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Monday, January 25, 2010

Massachusetts Myth

The continued meme that Scott Brown’s election was a referendum on the Obama agenda – that it had moved too far to the left - has been grossly overstated. One has but to look at the relevant date from a Washington Post/Harvard University poll that shows a plurality of Massachusetts voters approve of their own, universal, care.

Nate Silver takes this on:

Make no mistake: a lot of voters in Massachusetts were speaking their minds about health care. The evidence is much stronger that this was a vote about health care than the Obama agenda in general; in fact, special election voters in Massachusetts approved of Barack Obama 61-37**.

Still, it's important to keep in mind exactly what those voters were saying about health care, as the message was rather mixed. And Democrats can take some comfort in the fact that, several years after a near-universal health care program in Massachusetts was implemented, it is overwhelmingly popular with that state's voters.



What the voters that swept Brown into office didn’t agree with were the buzz-words that overly stimulate our consumerist, sound-bite, culture

In an open-ended question among voters who said that health care was a key determinant in their vote, 19 percent of all voters and 30 percent of Scott Brown voters cited a procedural reason, such as "dealmaking", "closed doors", "lack of transparency", "partisanship", "moving too fast", etc.


These are words used by all news outlets within multiple platforms, but it is Fox”News” that is hyping these sound-bites to the full, negative, potential against the Obama administration.

And while some will say, myself included, that our elected officials are sent to Washington to ensure that our states benefit from legislation, those that oppose the special deals given to Louisiana and Nebraska are rightfully concerned. But are they concerned over the fact that their elected officials didn’t step up as Nelson and Landreau did? This may or may not be a factor, but my own first blush assessment.

In the end, conservatives shouldn’t put all their chips on Brown, as he isn’t exactly the man that they are making him out to be. Not only that, but the voters in Massachusetts are being vastly misrepresented in this storyline.

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