The Boston Globe posted this interesting analysis of the election of Scott Brown to the US Senate seat in my old stomping grounds in Massachusetts.Â And I have a couple of additional points to add to this towards the end that I believe helped the Republicans win.Â The picture is not as rosy as Republicans might have you believe.
From the story:
â– A good senator, not a hand grenade. The finding that most defies conventional wisdom is that voters, by a two-to-one margin, (61-to-33 percent), said they voted for the person they believed would be the better senator and not to send a message to Washington or President Obama. Voters gave the president a positive personal rating of 52 percent vs. 33 percent negative.
Asked whom they trusted more to improve the economy, 47 percent of voters said Obama and Democrats in Congress. Only 33 percent said the Republicans. In the horse race, which Brown won 52-to-47 percent, he got 100 percent of the Republican vote, about two-thirds of the independents, and – hereâ€™s the bad news for Coakley – 17 percent of Democrats.
â– Brownie, youâ€™re doing a heckuva job. Voters were asked if Brown should stick to his conservative guns and try to block the president and Congressional Democrats, or work with them in a bipartisan manner. Cooperation won by more than three-to-one (76-to-21 percent ). Even among Brown voters, bipartisan cooperation was preferred to resistance by 61-to-36 percent.
â– Not health care. Among those who said health care was the top reason for their decision, Coakley won 50-to-46 percent. Those who said health care was not their main motivation, Brown won 55-to-38 percent.
â– Still the economy, stupid. The economy, not health care, drove the vote. Among those who felt the economy was doing well, (Who are those people?) Coakley won 52-to-43 percent. For those who said the economy was not good or poor, Brown won 56-to-39 percent.
â– Working class revolt. The most troubling message that Democrats should take from the data was this: â€œThe Massachusetts election signaled a working-class revolt, and reveals the danger to Democrats if workersâ€™ economic concerns are not addressed.â€™â€™ Coakley won college graduates 50-to-46 percent but got swamped among non-college voters 37-to-57 percent for Brown.
â– Catering to Wall Street. The idea that the federal government paid too much attention to big banks and Wall Street instead of average people was backed by a whopping 61-to-18 percent of voters. Slightly more than half, 54 percent, of all voters felt that government had given banks and Wall Street too much help, while only 22 percent said they were laboring under too many regulations. Among Brown voters, only 36 percent said businesses were over-regulated, while 55 percent said they got too many breaks.
â– Gender mattered. Men favored Brown over Coakley 53-to-40 percent – a 13-point advantage. Women went for Coakley 50 percent to Brownâ€™s 47 percent – just a three-point lead. Thatâ€™s a big gender gap.
â– The signs are clear. Democrats have work to do with men, especially those without college educations, as well as with voters dissatisfied with the economy and angered by Wall Street bailouts and bonuses. Claims that the recession is over mock those who are unemployed or canâ€™t pay the mortgage or tuition.
I would also add that Coakley, being from Western Massachusetts, would have a harder time attracting voters from the central and coastal regions.Â The closer to Boston, the more beloved the candidate is going to be.Â
And Coakley had a major faux pas by stating that Curt Schilling, the he-of-the-bloody-stocking Red Sox World Series pitcher fame, was a hated Yankees fan.Â Boston sports talk radio, which is very influential among men and in particular– blue collar male listeners, savaged Coakley for this.Â It was her “Dukakis in the Tank” moment anbd George Allen’s “Macaca” statement all in one and they hounded her endlessly over this.
This all said, Brown’s stance on most major issues on mimic Republican positions, and while his voting record in the state Senate will likely make Brown a Republican to the left of Olympia Snowe, a strong Democrat will sweep this Senator out in 2012.Â I’d like to see Joe Kennedy seek the seat or Bill Delahunt, my old Congressman from the South Shore.