Tag Archives: 2012 Election

Scott Brown comes to the Cape

The former Senator came to a friendly part of the state on Thursday night.  In his reelection attempt, Brown did very well on Cape Cod and Cranberry Country in general.  We here like our sand soft, our quahogs stuffed, our gin cold, and our politics competitive. 

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Scott Brown 2012: Always Combative, Never Competitive

If the UMass Minuteman football team were to play the New England Patriots in an exhibition game and win, how many football fans and analysts would give them a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning a re-match?

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The case for John Kerry

The President’s reelection last night will turn everyone’s attention to the new faces to be seen in the White House and Cabinet.  While nothing is certain, it seems more likely than not that the Bay State’s senior Senator will be making a move to Foggy Bottom.

There are many good reason for the President to make this appointment.

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The “tale of the tape” in Brown v. Warren

The following is a list of links to all 55 blog posts I wrote that touched on the Brown-Warren Senate race between August 16, 2011 and September 28, 2012. It is both interesting and instructive to see how well my assumptions and expectations regarding this contest have fared. At this point my only uncertainty concerns the margin of victory for Warren. I predicted a “comfortable” margin. But what is a comfortable margin? I think Warren would have to win by AT LEAST 5 points for my prediction on this score to have been accurate. Anything less, would represent over performance by the Brown campaign.

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Warren Will Win (from the archives)

The following is my post predicting a Warren victory in next week’s Massachusetts U.S. Senate race. It appeared in this space on January 13, 2012.

The upcoming U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts between Senator Scott Brown and rising star in the Democratic Party Elizabeth Warren has, is, and will receive more than its share of analysis. The contest for the first full six year senate term since the death of Ted Kennedy is being touted as “one to watch.” According to both campaigns and virtually every journalist or pundit, it is going to be a very competitive and expensive battle. All the polls show a race that looks like it should be a squeaker.

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Read the Plays not the Polls

The volatility in the polls this year has produced unprecedented anxiety among politically attentive voters. As a political science professor, I’m used to fielding questions from friends and neighbors during election seasons, but this year is different. This year, I am feeling more like a therapist than a political scientist. Almost every day I find myself trying to calm the nerves of friends whose attention to the daily polling numbers is making them VERY anxious. Interestingly, it’s almost always my Democratic friends. I assume my Republican friends suspect that advice from a liberal academic won’t make them feel better.

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How the West was Won!

I was in Springfield’s Symphony Hall last night for the third debate between Senator Scott Brown and Professor Elizabeth Warren (note: “Professor” isn’t an insult on this site ;)). The debate was a good one. Professor Cunningham’s impressions were accurate in my view, but clearly understated judging by the audience’s reactions. Basically, the professor schooled the boy senator. The moderator, PBS’s Jim Madigan, did an excellent job keeping the candidates on task and policing what was one of the most boisterous crowds I’ve ever seen at a political debate.

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Balance & Competitiveness Canards Endure

The media’s reporting and analysis of the 2012 election is replete with two irrepressible canards: a phony notion of balance and a need to inflate the competitiveness of marquis races. Obviously, it’s literally true that even the most lopsided races are not over until they are over, so to speak, but the tendency of media analysts to break their backs trying to include positive and negative comments about both sides in campaign coverage is annoying and absurd. For example, ending every column with some version of “anything could happen” is often transparently absurd, if not dishonest.

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The “Politics of Personal CONstruction”

Americans are well conditioned to be contemptuous of the so-called “politics of personal destruction” where in contending candidates or parties level personal attacks against their political foes in an effort to discredit them in the minds of voters on matters not related to public policy or political philosophy. On the other hand, American voters have been equally well conditioned to celebrate another brand of personalized politics that is actually just as deceptive and destructive of deliberative democracy. Indeed, personal attacks on opponents would be far less useful in elections if not for Americans’ embrace of the other side of the personalized politics coin. The “politics of personal CONstruction” are not a popular subject of political cautionary tales, but they should be.

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Democratic Insiders are Panicking!

The media narrative that features nervous Democratic pols, activists, and consultants wringing their hands about Elizabeth Warren’s supposed campaign inadequacies has another entry. Dan Payne, a political commentator at WBUR radio in Boston recently published a column on the station’s web site called “What’s Wrong with the Warren Campaign.” In it, he clearly and cogently lists and describes several popular complaints about Warren’s campaign to date. I’m not referring to complaints from Republicans, mind you; Payne’s list of problems actually represents the fears of nervous Democratic “insiders.”

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