Kn@ppster: Massachusetts post-election analysis

Posted by Tom Knapp at Kn@ppster:

The Boston Globe reports that Democrat Martha Coakley has called her Republican opponent, Scott Brown, and congratulated him on his victory.

If the reported returns so far are accurate, it looks like Brown about 52%, Coakley about 47%. If that’s true, then it’s a pretty sad commentary on Massachusetts. Whodathunk that in the birthplace of the American Revolution, only 1 in 100 voters would support the only candidate who in any way stands for that Revolution’s values?

Update on the oddsmaker angle: Tuesday morning, I swagged the outcome as Brown 49%, Coakley 46%, Kennedy 5%. The actual outcome seems to have been Brown 52.2%, Coakley 46.8%, Kennedy 1%.

Recent polls had Kennedy at the 5% I predicted. I should have guessed that “wasted vote syndrome” would bring that way down, but I was unduly optimistic in this case — the “major party” candidates were just so godawful that I thought Kennedy’s vote would stick because it had no other even nominally worthwhile candidate to go to.

I’d be interested to know where that 4% did go to. Rasmussen had Coakley as the second choice of Kennedy supporters by a 2-1 margin. If that is how the fallaway from Kennedy broke, then Brown was doing better, and Coakley worse, than I thought before they picked up their respective last-minute-poltroon votes.

IPR posts about Joe Kennedy

Joe Kennedy For Senate

20 thoughts on “Kn@ppster: Massachusetts post-election analysis

  1. Gary

    This is how far the nation has sunk into Socialism.

    It is called a “victory” for Freedom when a candidate
    is elected who:

    —Wants more spending and programs

    —Opposed a ballot proposition cutting the state income tax

    —Voted for Romney-care, more taxes & more government control

    —Has never proposed abolishing even one tiny Big Brother program

    Welcome to the United Socialist States of America.

  2. Thane Eichenauer

    While the results are certainly nothing to crow over I thought that Coakley insisting on inclusion of Kennedy in the debates was a encouraging act. So long as Kennedy had his chance to debate his opponents I can’t complain that the voters of Massachusetts didn’t have the opportunity.

    The next opportunity will come when either Joe America stops watching ABC/CBS/NBC (who are completely unwilling to cover candidates that aren’t Democrats or Republicans) and starts watching Russia Today and NECN (who are willing to cover any candidate).

    In my opinion there is still a long way to go.

  3. Michael H. Wilson

    Elsewhere I commented on the lack of a Libertarian Party Congressional Campaign Committee. Apparently there is such a committee but it does not seem to have any substance to it. NO VALUE in other words.

    As soon as Joe got the nod or anyone else for that matter the committee should have been in a position to step in and contribute funds to get literature and buy media time or billboards or whatever could be done.

    What a waste!

  4. NewFederalist

    I always thought the LP congressional campaign committee was established to recruit potential candidates rather than finance them. If the party had enough money to pay its bills in a timely fashion there might be funds left over to assist a credible candidate but I don’t see the LP as anywhere close to that .

  5. Brian Holtz

    The LNCC decided early on not to exhaust its funds on hopeless congressional campaigns, and instead accumulate a warchest for more-winnable state legislature races.

    I have no data, but I would guess the LNCC has somewhere between $2K and $20K in the bank. Michael, what percent of its funds should the LNCC have invested in Kennedy’s race, and how much do you think it could have changed his 1% outcome? Also, how much did you give to the campaign? (Full disclosure: my campaign contributions stay in California.)

  6. Michael H. Wilson

    Brian it doesn’t look like they are doing much of anything or have much of anything for that matter.

  7. Thomas L. Knapp


    If the Libertarian National Congressional Committee has decided to “accumulate a warchest for more-winnable state legislature races,” then it should consider changing its name.

    On the other hand, the best policy for candidates is to assume that they will have to raise most or all of their own campaign money.

    Even in the “major” parties, the main role of these kinds of committees is strategic — to shore up viable candidates who find themselves in close campaigns and such.

  8. Brian Holtz

    It would be the standard cargo-cult mistake to think that a Libertarian organization for winning seats in Congress should use the same strategies as the analogous committees of the incumbent rent-seeker nanny-state parties.

    The people behind the LNCC have made the judgment that the first LP congressman will be elected from among sitting LP state legislators. Lots of Libertarians like to talk about what could happen if Libertarians across the U.S. focused their efforts on just a couple of winnable state legislature races. The LNCC is a way for them to put their money where their mouth is.

    I personally remain a skeptic of the farm-team strategy, and think that the LP can most move public policy with a spoiler strategy.

    But at least these two ideas are strategies. Not so much, the radical “strategy” of maximizing the LP’s bargaining power by maximizing the radicalness of our opening bid at an imaginary negotiating table.

    Michael, since you didn’t answer my questions, you get logged with default answers: you think the LNCC should have spent all its funds on Kennedy’s campaign, you admit it wouldn’t have changed his 1% result, and you didn’t donate a dime to Kennedy.

  9. Pro Liberty


    The “opening bid” idea can be combined with either a farm team, “spoiler” or challenger-in-otherwise-unopposed-race strategy.

    So can the “sideways nudge,” which competes with the “opening bid”.

  10. Aroundtheblockafewtimes

    Ten years or so ago, Cong. Bob Dornan publically admitted fear of the LP’s congressional candidates. That spoiler fear has virtually disapated. The LP will get a seat at the negotiating table when it becomes feared again.
    So maybe in 2010, target some tossup congressional districts where an incumbent could really feel the lash of a well-run LP campaign by a formidable candidate.

  11. George Phillies

    Referring to my state only, because every state has its own election laws, the alleged LNCC strategy is flat-out illegal, and there would be Federal as well as state violations if they were to support state legislature candidates here, which they have not done.

    On the bright side, you can look up how much money the LNCC raised this year at FEC.GOV.

  12. Gene Berkman

    Tom @ # 7 – the Democratic & Republican Congressional Campaign committes are quite involved in supporting their candidates, with money, technology and professional campaign staff. A typical Republican candidate for Congress in a competitive race can expect up to $60,000 in direct financial aid from the Republican National Committee and other committees.

    Since the Libertarian Party has not developed a strategy that would attract significant funding, then indeed each LP candidate is on his own. And that is one more reason few take the LP seriously.

  13. Michael H. Wilson

    @ 8 Brian writes; “Michael, since you didn’t answer my questions, you get logged with default answers: you think the LNCC should have spent all its funds on Kennedy’s campaign, you admit it wouldn’t have changed his 1% result, and you didn’t donate a dime to Kennedy.”

    Sorry Brian once again you are attempting to write the rules of a game that you don’t own. I do not think the LNCC should have spent all its funds and never wrote that. As to my personal contributions, that is none of your damn business. So put it where the sun don’t shine cowboy! 😉

  14. Brian Holtz

    Michael, you don’t get to criticize the LNCC for not doing the right thing if you don’t actually say what the right thing to do would have been — and also say what benefit you expected from it, and say whether you followed your own advice.

  15. Michael H. Wilson

    Sure I do Brian. It is called freedom of speech. And besides what i do is my own business.

  16. Robert Capozzi

    mhw and bh, methinks bh’s “you don’t get to” is a poetic way of saying, “for your critique to be credible, you should offer an alternative.”

    The LNCC is an experiment, as is the LP itself. I can’t say there’s a “right thing” here, but some things seem to work, others seem dysfunctional. (Very often “what works” is highly subjective.)

    mhw, you commented that: “Elsewhere I commented on the lack of a Libertarian Party Congressional Campaign Committee. Apparently there is such a committee but it does not seem to have any substance to it.”

    Now that you know that the attempt is in progress, but has yet to raise sufficient funds to have meaningful heft in a campaign, do you retract your charge that they should have contributed a very substantial portion of their funds to the JK campaign?

    Given the outcome, do you think that, say, $5K would have made a difference?

    Seems WAAAAAAAY unlikely to this hombre. LNCC has taken a different tack, given its VERY limited funds.

  17. Fahrenheit 911 was just scratching the surface

    He did not flip flop.

    He said the same things during the campaign.

    He voted for RomneyCare, co-authored it in fact, and still says he is proud of it. He promised to bring it to all the other states.

    This is like how people think Obama “flip flopped” on the war, yet he never said he was antiwar. In fact during the campaign he promised to keep troops in Iraq at least (he never said at most) throughout 2009 and to expand the war in Afghanistan and into Pakistan.

    Often times, people are so desperate to imagine they have a real choice from the big box parties that they imagine candidates to hold positions they do not hold and never held – antiwar in the case of Obama, anti government run medical insurance in the case of Brown.

    Obama can tell these people he’s pro-war all day long, Brown can likewise tell them that government provided medical insurance is a “right,” and yet they will ignore their own candidate’s words and vote for them anyway.

    Such people can only be considered delusional fools.

    We are getting screwed at both ends by the Democrats and Republicans. Voting to tilt the balance a little to one and then a little to the other does not get us unscrewed, it just perpetuates the see-saw effect.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *