When I look at this election yesterday of Scott Brown I notice a number of things. Like how little a difference there was in Republican vote totals for John McCain in November 2008 and for Scott Brown in January 2010. On Nov. 4th 2008 in Massachusetts, John McCain received 1,108,854 votes. On January 19th 2010, Scott Brown received 1,168,107 votes, for a grand total of 59,253 more votes in 2010 than in 2008.
Now, do the same thing for the Democratic numbers. In 2008, Barack Obama received a grand total, in Massachusetts of 1,904,097 votes. In 2010, Martha Coakley received a total of 1,058,682 votes, for a grand total of 845,415 less votes in 2010 than in 2008.
This tells me a few things. This was not a repudiation of Barack Obama and his policies, not on any mass scale. Not with the grand total of 59,000 total votes spread over 2168 precincts. It may help both sides to see it as a repudiation of his policies, to light a fire under their people,regardless of what side of the political fence they are on, and to add a sense of urgency to their actions, and to make them more attentive to the needs of their constituents.
Yes, this had to do with Martha Coakley not being able to energize the base, but also has at least something to do with the White House. They knew how crucial the 60th vote in the senate was, not only to Health care, but to a host of other things on the Presidents agenda and to the party on a psychological level, to be able to say “We have 60 votes, we can do what we want, we have a mandate from the people”. To turn their back on Martha, once she was made the Democratic candidate, to leave the base unengaged, with a man who energized the base like no man in history had only 15 months before, was frankly, a horrendous mistake. To leave her to her own devises, while she and, by extension the White House, let Scott Brown energize the states independent voters essentially unopposed, cost her votes.
Do I think having The President make an extended tour of Massachusetts a month ago would have gotten Martha Coakley 845,000+ votes just because of the Presidents presence? No. Nothing Like that. But perhaps he could have turned enough heads, and gotten enough attention turned towards Martha Coakley to make a enough of a difference to turn 3% of the populace to Coakley, and we would be talking about Senator Elect Coakley, and not Senator Elect Brown.
If anything this vote tells the tale of a man, Scott Brown, who pushed his campaign with verve and energy in the right direction, was able to harness the power of people who are discontented with the jobless situation and the economy, which are doing better now than when President Obama took office, but clearly not good enough to many minds, to hold onto voters that were never fans of Barack Obama and the Democrats to begin with, and get 2.5% or 3% on top of that, which turned out to be enough.
The people also saw that Martha Coakley was running a lax campaign, giving the impression that she didn’t want it, or heard the media say and believed it, which is just as good, on top of the economic and Job issues spoken of previously, caused the people who had voted for the President and Democrats in 2008, to simply not come out and vote.
Had there been incentive, like there was in 2008, had the Democrats, both Coakley AND the White House, given people any incentive to come out and vote, to bring out the Democratic base that was there in 2008, more would have come out this time around.
The tenure of a Sen. Coakley never had a chance, because of laxness of planning, not enough energy, and because they couldn’t read the political winds right. If the Democrats continue in this manner, they will lose both the senate and the house before the end of this year.
That’s it for me. Later.
Today’s nuggets, via wikiquote: A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader. Samuel Adams
The Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support. George Washington