High Turnout For MA's Special Election

There appears to be a high turnout for MA's special election which possibly could be good news for the bumbling Martha Coakley.

A reader brings us up to speed after the jump ...

By noon, more than 55,000 voters cast their ballots in Boston - up from an estimate of 24,000 during the December primary. That puts Boston on pace to produce more than 150,000 votes. In raw votes, if this keeps up, that'll be slightly more than the 2002 or 2006 state elections, but well below presidential years. (The surge in enrollments in '08 means that a slight increase in the number of voters would still be a significantly lower percentage.)

It's also above the election eve forecasts. The Secretary of State predicated roughly double the December turnout - so far, Boston is actually up 130%. And with lines discouraging voters at some precincts and a snowy morning, coupled with much more intensive GOTV efforts, there are some indications that turnout may actually tilt toward the afternoon.

It's too soon for optimism. Turnout had to exceed projections for Coakley to have any chance. Well, it has - so she's still in the running. But we're going to need more numbers before we can guess whether she'll pull it out.

I would stress the readers caveat that this is really nothing for Dems to get too excited about. What it does suggest is that the kind of big turnout Coakley would need to pull this off seems to be happening. Solid turnout is a necessary but by no means sufficient condition.

mcjoan finds that the local media sees the same thing.

Local media is sounding the same theme. Depsite the bad weather, folks are voting.

From WBZ-TV in Boston:

In contrast to the light turnout for the party primaries last month, there are already signs of a heavy turnout. In the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's district in Barnstable, they're estimating a 60-percent turnout by the end of the day.

For you Bay-staters, what are you seeing on the ground? And for the rest of you, have you made your calls? Polls are open for several more hours. Keep on pushing.

Race tracker wiki: MA-Sen

Usually turnout is very small for special elections and state primary elections, but if Coakley has any chance to win it if the polls are correct is by a bigger than normal turnout. We'll see.


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