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Poll: Brown holds lead in Massachusetts Senate race

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Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat may fall to Republicans after more than fifty years of Democrats holding the seat — Democratic control of Kennedy’s Massachusetts Senate seat dates back to 1953, when the elder John F. Kennedy held the position.

According to the latest Public Policy poll, Republican state senator Scott Brown leads Democratic state attorney general Martha Coakley by five points, 51-46 percent. The poll notes that the lead is within the margin of error but reflects other recent polls showing Brown has a slim lead over Coakley.

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Brown leads among independents, crucial to a Republican victory in Massachusetts, where registered Democrats hold a 3-1 edge over registered Republicans. The poll notes, however, that “Democratic leaning voters have started to take more interest in the election, a trend that if it continues in the final 36 hours of the campaign could put her over the finish line.”

In the interest of drumming up Democratic support, President Barack Obama toured the state on Sunday.

Other highlights from the poll:

– Brown is up 64-32 with independents and is winning 20% of the vote from people who supported Barack Obama in 2008 while Coakley is getting just 4% of the McCain vote.

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-Brown’s voters continue to be much more enthusiastic than Coakley’s. 80% of his say they’re ‘very excited’ about voting Tuesday while only 60% of hers express that sentiment. But the likely electorate now reports having voted for Barack Obama by 19 points, up from 16 a week ago, and a much smaller drop from his 26 point victory in the state than was seen in Virginia.

-Those planning to turn out continue to be skeptical of the Democratic health care plan, saying they oppose it by a 48/40 margin.

-Coakley’s favorability dropped from 50% to 44% after a week filled with perceived missteps. Brown’s negatives went up a lot but his positives only actually went from 57% to 56%, an indication that attacks against him may have been most effective with voters already planning to support Coakley but ambivalent toward Brown.

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-56% of voters in the state think Brown has made a strong case for why he should be elected while just 41% say the same of Coakley. Even among Coakley’s supporters only 73% think she’s made the argument for herself, while 94% of Brown’s supporters think he has.

The special election held to fill the seat formerly occupied by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) is to be held Tuesday.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Russia launches floating nuclear reactor in Arctic despite warnings

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Russia will launch the world's first floating nuclear reactor and send it on an epic journey across the Arctic on Friday, despite environmentalists warning of serious risks to the region.

Loaded with nuclear fuel, the Akademik Lomonosov will leave the Arctic port of Murmansk to begin its 5,000 kilometre (3,000-mile) voyage to northeastern Siberia.

Nuclear agency Rosatom says the reactor is a simpler alternative to building a conventional plant on ground that is frozen all year round, and it intends to sell such reactors abroad.

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Amazon fires: how celebrities are spreading misinformation

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Many high-profile figures seeking to denounce the fires in the Amazon -- from Madonna and Cristiano Ronaldo to Leonardo DiCaprio and Emmanuel Macron -- have unwittingly ended up misleading millions on social media, either sharing photographs of the region that are years old or images taken in other parts of the world.

Official figures show nearly 73,000 forest fires were recorded in Brazil in the first eight months of the year, the highest number for any year since 2013. Most were in the Amazon.

- Leaders -

"Our house is on fire. Literally. The Amazon, the lung of our planet which produces 20 percent of our oxygen is burning," France's President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter, posting a photograph of a burning forest (1) accompanied by the hashtag #ActForTheAmazon.

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US charges 80 in internet fraud and money laundering scheme

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US authorities on Thursday announced charges against 80 people, most of them Nigerians, in a wide-ranging fraud and money laundering operation that netted millions of dollars from victims of internet con jobs.

Federal prosecutors unsealed the dozens of indictments after 17 people were arrested and taken into custody in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the United States.

Most of the remainder of those indicted were believed to be in Nigeria, the US Justice Department said.

The suspects allegedly targeted the lovelorn, the elderly, and small and large businesses, using a variety of scams to persuade their victims to send money over the internet.

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