A report from Eire Pub
Hours before polls opened across the state, Attorney General Martha Coakley joined campaign supporters to raise a glass of beer at the Eire Pub in Adams Corner.
"We're going to have a win tomorrow," she said in a toast to her husband and volunteers, many of whom assembled inside and outside the bar on Monday night and broke into chants of "Martha! Martha!"
Senate President Therese Murray, Dorchester native, also attended the gathering. (Coakley sipped from a glass of Sam Adams beer; Murray, in keeping with what she drank on the night of the Democratic primary in December, ordered a glass of Harp Lager.)
"She just has to get her base out and I think as you can see her base is energized," Murray (D-Plymouth) said. "They are very distressed over the people from outside that have come into the state, put in money, and the negative comments, and the craziness with these robocalls, having a person with an accent saying they're Joe Kennedy and to get out and vote for him."
Murray added: "I mean, they've pulled out all the stops in dirty campaigning. It's amusing to see them stand up and say, 'we came out with issues and facts and she didn't.' They started the dirty [campaigning]."
Republican candidate Scott Brown's campaign manager Beth Lindstrom has called Coakley's campaign the "most malicious campaign Bay State voters have ever seen," with his camp pointing to mailer that they say distorts Brown's position on abortion.
Asked about the unhappiness among some Democrats over how Coakley had run the campaign and allowed her lead to evaporate, Murray dismissed it as "Monday morning quarterbacking."
"Well you know what? Maybe John should just work harder and keep those comments to himself," Murray said. "I don't know how much work he did on the campaign. I really haven't seen him around a lot."
She added: "We're thrilled he's supporting us and thrilled he's supporting Martha. But these are tough campaigns and this one has national implications and that's why you're seeing this."
Bar patrons interviewed about the race were split between Coakley and Brown, though the area holds a number of conservative Democrats.
Coakley isn't the first politician to stop by the bar, which has the words "Men's Bar" on either side of the "Eire Pub" sign: Both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton have dropped by for handshakes and a pint.
"They come here because it's a good crowd," said Paul Elwell, vice president of sales and promotion at Beantown Toys and an Eire Pub regular. "I was thrilled to see her come in here," he said, but added that he is a political independent voting for Brown.
"This is a Catholic neighborhood," with conservative views on abortion and gay marriage, said Brendan Price of South Boston.
"I've seen Democrats representing Massachusetts for 15 years," he said, referring to the all-Democratic Congressional delegation. "To me, there should be a little bit of balance."
Others said they were supporting Coakley. John Martin, a South Boston sheet metal worker who is unemployed, said, "We're a blue city and we're going to vote for Democrats. We're not going to forget that tomorrow."
Like Coakley, he was dismissive of polls showing a statistical dead heat or Brown ahead. "It happened in New Hampshire" when he campaigned for Hillary Clinton in 2008, he said. "She was down 10 points. I've seen it before. It doesn't scare me."
"She knows how people feel," said Paul Quinn of St. Ann's Parish. "I think the people will speak."
He added of Brown: "He's a fine gentleman but he's not prepared."