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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 21, 2010

POLLS SUGGESTS PROTEST WAS KEY IN MASSACHUSETTS VOTE

Common Dreams - Massachusetts voters who backed Barack Obama in the presidential election one 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 -- and 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 Brown voters, 23 percent thought it went "too far" -- but 36 percent thought it didn't go far enough; 41 percent said they weren't sure why they opposed it.

For voters who stayed home and opposed health care, a full 53 percent said they opposed the Senate health care bill because it didn't go far enough; 39 percent weren't sure and only eight percent thought it didn't go far enough.

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.

The firm discovered that 18 percent of Obama backers who voted in the Senate race ended up casting ballots for Brown.


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