Tag Archives: Scott Brown

Coakley, Brown, & Baker and the difference between Senate and Guv elections

Success for Martha Coakley, Scott Brown, and Charlie Baker this November may depend on a proper appreciation of the difference between US Senate and gubernatorial elections.

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The Scott Brown-Barack Obama Correlation

Is there anyone whose political fortunes are more tied to President Barack Obama than Scott Brown? According to Joshua Miller in the Boston Globe today, Scott Brown riding an anti-Obama wave in N.H.  Obama played a large role in electing Brown in Massachusetts in 2010, Obama atop the ballot helped usher out the Scott Brown Era in Massachusetts in 2012 (and Brown himself out of Massachusetts), and Obama’s unpopularity may help usher Brown into yet another Senate seat in 2014.

Before we get back to New Hampshire though, le me return again to what really mattered in 2010. No, it wasn’t Martha Coakley’s supposed gaffes.

My University of Massachusetts at Boston colleagues Tom Ferguson and Jie Chen produced a working paper for the Roosevelt Institute, 1,2,3, Many Tea Parties that offered a much more likely explanation for the Democrats’ demise in 2010 than Coakley taking the days around Christmas off: the failure of Obama and the Democrats to address the economic devastation being felt by American working and middle-class families.

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Facebook Forecast: Jeanne Shaheen to Defeat Scott Brown

Tuesday morning we brought you a posting from UMass Amherst political science doctoral candidates Matt MacWilliams, Edward Erikson and Nicole Luna Berns in which they used their Facebook Forecasting Model to predict a win for Scott Brown in the New Hampshire Republican primary for U.S. Senate – not an earth shattering prediction. They have just completed data analysis for the general election and have a daring prediction for the race. Read on for how they see the race, and how they did it.

Early this week, we used Scott Brown’s surging Facebook PTAT to predict that Brown would walk away with the Republican nomination for Senate in New Hampshire. With the primary behind us, we can now apply our full Facebook Forecasting Model to the Senator Jeanne Shaheen/Brown contest. The model produces a weekly two-candidate election forecast. Over time, the weekly prediction also provides a dynamic track of which way a race is moving. Our forecast for New Hampshire predicts that Senator Shaheen is on track to hold her seat with 56% of the vote.

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Facebook Metrics Predict Scott Brown Primary Win

We’ve posted from our friend UMass Amherst doctoral candidate Matt MacWilliams in the past with news of his Senate forecasting model using data from Facebook. Today we welcome another post from Matt and his UMass Amherst colleagues Edward Erikson and Nicole Luna Berns. Their Facebook model is strongly suggestive that Scott Brown will capture the Republican nomination for the US Senate in New Hampshire later today. Of even more interest, they are going to use Facebook to forecast the winner in the Scott Brown-Senator Jeanne Shaheen final. They’ll do this on their blog #hashtagdemocracy and have generously agreed to cross post here. Enjoy this new and interesting approach to forecasting senate elections.

Can publicly-available data from the Facebook pages of candidates for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire tell us anything about who will win come Election Day next Tuesday and in November? If what we learned during the 2012 elections is any guide, the answer may be a whole lot.

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Scott Brown of the Me Generation

I’ve always thought the definitive statement about Mitt Romney was made by Mitt Romney. After legislative Democrats slaughtered the Romney Reform Team in the 2004 elections, Romney told the Boston Globe’s Joan Vennochi “From now on, it’s me, me, me.”

Scott Brown has been sending the same signal, not as bluntly but in a very damaging fashion nonetheless.

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Political Scientists Love Puzzles

At the recent New England Political Science Association annual meeting some of the most interesting work was presented by Matthew MacWilliams. Matthew was a Benjamin Franklin Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He is a PhD candidate (ABD) at the University of Massachusetts. His current academic research interests include election forecasting using social media metrics, campaign communications, social media, political behavior, the Supreme Court, the politics of climate change, the politics of health care reform, interest group lobbying of the judiciary, campaign finance, and political campaigns. He was nominated in the fall of 2013 for a distinguished teaching award at the University of Massachusetts. We are pleased to have him guest today, with a provocative post questioning the new conventional wisdom about the lack of effectiveness of political television commercials – like those we’ve already seen in the Scott Brown-Jeanne Shaheen contest. Also keep an eye out for the launch later this month of Matt’s blog HashtagDemocracy.

Political scientists do love puzzles. They are the grist of our academic research mills. But sometimes puzzles that question academic orthodoxy, especially orthodoxy arrived at through seemingly airtight statistical analyses, are left unexamined.

Take for instance the orthodoxy that political commercials don’t matter. This scholarly assertion has grown over the ivy covered walls of academe and blossomed into a new conventional wisdom, voiced in a recent article by Sasha Issenberg in The New Republic, that Senate “Democrats should not be too worried about the inbound negative ads” attacking them this year.

That’s one puzzling whopper of a recommendation that may have taken the findings of academic studies a bit further than is warranted.

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Could an early Brown implosion spare Baker?

The recent wave of good news about Obamacare has complicated Republican plans to ride opposition to the President’s singular legislative accomplishment back into the majority in the US Senate. Nowhere is this more in evidence than the New Hampshire US Senate campaign trail.

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Baker’s Brown Problem

In today’s Boston Globe Frank Phillips writes that “Scott Brown’s entrance into New Hampshire’s US Senate race has created a political and media firestorm that some analysts believe will damage critical underpinnings of Charlie Baker’s gubernatorial candidacy in Massachusetts.”

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Another tactical mistake by Brown or ill-advised Sununu ad lib?

Has Scott Brown’s hired the same folks for his latest senate bid who counseled him to mock Elizabeth Warren at every opportunity by calling her “professor?” It sure looks that way.

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Brown’s misstep might show Democrats the way forward

Public opinion polling data indicates that the American people have quite a few misgivings about the law known as “Obamacare.” So much so that the Republicans have decided to make opposition to what is actually called the Affordable Care Act the linchpin of their national strategy to take control of the US Senate. What Scott Brown is quickly finding out is that this tactic is not going to be quite as useful in New Hampshire as it figures to be in Louisiana, for example. What national Republicans are finding out is that Scott Brown may not be quite as useful for their purposes either.

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