Absence Minded

Friday, January 22, 2010


The results of Tuesday’s special election in Massachusetts were a clear repudiation of President Obama’s health care reform plans. Or, a vote of frustration against federal government overspending. Or, a vote against Martha Coakley’s abysmally run campaign. In fact, choose whichever you prefer, because without reliable polling before or after the vote it’s anyone’s guess. Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press explains man’s search for meaning.

Comments [8]

Cindy Sturm from Eudora, Kansas

First of all if the candidates and their unknown backers were so worried about the national debt the should put the money the are spending for a bunch of liars on both sides into the fund instead.

Second, most important to me. How many companies back candidates are those who don't pay taxes in the US. Recently I read that 50% of all US companies do not pay US taxes. Is there a way to find out who is sponsoring the ads.

Oct. 28 2010 11:19 AM
John from San Francisco Peninsula

When is an exit poll an exit poll? I trust Andy Kohut to know if exit polls were run on election day.


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said on NBC's "Meet The Press." "The exit polls that I looked at said 48% of the people in Massachusetts said they voted for the new senator over health care. Only 5% mentioned any other issue. The American people had a victory in Massachusetts, and they were sending us the message 'Stop and start over.' "

I rest my case.

Jan. 26 2010 02:03 AM
William Malatesta from Chicago

I think it was a vote for Scott Brown and what he stands for. Isn't that why NYers voted for Bloomberg? He ran a great campaign.

Jan. 25 2010 11:45 PM

Finally, the voice of reason. It is just as possible that voters in Mass. were disappointed with the lack of push toward the liberal agenda that they voted for, as is any other scenario. There are many progressives in this country who feel that Democrats have thrown them under the bus, in favor of reaching out to republicans.
NPR has not presented this point of view at all until today and I would like to hear more of this.

Jan. 24 2010 06:43 PM
Helen from Northern CA

I see that I'm hearing this as a re-run, so I will not fault Kohut for failing to consider the most prevalent reason in two post election polls for no shows among former Obama voters - that the government has not done enough on health care, job stimulation, consumer protection and so forth, at the Federal level.

As the polls showed (WaPo, Research 2000) large number of self-identified progressives and new voters did not vote because they are furious because the government has not done enough to make needed changes - not because it has done too much.

Kohut will be surprised again, I'm expect.

Jan. 24 2010 05:45 PM
Liz from New Hampshire

Have Massachusetts voters expressed their feelings on national health reform? Perhaps, but consider the source. The state already enacted its own version of universal health insurance. The press made very little mention of this. Knowing that Mass. residents won't see a big change, no matter what happens nationally, do we really think that Obamacare was a leading issue for them?

Jan. 24 2010 10:54 AM
P. Eli Ashingto from Washington DC

Okay...I did see this poll today from the AP (done in Massachusetts):


Now, there is no information provided on this poll (as far as I can tell).

I wonder if the poll was affected by the "political narrative" or if it is truly representative of the thoughts of the voters on the day that they voted.

I'm looking forward to a nationwide poll.


Jan. 23 2010 01:38 PM
Kahlid from Philly PA

Ah, a prediction from Mr. Kohut.

Let's see if this event has any effect on the job approval dept. numbers over the next two weeks.

Jan. 22 2010 11:00 PM

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