Cook Report Throws Up Its Hands

The election predictor calls the Senate race a ‘toss up.’

Morale will be good tonight at the Gabriel Gomez campaign; the highly respected Cook Political Report has just changed its rating on the Massachusetts US Senate race from “Lean Democrat” to “Toss Up.”

The explanation is a little less rosey. “In truth, we have had a difficult time accepting the idea that this race might get close,” writes Cook’s Jennifer Duffy, who made the call. “None of the circumstances that existed in early 2010 that paved the way for the upset that then-GOP state Sen. Scott Brown pulled over Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley are present.”

But clearly Cook had to take notice of the fact that with all the inherent advantages — and a four-to-one TV advertising advantage, according to a report it cites — Ed Markey has yet to pull away in polls with less than four weeks to go.

“We just see a polling trend that suggests it’s a single-digit race, and that’s our criteria,” Duffy tells me.

The Cook analysis itself still paints a pretty good picture for Markey, but the rating move could actually help Gomez close the gap. His campaign will undoubtedly use the news (without the more pessimistic details) to try to persuade more national Republican donors and organizations that the race is realistically winnable. If they buy it, they will put more resources behind Gomez, which just might help him get some real traction against Markey.

  • Rob F.

    How can Markey “pull away” in polls when we haven’t seen a poll come out in over two weeks?

  • k_j_usch

    Ugh. “That’s our criteria.” The singular is criterion.

  • Fred Grosso

    If Gomer Gomez wins anything we lose. Media coverage of political campaigns is so foolish it is an insult to voters. Tell us where these guys stand on the issues. Do you know what the issues are? Give us information we can use. We do not need to be drawn into a silly time contest. Maybe you should spend sometime watching TV and reading newspapers with me. You could learn something of value. Skip this B.S.