Despite an internal poll joining a Boston Globe poll showing Martha Coakley with a solid lead, national Democrats are not taking chances with next Tuesday's special election in Massachusetts.
According to Politico,
The survey, conducted by longtime Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, has Democrat Coakley, the state attorney general, leading state Republican Sen. Scott Brown 50 percent to 36 percent.
The data also reveal why some Democrats are urging Coakley to get more aggressive with Brown. The Republican nominee is viewed favorably by 48 percent of voters and unfavorably by just 25 percent, a reflection of not only how little known he is to voters but also the degree to which Democrats have not gone after him. By contrast, the better-known Coakley is viewed favorably by 56 percent of voters and unfavorably by 33 percent. According to the poll, there is also more enthusiasm for Brown than for Coakley.
Coakley's lead is an excellent sign, but once again we see the enthusiasm in the race coming from Republicans, not Democrats. That, and Brown's low unfavorables, need to change.
Also remember that internal polls are often very accurate, but they always have to be taken with the caveat that they're only released if they contain good news. Without knowing what other internal polls have shown, we don't know where this stacks up.
What we do know is that the Democratic party is clearly taking this race extremely seriously at this point. Bill Clinton will be stumping for Coakley at the end of the week. The DNC has dispatched national press secretary Hari Sevugan to Massachusetts. OFA has been directing phone calls into the state. And Coakley has been the beneficiary of email appeals from everyone from MoveOn to John Kerry.
Putting too much effort into the race could lead to moving Coakley from a win to a strong win. Putting too little effort into the race could lead to Senator Scott Brown. Choice looks clear to me.