I’m gonna outsource the sercon (serious, constructive) explanation to a professional, namely, David Bernstein at Boston’s Phoenix:
… Now that summer’s over and the sprint is on to the November 6 election, polls and most close observers agree on where the race stands: each candidate has a solid 45 percent of the vote tucked away, and they pretty much cancel each other out. Brown has a slight lead, but that should be negated by Warren’s expected turnout advantage.
This leaves the race in the hands of the middle 10 percent, or some 300,000 persuadable voters statewide.
Who are those 10 percent? Put simply: they like Brown, but they hate the GOP. They plan overwhelmingly to vote for Barack Obama over Mitt Romney — by a six-to-one margin, according to a recent poll from Kimball Political Consulting. And yet people close to the Brown campaign, and a lot of others, believe that in the Senate race, people will ultimately vote the person, not the party.
Frankly, most Democratic insiders used to think so, too. That’s why, even with the expected outpouring of Democratic voters for the presidential election, the state’s A-list Democrats, including all of its US House members, statewide and county officeholders, and state senators, declined to enter the race.
But when Warren jumped in, and immediately shot up in the polls and raised unthinkable sums from progressives nationwide, expectations skyrocketed…
My own version on this divide: Our Commonwealth is politically overweighted with those commentor Davis X. Machina astutely refers to as “American Poujadists” — proud self-proclaimed truck-drivin’, barn-coat-wearin’ blue-collar guys convinced that Haaah-vad professors have conspired to steal all the cushy guvmint jobs for their affirmative-action cronies. If you’ve ever read Dennis Lehane or George V. Higgins, be assured that their characters are fictional only in that a readable narrative requires a degree of logic and coherence the actual voting templates are unlikely to muster.