This post will be updated throughout the day and evening. Newer updates will be at the top of the post.
Update 15 – 9:25 PM: He did it!
Update 14 – 9:17 PM: The Boston Globe is reporting that Coakley has already called Brown to concede the race. Their source was the Brown campaign, FWIW.
Update 13 – 9:12 PM: Upset in the making? With 65% reporting, Brown’s up by 90K votes. I’m hearing word that some news outlets have already called this thing for Brown, but I can’t confirm just yet.
Update 12 – 8:54 PM: Larry Sabato: “It is already obvious that Scott Brown will win the Senate seat in MA. ”
Update 11 – 8:47 PM: Twitter is buzzing like crazy with grain of salt positive news about tonight’s results. So far, Brown is in the lead and is winning some areas won by Obama in 2008. Latest full results here. Democrat blame games are already starting.
Update 10 – 8:11 PM: Here’s a better link for election night results. Plus, some of those promised Rasmussen numbers, via Jim Geraghty: “22% of Democrats voted for Brown.” Grain of salt. Grain of salt.
Full Rasmussen report here.
HubPolitics also has excellent detailed coverage of the election results here.
Update 9 – 8:00 PM: The polls are now closed in MA. The nailbiting begins! Here’s the livestream from Scott Brown’s party in MA. Don’t forget to refresh this link often for returns as they come in. Trying to find a better link as I’m not seeing a direct link on that page – just yet.
Update 8 – 7:43 PM: The MA SOS (a Democrat) looked into the Coakley campaign’s allegations of voter fraud and found that they came up short. Way short.
Update 7 – 7:27 PM: Mark Steyn documents some classic Scott Brown quotes. My favorite: “The leader of the free world is talking about my truck.” Steyn’s take on the remark: ” Bullseye. It underlines the David-vs-Goliath nature of the race, and also reminds you that, by having to intervene to prop up his flailing candidate, the President of the United States demeaned himself.”
Update 6 – 7:15 PM: Polls close in MA in 45 minutes. Pollster Scott Rasmussen has been conducting some election day polls, and will release the numbers shortly after 8 ET.
The Scott Brown campaign has responded forcefully to the Coakley campaign’s allegations of vote fraud – and they didn’t mince words:
“Reports that the Coakley campaign is making reckless accusations regarding the integrity of today’s election is a reminder that they are a desperate campaign. In fact, news reports point out that today’s accusation was a pre-dated, in the bag political attack. Furthermore, Senator John Kerry accused Brown supporters of intimidation and bullying — a tactic taken directly from his own 2004 playbook. The reality is that Massachusetts voters will determine the outcome of this election despite political attacks leveled by Martha Coakley and national Democrats.” — Daniel B. Winslow, Counsel for the Scott Brown for U.S. Senate Campaign
In 2004, Kerry’s Campaign Team Sent A Guidebook To Their Colorado Staff Telling Them To Launch A “Pre-Emptive Strike” If “No Signs Of Intimidation Techniques” Are Reported. “If no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a ‘pre-emptive strike’ (particularly well-suited to states in which there techniques have been tried in the past).
Update 5 – 6:58 PM: “Election Department Chairwoman Geraldine Cuddyer predicted turnout could be has high as 20 percent to 30 percent and possibly rival November’s mayoral election, when a little more than 31 percent of the city’s voters cast ballots to send Mayor Thomas M. Menino to a historic fifth term.” – Boston Globe
Update 4 – 6:46 PM: Good grief. Chris Matthews is declaring that vote for Scott Brown is like “premeditated murder for healthcarm.” Read the relevant part of the transcript here.
Update 3 – 6:32 PM: CNN’s Political Ticker reports that MA Sec. of State William Galvin said in an interview that the decision to seat tonight’s winner ultimately rests in the hands of the US Senate:
(CNN) – Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin, a Democrat, told CNN Tuesday that the decision to seat the winner of his state’s closely watched special election ultimately rests with the United States Senate.
“The United States Senate is the judge of the qualifications of its own members,” Galvin told CNN’s Rick Sanchez. “In other words, they get to decide who is seated and when. ”
Sen. Paul Kirk, who was appointed by the state’s governor to be the interim replacement for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, will serve until the Senate decides to swear in either Martha Coakley, a Democrat, or Scott Brown, a Republican.
“Senator Kirk will serve until his successor has qualified, that means sworn in,” Galvin said.
Though the ultimate decision rests with the Senate, Galvin also said Tuesday that if the results of Tuesday’s voting are decisive, he will announce those unofficial results as soon as he can.
“A decisive result would be one that would be beyond the margin for a recount, which would be one half of one percent,” Gavin said. “I would also want to make sure that it was outside the margin of uncounted absentee ballots.”
Galvin said he is obligated under federal law to make sure that overseas absentee ballots from U.S. service members are counted. “If they could affect the outcome, then you could not issue such a letter” declaring a winner based on unofficial results, he said. Federal law requires 10 days after election day to wait for overseas absentee ballots, Galvin explained.
Wonder what MA law says about counting the dead vote?
Read the rest, and watch the video, here.
Update 2 – 6:20 PM: Whew! I couldn’t get home fast enough today. So eager to catch up on what’s going on!
I’ve heard that there will be no exit polling numbers before the polls close tonight at 8 because, uh, well the pollsters didn’t think this was going to be a close one so they didn’t prepare for it.
Also, the Coakley campaign is alleging that some voters have been given ballots that were “pre-marked” for Scott Brown. Only problem is, the date on their press release was yesterday. They wouldn’t be trying to stir the pot any, hmm?
Update 1 – 12:51 PM: Still hearing reports of high turnout all over the state.
WS’s John McCormack, the guy who a Coakley thug tackled after he tried to ask her some tough questions, has a “what to look for tonight” report from the Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman:
1) Western Mass – Coakley needs a huge margin out of what I call the “Rachel Maddow Belt” – the Berkshires, where she has roots, and the Pioneer Valley. She probably needs a 5,000 vote lead out of Amherst and high turnout in places like Springfield, Pittsfield, and Northampton.
2) The I-495 Ring – This is Brown’s bread and butter, and he needs to rack up big leads in towns like Haverhill, Dracut, Marlborough, and his home area near Wrentham and Foxborough. These are the places where Mitt Romney broke through to win the governorship in 2002.
3) The Cape and Southeastern Mass – The Kennedy belt. Barnstable and Plymouth Counties are presumably the places where Kennedy’s memory ought to rescue Coakley in the eleventh hour. Brown will probably narrowly win the TOWNS of Plymouth and Barnstable, which are usually bellwethers. If Coakley carries either, she will probably be on her way to winning statewide. If Brown wins both with more than 55%, watch out.
4) The 8th CD – The heart of liberal Massachusetts needs to come out in a big way for Coakley if she is to have a shot. Cambridge should turn out dependably, but will the Boston machine crank out votes at the same rate as other places in the state? Will Capuano’s voters be as enthusiastic about this race after they didn’t get their man?
Read the rest at the WS link, and bookmark this one to watch results as they come in after polls close at 8 ET.
The polls are open in MA and reports from multiple sources are saying that turnout is better than normal for a special election, in spite of light snow falling in some areas. This one, as we all know, could be a game changer for Democrats in the Senate on the healthcare issue, in spite of their many threats to the contrary. I’ve got a bit of a hectic morning ahead of me, but will check in when I can with updates. In the meantime, make sure to post any tidbits of info you find on what’s happening on the ground in MA in the comments section, and if you’re an MA voter, let us know what you’re seeing.
William Jacobson, who has been a blogging machine on the Brown/Coakley Senate race, will be liveblogging the election throughout the day and has “boots on the ground” that will provide reports and pix on what could be an historic day in MA. Also, if you use Twitter, make sure to look up the Twitter name @ScottBrownMA and hashtag #masen often for updates. Twitter was off the rails last night with news tidbits and words of support and encouragement going into today’s election.