Friday, January 22, 2010

Why Brown won in MA

There's so many polls that contradict each other it's difficult to take them too seriously, but this one explains why the mighty DEM GOTV machine in MA didn't turn out that vote. It would appear the rank and file union workers didn't get aboard.

A poll conducted on behalf of the AFL-CIO found that 49% of Massachusetts union households supported Mr. Brown in Tuesday's voting, while 46% supported Democrat Martha Coakley. The poll conducted by Hart Research Associates surveyed 810 voters.

The poll showed Ms. Coakley drew more support among voters with a college education, by a five-point margin, while she lost by a 20-point margin among voters without a college degree.

Guy Molyneux, a pollster with Hart Research Associates, said the poll showed "pretty strong evidence" of voters who worried the health-care overhaul moving through Congress would tax their employer-provided benefits, even though Mr. Obama had agreed to a deal that exempted workers in collective bargaining agreements until 2018. Unions stepped up their campaign efforts for Ms. Coakley after that, but it wasn't enough to turn the tide.
I don't know whether union people register as Democrats or not, but this probably explains why they lost the independents as well. Blue collar workers and indys mostly don't follow politics closely. These are the subset of voters who are most easily fooled by optics and sloganery. Brown was allowed to paint himself as a populist without challenge and Coakley couldn't have across as more elitist and out of touch with the working class.

That pretty much describes the current dynamics on the national level too.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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Anonymous abi said...

Massachusetts has more independents (we're called Unenrolled here, thanks to the party hacks) than either Democrats or Republicans. In my opinion, Republican Brown did the unthinkable and won in blue-state Massachusetts because Republicans and independents voted for him, and Democrats pretty much stayed home.

IMO, the reason for that is that Republicans stand for something, and Democrats don't. As Paul Wellstone put it, If we don't fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don't really stand for them.

1:42:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Abi, with due respect, the indys bought a bill of goods. Brown ran a brilliant campaign and he called into the sports shows and I didn't know until recently about his wife being on tv and his daughter being an Idol contestant. He was a good candidate. That's all it means.

I know you're engaged, but I lived in MA for over 30 yrs and the indys are mostly low info. I saw a Brown voter on tv interviewed afterward who said he voted for Brown because he was going to lower his property tax. Can't get much more deluded than that.

5:53:00 PM  

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