Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Special Report' Panel on Impending Massachusetts Election

This is a rush transcript of "Special Report With Bret Baier" from January 18, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


MARTHA COAKLEY, DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR U.S. SENATE: I think the president has come here because he knows that I'm going to win tomorrow and he is trying to get that message out.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I would think long and hard about getting in that truck with Martha's opponent.


It might not take you where you want to go.

Look, forget the ads, everybody can run slick ads. Forget the truck. Everybody can buy a truck.


SCOTT BROWN, REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR U.S. SENATE: We have some very serious economic problems where people are hurting. Unfortunately, because of some of the policies that are happening in Washington, people can't afford to buy trucks.


BRET BAIER, HOST: The sights and sounds there of the Massachusetts Senate race for the special election. And this comes on a day when we have five new polls released. Of the five polls here, and there you can see them all, there is one poll that is tied, one has a spread of ten points for the Republican Scott brown. The average of the five polls, however, 51 percent for Brown, Coakley at 44.8 percent.

Remember, this is a special election for a seat that no one thought could be anything but a Democrat's this year.

Where are we now? Let's bring in our panel. Steve Hayes, senior writer for the Weekly Standard, we welcome Susan Milligan, she is the national political correspondent for The Boston Globe, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer.

Susan, welcome to the panel.


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BAIER: Let's start with you. What about these polls and the situation for Martha Coakley?

MILLIGAN: I think the situation for Martha Coakley is pretty dire. People in Massachusetts are frustrated and angry. Conservatives are very angry. Liberals and a lot of the young voters are dispirited, they don't like the way things have been going. They wanted to see more progress in Washington, and she has to turn those people out.

I think if she gets them turned out she can pull this out, but she is in real trouble here.

BAIER: Charles, this race?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: The empirical evidence, all the polls are pointing towards the Republican success here. Secondly, the anecdotal evidence, the lawn signs, the bumper stickers, enthusiasm of the crowds that there is a huge difference in intensity.

However, it is Massachusetts. It is a state that this Kennedy seat has been in the family since 1952. And also remember, in the one national race in November, New York, 2003, there was a conservative who came out of nowhere who was ahead in the polls up by five on Election Day, Doug Hoffman, and he lost by four in the actual elections.

So the reason that it's extremely hard to model with the computer the turnout in a special election, particularly an off year. Off year election, and particularly one, as scrambled and crazy as this one in which a president arrives two days before and in which it is basically the president of the United States up against Curt Schilling — hope and change against the bloody sock. It's hard to predict.

BAIER: Yes. You mentioned Curt Schilling. A lot of people are saying health care reform obviously is at the basis of this race. However, this candidate, Martha Coakley, analysts on both sides of the aisle say she has not exactly been a great candidate. You mentioned Curt Schilling. Take a look at this little exchange.


COAKLEY: If we weren't so close Rudy Giuliani wouldn't have come either. And besides, he's a Yankee fan, I just want people to know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scott Brown is Curt Schilling, OK.

COAKLEY: And another Yankee fan.