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MA-Sen Poll Shows Brown In Front, Bank Fee Issue Starting To Play

The Suffolk University poll for the Boston Herald is a shocker – Scott Brown, the Republican, is four points ahead of Martha Coakley in the Senate race to replace Ted Kennedy. That’s within the margin of error, and Suffolk isn’t the best pollster in America, but if you add up all the polls it’s basically a dead heat.

The Coakley campaign has been handed a gift, however, one I noted last night. She got Brown to bite on the bank fee trap. And Democrats are trying to make that stick.

In coming out against the big-bank tax, Brown joins the ranks of other conservatives including Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele. But it may be dangerous political terrain. In the minutes after Brown’s position went public, the Democratic Party machinery trumpeted it as a revelation of his proximity to both the financial industry and the far right. A strategist working on the race emailed the Huffington Post with the following synopsis:

This is significant marker… this is Brown giving up the populist ground that was fueling his campaign. It also undermines his central argument that he’s not a lockstep Republican who will put Wall Street ahead of middle class families. Look for us to highlight and make him pay the price for this choice [Friday].

To the extent that Coakley has shown any passion in her Senate race, it’s for cracking down on Wall Street bankers. So she’s positioned to play this up. We’ll see if she can.

Meanwhile, on behalf of America I’d like to thank Harold Ford for coming out against the bank fee:

On Friday morning, potential New York Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford raised reservations about it. Playing to the financial-industry crowd that holds major sway inside the Empire State, the former Tennessean told the crew at MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he did think “revenue has to be raised.”

“But I’m concerned about the effect it will have on New York,” he added. “Not just bankers but those who support this industry here, those who benefit form it. You heard both the mayor and governor state that no harm should be done. And I would ask both of the senators, Senator [Chuck] Schumer and [Kirsten] Gillibrand as they move forward, to ensure whatever is passed, whatever you vote yes for, that it do no harm to the city of New York and state of New York.”

It’s really quite incredible to see the greedheads create a sock-puppet who actually goes out in public, at a time when the banks have received trillions of dollars in implicit and explicit government support, and essentially demands more.

UPDATE: Coakley has released a statement. Expect it to be a major part of her stump speech from now to the election:

“This is a defining difference between us that every voter should consider before Tuesday,” said Coakley. “I choose to stand with the middle class taxpayers who deserve to get their money back from the big banks that caused the economic crisis and are now lavishing bonuses on failed executives. Scott Brown is standing with Wall Street CEOs.

As Attorney General, I’ve stood up to Wall Street and recovered millions of dollars back for taxpayers. If you elect me as Senator, I’ll continue to fight for you.”

In addition, the Vicki Kennedy ad is up (“It’s not the Kennedy seat, it’s the people’s seat”):

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David Dayen

David Dayen