Brown vs. Bored
When Attorney General Martha Coakley won the Massachusetts Democratic primary election for the seat held by the late Senator Ted Kennedy on December 8, 2009 by nineteen percentage points over Mike Capuano, her nearest rival, she and her supporters assumed the general election would be a cakewalk. This is understandable because the combined tallies of Scott Brown and Jack Robinson, the only two Republicans running for the seat, didn’t equal the votes amassed by Mike Capuano.
After Scott Brown won the Republican primary, Martha Coakley and her strategists assumed that, in heavily Democratic Massachusetts where Ted Kennedy had held his seat for almost half a century, the general election was in the bag. In fact, she became so low-key some thought she was bored with the campaign and cynically described the race as Brown vs. Bored.
An example of how little effort went into the Coakley campaign is found in the following statistics: In the general election Scott Brown’s campaign went out and found 7.18 times more supporters than the 162,706 who voted for Republican candidates in primary while Martha Coakley’s campaign could only acquire 1.59 times as many as the 664,795 who voted for the four Democrats in the primary.
Given those statistics, is this a national trend or was it a case of Brown vs. Bored in Massachusetts–until it was too late?