Yesterday I posted a major editorial in which I analyzed the causes of Coakley’s defeat in the Massachusetts special election for the Senate. Since then, I have heard pundit after pundit stating the need for more bipartisanship, the exact opposite of my conclusions. However, a new poll of Democrats and Independents who voted for Obama in 2008, but either voted for Brown or stayed home Wednesday backs my contentions.
Massachusetts voters who backed Barack Obama in the presidential election a year ago and either switched support to Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown or simply stayed home, said in a poll conducted after the election Tuesday night that if Democrats enact tougher policies on Wall Street, they'll be more likely to come back to the party in the next election.
A majority of Obama voters who switched to Brown said that "Democratic policies were doing more to help Wall Street than Main Street." A full 95 percent said the economy was important or very important when it came to deciding their vote.
In a somewhat paradoxical finding, a plurality of voters who switched to the Republican -- 37 percent -- said that Democrats were not being "hard enough" in challenging Republican policies.
It would be hard to find a clearer indication, it seems, that Tuesday's vote was cast in protest.
The poll also upends the conventional understanding of health care's role in the election. A plurality of people who switched -- 48 -- or didn't vote -- 43 -- said that they opposed the Senate health care bill. But the poll dug deeper and asked people why they opposed it. Among those Brown voters, 23 percent thought it went "too far" -- but 36 percent thought it didn't go far enough and 41 percent said they weren't sure why they opposed it.
Among voters who stayed home and opposed health care, a full 53 percent said they opposed the Senate bill because it didn't go far enough; 39 percent weren't sure and only eight percent thought it went too far.
The firm Research 2000 conducted the post-election survey Tuesday night on behalf of three progressive organizations -- the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy for America and MoveOn.org.
Taken from interviews of 500 Obama backers who voted in the Senate election and 500 Obama backers who sat out the election, the firm discovered that 18 percent of Obama backers who voted in the Senate race ended up casting ballots for Brown.
Of that group, 82 percent said they favored a public option for insurance coverage, with 14 percent opposed. Of those who sat out the election, 86 percent favored the public option, while only seven percent opposed it. The findings suggests that progressive arguments that disappointed Obama supporters deserted have serious merit... [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Huffington Post>
Just a moment ago, I heard Bitch McConnell say that the results of the election clearly show that the American people don’t the government taking over health care. Either he is lying, or he is a fool. Probably both. These results clearly show that the voters who gave Obama a landslide victory in that state oppose the health care bill because they favor a public option.
The voters sent a clear message. They are not happy with business as usual. They want change we can believe in. If Obama and the Democrats don’t get out of bed with the Banksters and the Corporate Criminals of Health Care, there will be hell to pay.