Democrats were feeling lots of things yesterday, none of them very good, as they woke up to a new political reality: They had lost the Senate election, given up a seat they had owned for six decades, and were forced to accept that a Republican, Scott Brown, is headed to Washington, D.C.
What went wrong? A lot, according to a portrait of Democrat Martha Coakley’s campaign painted by people who either closely observed it or were involved in some fashion.
They described a campaign that was too sure of its own success, that waited too long to call in the cavalry, that made key missteps, including focusing on abortion at the expense of the economy, and that did little to court voters in the communities that led Governor Deval Patrick and President Obama to huge victories.
Coakley and her advisers also lost the new media war, allowing Brown to generate far more attention online through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. And by many accounts, they paid insufficient attention to the bread and butter of political campaigning, such as blanketing the state with signs and getting out and meeting voters.
The lapses were particularly noticeable in minority communities, traditionally bastions of Democratic votes, which did not turn out in high numbers Tuesday.
Update. Here is an video interview Coakley gave the Globe today. She still doesn't get it.