The White House says that President Obama will campaign for Martha Coakley in Massachusetts on Sunday afternoon. Why?
(1) The White House has decided to OWN the race in Massachusetts, despite faulting Coakley for running a sleeper of a campaign since the primary.
(2) Why hasn't the NRSC or the RNC put money into the race? Because Republicans in Washington are unpopular, and Republican Scott Brown has asked them to stay out. (The GOP is coordinating message efforts on a national level and asking other candidates to get involved.)
(3) Coakley needs help turning out Obama Democrats...Democrats who SUPPORT health care reform.
(4) For Democrats, the race needs a...sorry...Game Changer...that shifts attention away from the daily drib-drab and Coakley's unforced errors...and Democrats need to understand the stakes. Health care reform hangs in the balance... that's not an exaggeration. If Democrats try to delay Brown's seating by ten days, the blowback will be fierce.
(5) The decision was made in light of external press coverage and polling. (Coakley's latest internals have her DOWN four points in the latest daily track.)
(6) Not only has Scott Brown raised an incredible $6 million over the past seven days, but Republican candidates from across the country are raising money for him and conducting phone banks.
(7) Democrats and their allies will have about 600 troops on the ground next Tuesday and around 2,000 volunteers, but these troops need people to motivate. Democratic base enthusiasm is at an extremely low level, motivated by the idea that Obama doesn't care about them or their ideals.
(8) The psychological effect of a loss in Massachusetts would be significant. It might persuade Democrats to retire. It might persuade folks who've compromised on health care to take a step back. It will almost certainly further demoralize the Democratic Party.