MA Special Election Highlights Independent Majority

Though Massachusetts is considered a Democratic stronghold, the majority of its voters are not registered with either of the major parties.  Thus, it is not surprising that the special election for the state’s open Senate seat has defied the expectations of the political class and mainstream media.  Ironically, however, given that the majority of Bay State voters are independents, the conventional wisdom that this election too will be determined by independent voters is little more than a tautology.  The Boston Globe writes:

Independent voters in Massachusetts are an unpredictable breed and downright ornery when times are bad. On Tuesday, they will determine who will be the state’s next US senator in a race too close to call, capturing the nation’s attention because the fate of a national health care overhaul hangs in the balance.  Termed unenrolled voters because they are not affiliated with a party, independents constitute a majority of the registered voters in the state.  Republicans, outnumbered by Democrats by more than 3 to 1, need to capture a huge majority of independents and a slice of moderate and conservative Democrats to win statewide elections.  [Emphasis added.]

Gallup Polls provide some more numbers:

As Massachusetts prepares for its high-visibility special Senate election on Jan. 19, a new Gallup analysis shows that the state has significantly more residents identifying as political independents (49%) than as Democrats (35%). The percent identifying themselves as Democratic matches the national average, while the percent independent is well above the national norm.


IPR posts about Joe Kennedy

Joe Kennedy For Senate

12 thoughts on “MA Special Election Highlights Independent Majority

  1. Thane Eichenauer

    An ad (one ad) on a web site? How wonderful. Most other websites don’t stop at 15 ads on their site. One is positively modest. And it doesn’t even rotate or flash or grab your mouse focus.

    I say one ad is just fan-tas-tic! Especially if it doesn’t grab my mouse focus and offer to sell me car insurance (in an obnoxious way).

    Go IPR!

  2. Trent Hill

    We’ll be placing three ads total. One on each sidebar and one on top. How much the ads collect will determine what we do with the money. Options range from simple advertising on facebook and Google to hiring (and paying) an associate editor.

  3. Eric Dondero

    Now that Brown has pulled away in the polls, up by 9 and even by 15 in some respected polling firms, I expect Libertarian Joe Kennedy’s vote total to increase. Disgruntled Coakley supporters who may lean towards the Left Libertarian (Bill Maher/Comedy Central) side, may decide, “what the hell…” And vote Kennedy.

    What they don’t realize is that vote will be interpreted for better or for worse as an anti-big government vote, and anti-Democrat Party/Obama.

    So, what we’re gonna see tonight is a 57% vote against Coakley/Obama/Democrats – 54 or 55% for Scott Brown, 2 to 3% for Libertarian Joe Kennedy. And that my friends is mighty fine!

  4. Sean Scallon

    So all these independent voters have given the Democrats control of the entire state political establishment?

    Instead, true independents, like in most states, come up to about 9-10 percent. That leaves 40 percent of what I like to call soft partisans or in the case of Massachusetts “Soft Democrats” people who would normally vote Democratic for someone like Coakley for state office but a national race would perhaps vote for someone different.

  5. Vaughn

    I’ve been noticing a trend.

    1. A strong independent/third party candidate is identified and considered a legitimate contestant.
    2. The corporate media starts droning that the race is to close to call. The increases to a loud hum as the election gets closer.
    3. On election day, the “spoiler reflex” kicks in and the independent loses.

    (I’m talking about Hoffman and Daggett.)

    Don’t expect the Left Libertarian vote to go to Kennedy. His opposition to same-sex marriage may irk them and Coakley has taking a stronger stance on gay rights in general. The Rainbow Greens and others are likely to vote for Coakley. Well, they will vote for “Not Brown”, to be more specific.

  6. d.eris

    @5: “So all these independent voters have given the Democrats control of the entire state political establishment?”

    If they voted at all that is. And many are apparently now prepared to vote for an establishmentarian Republican. In many cases, they might be more precisely termed co-dependent voters.

  7. James W. Clifton

    Scott Brown’s election is no more an indication that people are moving to the GOP anymore than Obama’s was that people are moving to the Dems. Both just indicated people wanted change, that’s all. At least, this is what I think.

  8. 91%

    “Don’t expect the Left Libertarian vote to go to Kennedy. His opposition to same-sex marriage may irk them”

    Joe supports same-sex marriage rights.

  9. 91%

    “Scott Brown’s election is no more an indication that people are moving to the GOP anymore than Obama’s was that people are moving to the Dems. Both just indicated people wanted change, that’s all.”

    True, but unfortunately they did not realize change will not come from voting for the duopoly establishment.

  10. Trent Hill

    Thane,

    Only three ads. The frequency of posts should increase too, especially by me. I will be doing some pieces that have more mainstream appeal–such as analysis of the independent vote in various races or states, registration numbers, and full length stories.

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