Thoughts on Coakley’s Loss from a MA Democrat

These will have to be some quick hits, since I’m at a meeting; I’ll try to revisit them later this week:
1) The absolute numbers indicate that Democrats lost this election:

In 2008, Obama received 1,904,097 votes; in 2009, Coakley received 1,058,682.
In 2008, McCain received 1,108,854 votes; in 2009, Brown received 1,168,107 votes.


This is a massive defection by Democrats–it’s nearly a 50% drop for Democrats versus the Republicans holding steady in absolute numbers. 20% of Obama voters crossed over to Brown.
2) Following on #1, the entire active rank-and-file warned the Democratic ‘leadership’ that they had alienated the base with shitty policy. But we’re just Dirty Fucking Hippies, so why listen to us?
3) Healthcare as an issue failed in MA. At best, people said, “We already have healthcare”. Since the proposed healthcare legislation was so difficult to understand–and more importantly, not the strong public option or Medicare-for-all that repeatedly polled well, even after months of a one-sided propaganda campaign–this argument didn’t have traction. At worst, people said, “Romneycare sucks. Why should I support it?” From PPP:

And in one of the bluest states in the country barely 40% of voters expressed support for the Democratic health care bill.

Every time Paul Krugman and the progressive DC wonks talk about how good MA’s healthcare is, Democrats lost votes in MA. It’s not that good–and it demoralizes the base. A conservative healthcare plan that protects insurance companies isn’t a winner in MA–I’ve been telling you that for two years.
4) Voters don’t like bank bailouts, including this voter. People want bankers to pay, preferably with anesthetic-free vivisection. Corporatist politics won’t win elections.
5) The stimulus didn’t work strongly enough or quickly enough (Update: Link added). As I noted continuously about politics and policies, people have to like this shit. It has to make voters’ lives better. Tax breaks for the rich didn’t help. People needed jobs–why vote for someone who doesn’t help you?
6) Obama is dragging candidates down:

Certainly Martha Coakley was a bad candidate and ran a terrible campaign but that doesn’t change the fact that we found Obama’s approval rating at only 44% with the electorate for today’s contest, a huge drop from the 62% of the vote he won in the state in 2008. Brown won over 20% of the vote from people who cast ballots for Obama in 2008, and we found that most of those Brown/Obama voters were folks who no longer approve of the job the President is doing.

7) Coakley and the Democrats, by alienating the rank-and-file, have no viral marketing. If a candidate wants free publicity (which is the best kind; consider Harley Davidson or Apple), then you have to excite your core–the persistent, self-inflicted healthcare fiasco completely killed this. “Hold your nose and vote” isn’t a rallying cry.
8) Prediction: The Democratic Establishment, the spineless halfwits that they are, will move to the right, further weakening their electoral prospects. In other news, dog bites man…
All the Guinness in the world won’t make this go away–Intelligent Designer knows I tried…

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8 Responses to Thoughts on Coakley’s Loss from a MA Democrat

  1. Rob Jase says:

    Now Mike, maybe this will cause harry Reid to grow a spined.
    Never mind.

  2. All the Guinness in the world won’t make this go away–Intelligent Designer knows I tried…

    Motherfucking Jameson did for me!

  3. Mary says:

    I agree with those points. But the Coakley campaign strategy was inept, flat out.
    She wasn’t my choice. I prefer the street-fighter type, which I think was the way to match the anger out there right now. But he lost in the primary.
    As to moving right, that’s exactly what I said first to my friends. Moving right got us Martha. But I’d bet a Guinness they take the wrong message there too.

  4. NewEnglandBob says:

    Mike, I hope you are very wrong, but suspect that you are very right.

  5. Art says:

    I think people forgot the importance of location on outcomes.
    Yes MA is a fairly liberal state. But it is also a state where they have a fairly good public healthcare/insurance system. Derided widely by the GOP it is liked by most of the people of the state.
    Focusing the election, with a barely palatable Dem candidate, over national healthcare reform in a state where most people are nominally satisfied with what they have was fighting the battle up hill. The GOP also pushed the claim that the national healthcare reform would increase the cost of, possibly sink, their state program.
    It is always easier to motivate people with fear of losing what they have than have them risk something they like to gain some abstract goal.

  6. Lyle says:

    A part may be the people of MA just saying no to the pundits who said it was the kennedy seat, and had to go to a dem. The people showed it was their seat. This could be the start of a throw all the bums out of congress movement, all 435 in the house.

  7. Lyle, that never happens. People want 434 bums thrown out, but rarely their own.

  8. Rob Jase says:

    At least now the Repubs won’t be able to use the phrase “Massachusetts liberals” without including themselves.
    Its not so bad for you, I’m still stuck with that putz Leiberman. And no, I didn’t vote for him in either the primary or general.

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