Coakley received what passes for a landslide in a multi-candidate primary, winning almost half of the votes in a four-way race.
This report shows that, as of last month, Coakley was well ahead (58% to 27%) of Brown in a poll for the special election, which is scheduled for January 19, 2010.
Glen Johnson of the Associated Press has written an analysis piece that tries to make it sound as though the fact that a Republican won the Republican primary is a victory for that party:
A state senator's victory in the Republican primary for the special election to fill the late Edward M. Kennedy's Senate seat gives the Massachusetts GOP something it's sorely missed: a place in the political spotlight.
Here's that horribly cynical side of me emerging again, but Johnson seems to be trying to create an unfounded sense of optimism about Brown's chances, so that, assuming he does not pull off a miracle and defeat Coakley, his loss might be seen as ending the momentum that the Republicans have recently been gaining, going into next November's congressional elections.
If the mainstream media are trying to make a Coakley victory seem like the same sort of game-changer as, say, Jim Webb's victory in the 2006 Virginia Senate race, they're being even sillier than usual.