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Coakley losing it in Massachusetts, Dems in panic mode

January 15, 2010 |  7:06 am

The political shocker of the day is that Scott Brown, a Republican state senator from Wrentham, Mass., is leading Democratic Atty. Gen. Martha Coakley in the race to succeed Ted Kennedy.

Fueled by tea party anger over the Obama administration's policies on healthcare overhaul and federal spending, Brown is now leading by 50% - 46%, according to a poll by Suffolk University/7News.

“It’s a Brown-out,” said pollster David Paleologos, director of Suffolk’s Political Research Center. “It’s a massive change in the political landscape.”

One early signal that the poll might be accurate is that Brown raised $1.3 million on the day of his debate with Coakley, far more than the $750,000 he had planned.

With the election Tuesday, Democrats are marshaling money and personnel toward the race -- if only because Coakley represents the 60th Senate vote for healthcare. Democrats are so worried they have cooked up a Plan B for healthcare -- if Brown gets sworn in, the House would just attempt to pass the Senate version of healthcare without any changes.

You could tell Coakley was losing it the other day when she derided her opponent by disdaining the most sacred of Boston icons -- the Red Sox. Criticized for taking a vacation during the campaign, Coakley defended herself and dissed Brown for an ad showing him shaking hands with voters at Fenway Park. “As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?” Coakley was quoted saying.

-- Johanna Neuman

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