MA Senate: Still Too Close to Call

January 15, 2010 · 3:00 PM EST

With a long holiday weekend fast approaching, smart political insiders from both sides of the aisle agree on one thing: the Massachusetts Senate special election could go either way.

Democratic attacks on Republican nominee Scott Brown have worked to some extent, driving up the GOP state Senator’s negatives. But while their efforts may have stopped the hemorrhaging, the race is simply too tight for either side to feel comfortable. In fact, Republicans who are watching the race closely continue to be extremely optimistic – but nervous – about Brown’s chances.

Democratic strategists are banking on President Obama driving Democratic turnout when voters go to the polls early next week, hoping that his appearance in the Bay State on Sunday will increase the percentage of Democrats who turn out on Tuesday but also increasing the share of the Democratic vote that Coakley draws.

“While everyone is predicting a miserable turnout on Tuesday, our job is to make it less miserable,” one Democrat told me recently.

GOP insiders, on the other hand, are banking on a strong showing for Brown among Independent voters, who seem ready to register their dissatisfaction with the direction of the country and one-party control of Washington, D.C.