Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

As Brown Edges Ahead in Poll, Bill Clinton Stumps for Coakley

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

As Brown Edges Ahead in Poll, Bill Clinton Stumps for Coakley

Article excerpt

Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown are bringing in their parties' stars as they battle to win Ted Kennedy's Senate seat in a Jan. 19 special election. Bill Clinton is stumping for Coakley in Massachusetts Friday.

Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) and state Sen. Scott Brown (R) are pulling out the big guns as the race to replace Sen. Edward Kennedy in the US Senate heads into the final stretch.

Former Democratic President Clinton and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani are both in Massachusetts Friday to campaign for their party's candidate in the Jan. 19 special election.

A new poll released late Thursday found Mr. Brown had pulled ahead of Ms. Coakley, who was thought to be safe for the seat early in the race. The Suffolk University/7News poll found 50 percent of likely voters now support Brown, compared with 46 for Coakley.

Just 3 percent of voters said they'd vote for independent candidate Joseph Kennedy (no relation to the late senator), and only 1 percent were undecided.

Whoever wins on Tuesday could be in sworn into the Senate in time to vote on the final version of the healthcare reform bill. A Coakley win - she has pledged to support the bill - would maintain Democrats' 60-vote majority enabling them to override a Republican filibuster. But if Mr. Brown wins, he has vowed to be the 41st vote needed to defeat the bill.

That means both parties are willing to do what it takes to ensure victory for their candidate.

Mr. Clinton, who will attend two events with Coakley on Friday, is much loved in Massachusetts and has "a magical ability to motivate voters here," says Charles Stewart, a political scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. He notes that Clinton has always had success fundraising in the state over the years.

Compared with Clinton, Mayor Giuliani may not seem to bring much star power for Brown.

But he's the "one A-list Republican who has credibility with Massachusetts voters," says Mr. …

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