Dems Should Worry About Kennedy Seat
Democrat Coakley will probably win, but it's not a given
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2010 12:17 PM CST
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
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(Newser) – A new Rasmussen poll says the special election to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat is surprisingly close: It has Democrat Martha Coakley leading Republican Scott Brown 50-41 ahead of the Jan. 19 vote. Nate Silver thinks the poll is flawed and figures Coakley's lead is probably closer to 15 points. But given the notorious unpredictability of special elections and the enormous consequences at stake, he warns that Democrats should still be worried.

"If I were either party and my internal polling showed a 15-point margin, I'd still be thinking about putting some money into this race," Silver writes at FiveThirtyEight.com. He puts Brown's chance of victory at only 3% to 5%. "But considering how consequential that 5% could be—the probable collapse of health care reform—it's something worth hedging against if you're the Democrats, or taking a flier on if you're the GOP."