Chris Matthews Worried There Aren't Any Votes for Democrats to Buy in Massachusetts Tuesday
Things are looking so bad for Democrats in Tuesday's special election for the Senate seat vacated by Ted Kennedy that MSNBC's Chris Matthews is concerned there aren't any left-leaning votes for his Party to buy.
"You know in the old days...if the Democrats faced this kind of a disaster in the works, you`d go back to your ones, the people you were sure are going to vote Democrat, and you`d make sure they got to the polling place," Matthews told NBC's Chuck Todd on Friday's "Hardball."
"You`d get them lunch, you`d get them a car. You`d make sure they got there, and in some cases you`d be buying people to get them," he continued. "But I hear talking to somebody today there aren`t people up there in Massachusetts like that anymore" (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t NBer shannon76):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: What struck me are a couple of numbers in the Suffolk poll. First of all the Suffolk University poll has it 50-46 for Brown, pollster.com`s trendlines have crossed on Brown`s favor. I talked about it the other day and people questioned that but it looked like it was headed that way, clearly it`s headed now towards Brown`s direction.
Two national implications I wanted you to talk to, one is the independents. Based on the Suffolk poll I read late last night it shows independents breaking heavily for the Republican candidate.
CHUCK TODD, NBC: Right.
MATTHEWS: That seems to be a national situation you`re facing now if you`re Democrat.
TODD: We`ve seen this in our own national polling, that`s where the president`s approval rating has eroded the most. We saw it in Virginia; we saw it in New Jersey. There`s plenty of anecdotal evidence it`s the middle, it`s independents that are moving away from Democrats right now and frankly moving away from all incumbents.
And again Brown`s been able to grab the outsider mantle and we`ve seen this pattern, the outsider candidates have had a better shot in all of these races that we`ve seen and there`s not been a lot but boy to be anti- Washington right now, to be anti-incumbent is a big deal even in supposed deep blue Massachusetts.
And I thought, Chris, the national implications for this, I mean, on the last day of the president`s first year in office to lose your 60th senate seat and it`s Ted Kennedy`s senate seat, the health care senate seat. You don`t want to say it`s crippling to the president`s agenda but it certainly hobbles him and boy does it make him look politically a lot weaker on the first day of his second year than he was any day in his first year in office.
MATTHEWS: Ok. A lot of other people out there where that would take (INAUDIBLE) word in Pennsylvania, Russ Feingold, Patty Murray, the whole bunch of them have imbibed him. But here`s the question. If the polling`s right up there and you and I are students of this -- if the polling`s right and 99 percent of people have made up their minds in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, isn`t the president risking an awful lot going up there and asking people who`ve already made up their minds to change their minds just because he shows up on Sunday?
TODD: Well, this is about energizing and getting Democrats out. He`s not talking to swing voters on Sunday. This is about talking to voters who approve of him, who are favorable to him.
Look Coakley has run a dreadful campaign. There`s no part of her campaign that anybody would say is a model. I had one Democrat say that Martha Coakley`s campaign is so bad it makes Creigh Deeds look like the Obama campaign and obviously whenever Democrats...
MATTHEWS: Has she campaigned at all. Has she gone out and walked up and down the triple-deckers? Has she gone door-to-door?
TODD: In the last two weeks, yes, but she took off about a month, and look, everybody did it. People in Washington, I mean this is, everybody`s going to blame Coakley that she wanted to coast, and everybody was whispering in her ear once you won the primary you`re the virtual senator, you`re the senator-elect, you might as well start thinking that way.
And you know the Republicans didn`t and this guy Brown, he`s not a neophyte. This has been a candidate the Republicans have identified for the last few years in Massachusetts, wanted to get him to run for Congress, believed he was a rising star so when the spotlight got turned on, he performed and she`s turned out, you know, across between sort of a technocrat a little bit, I think doesn`t seem to have this automatic warmth, hasn`t been able to connect and now they`re grasping for messages. Today it`s all about Wall Street and the bank fee, just shows you they never had a consistent message about why not Brown. Elections are about choices. They`re not always just a referendum on one party or the other.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: You know in the old days, maybe I shouldn`t be harkening back to the old days, if the Democrats faced this kind of a disaster in the works, you`d go back to your ones, the people you were sure are going to vote Democrat, and you`d make sure they got to the polling place, you`d get them lunch, you`d get them a car.
MATTHEWS: You`d make sure they got there and in some cases you`d be buying people to get them, not officially buying them, but getting them there as block secretaries, as block captains, you`d be getting them there with street money, legitimate but it`s a little bit old school.
MATTHEWS: But I hear talking to somebody today there aren`t people up there in Massachusetts like that anymore. There aren`t those automatic Democrat votes, those ones anymore. You can`t count on anybody. You go to the regulars and they say well, I`m ticked off about taxes, too. Is that right?
TODD: No. It is and it doesn`t help that Coakley didn`t have a great relationship with sort of the Democratic hierarchy there in Massachusetts, so all of a sudden she`s in panic mode and everybody`s going uh-huh, but we`ll see. You`re right, Chris, it isn`t the old machine that`s up there.
MATTHEWS: Well the street corner guys are probably getting called on a bit too late perhaps. We`ll see. It could be very close. Thank you, Chuck Todd. It`s a great to have a pro.
Yes, it sure is too bad there aren't any votes for Democrats to buy this time.
My heart bleeds -- how about yours?