO! I hope ACORN is disabled and nonfunctioning at this election!

  46. Riiight says:

    “Broadcast News” is concerned the Republicans will steal the election?? What a joke. You obviously have no clue how the Democrats are more than willing to engage in voter fraud when it suits them. Obama won the primaries thanks to ACORN shipping in Obama voters from out of state to the caucus states. See:

    So, “pot and kettle”…after accusing Republicans of voter fraud, you resort to the tired charge of “racism.” Riiiight. And I’m sure you’re leading the charge calling for Reid’s resignation over his racist comments. Oh wait? You’re not? That’s right. Things like voter fraud and racism are only “bad” if people who aren’t Democrats do it.

    I’m not a Republican, by the way. But I hope Brown wins. I don’t want this health care bill to pass. I could care less about Brown’s other positions. The bill must be stopped. Even progressives are against the health care bill (go check out the positions against it at the liberal site

    You are completely out of touch if you don’t realize that the main thing pushing Brown to be neck-in-neck with Coakley is that horrible health care bill. If Obama had focused his first year on jobs, instead of pushing legislation down our throats, Coakley wouldn’t be in such peril. But go ahead, blame it on the “evil” Republicans. When are you far left Democrats going to wake up and realize BOTH parties suck? I just want some gridlock back in Congress so it’s not as easy for Congress to do major damage, that’s all.

  47. james v. says:

    Hopefully the back lash against communism in our govt. has begun.
    Do we really want or need a muslim/communist style govt>?
    I hope not, how about you?

  48. Karma??? says:

    Where is the Messiah? Barry Obama and his thugs are hitting reality! The country is showing the Dems what a mistake it was to elect a never-worked-in-his-life-community-organizer with no executive experience to lead the #1 Nation in the world! Bye Bye Barry… go back to Chicago so that Michelle can work and support you like before!

  49. Jeff in Tennessee says:

    Many Thanks to the good voters in Massachusetts and their leadership. The democrats in Washington with bribery, vote buying and corruption over this health care bill is disgraceful and an insult to our beliefs as Americans.

    If Brown is elected it will save BILLIONS in tax dollars needed to unwind policies. If Massachusetts can develop health care solutions for their state and Tennesseans with Tenncare then so can the rest of the country. The federal government will just take our tax dollars skim off the top and send what’s remaining to the states.

    Thank You Massachusetts!

  50. Steve says:

    One of the first things I heard from Scott Brown was that the senate seat did not belong to a politician but rather it belonged to the people. Massachusett’s and the country need level headed conservative thinking. Don’t for one minute think that Coakley will vote as the people want her to, she will vote the way her Dem partners do.

  51. Rick says:

    Broadcast news says “Brown is a pretty face in an empty suit”
    They really should referring to mr Teloprompter – the slow thinking Obama who gets lost when something happens to his little screen.
    Scott Brown is quick on his feet in debates and interviews , Coakley is a fool and an uninformed one at that

  52. The People says:

    This is not the Kennedy seat nor the democrat seat. This is the people’s seat. Let’s give the boot to the status quo and let’s elect Scott Brown.

  53. Terrab says:

    Yes Jesus would weep for those that need aid but he would never force that aid to be given.
    JuntaCo says:
    Brown only knows how to drive a truck and take off his clothes, but you are so afraid of change you will do anything to derail what the people by virtue of 60% of the Senate clearly want.

    Vote for what Ted would want, Healthcare for all, suffering and bankruptcy for on one who gets terminally ill…

    Jesus would weep for the idea of withholding the compassion of health-care from anyone.

  54. georgia says:

    Though I am disappointed in Scott Brown’s position on abortion I hope he wins this election. I am worried about the legitimacy of the election results. Democrats have proven to be experts at cheating and fabricating votes if that’s what it takes to win, i.e. Al Franken.

  55. HorizonScanner says:

    ZeroKing, Coakley, the DemKrats, the Aliskians, the Soros “Spectre” Org, intend to FORCE you “Republicans” or whatever you call yourselves into SERVITUDE! You will submit, serfs! Gag on the Medical Tyranny Bill and DIE! Hail, ZeroKing!

  56. jadeona says:

    Massachusetts will save the country….Go Scott Brown

  57. jadeona says:

    For the first time in my adult life I am proud to be a Massachusetts resident…GO SCOTT BROWN….ACORN WONT STEAL THIS ELECTION LIKE THEY DID IN MN

  58. Jim says:

    I haven’t seen this much enthusiasm for a candidate since JFK was running!

  59. Justin says:

    I don’t believe these polls. I think a lot of it is HYPE. Brown had to bring in people from all over the US to make it look like crowds. (I wonder where they picked up on that idea. Oh well). Did you hear the people being interviewed in No. Andover as to why they would be voting for him? That’s right UH, UH…they really didn’t have an answer. I was embarassed for them.

    Anyone with Intelligence will vote for MARTHA COAKLEY because of what she stands for:
    Integrity, Character and Moral Fiber. She will fight for Massachusetts and help Rebuild America. Don’t fall for the Republicans who will drag us lower.

  60. Joe Schmo says:

    “Rick says:
    I am being forced to move to Mass next month , the place sucks , high taxes , high cost of living -probably because of all the corrupt Government
    I wish I could vote for Brown and start to change the state.”

    for what, a JOB? or EDUCATION?

    either way, it’s pretty ironic that you’re bitching about the state that you’re being “forced” to move to.

  61. carol ruplenas says:

    Let’s temper all. Yes people came from out of state but it was not a RNC incentive. As seen here, people wanted to support what he stood for. HOWEVER, let’s not have expectations that are too high as November voters had for Obama.

    There is a mere difference of philosophy of governing and health care in this country. Let’s listen to each other now that there is more of a balance of power.

    PS Martha didn’t do this. She portrayed Brown as an barrier to women’s choice. He is pro-choice but respects the rights of medical personell to follow their personal convictions.

    Let’s all be fair about these people.

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