POLLS

Republican Leads MA Senate Race

Martha Coakley's election as the next senator of Massachusetts seemed a foregone conclusion after she won the Democratic primary in the deep blue state, but a surging campaign by Republican Scott Brown may instead pull out the biggest political upset in years. The latest poll by Suffolk University shows Brown up by 4 points, an astounding turnaround for a candidate who only weeks ago was behind by well over 20 points. Should Brown win, he could derail health care legislation by preventing Democrats from breaking a filibuster. Coakley's critics on the Democratic side say she has run a lackluster campaign as the frontrunner, leaving space for Brown to make headway with attention-getting ads like one that featured old footage of John F. Kennedy calling for tax breaks. Brown's candidacy has excited conservatives around the country, leading to millions in donations in the final days, while fundraising appeals from Ted Kennedy's widow, Vicki Kennedy, and a video from President Obama have helped raise large amounts for Coakley as Democrats move into panic mode.