The day after: winners and losers

Bumped for the excellent additions to my list in the comments. How could I have forgotten Eric Fehrnstrom? :-) - promoted by david

Let’s start with the obvious: last night was a really, really good night.  In addition to the marquee races around here – President Obama and Elizabeth Warren – Joe Kennedy III won Barney Frank’s seat by 25 points, handing Sean Bielat his second defeat in as many cycles, and Niki Tsongas, Bill Keating, Mike Capuano, Ed Markey, and Steve Lynch all easily turned back their challengers.  In MA-6, John Tierney eked out a very narrow victory over Richard Tisei in the race that was the MA GOP’s best hope for relevance.  And, as johnk summarizes, things went from bad to worse for the GOP in the state legislature.  If there’s a bright spot for state Republicans in what happened yesterday, I can’t see it.

Nearby, we’ve got two awesome Democrats (Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster) defeating Republican incumbents in the New Hampshire House races (NH will now have an all-female congressional delegation plus a female governor – a first?), we’ve got independent Angus King (who’s expected to caucus with the Dems, though he hasn’t said so officially) picking up Olympia Snowe’s Senate seat in Maine, and we’ve got Democrat Chris Murphy handing Linda McMahon her second straight, incredibly expensive Senate loss in Connecticut.  Outside the region, the Senate races were mostly excellent: Democrat Joe Donnelly picked up a seat for the Dems in Indiana (a win that seemed incredibly unlikely not long ago), Claire McCaskill held her Senate seat in Missouri (another one that was a real longshot), Tammy Baldwin beat Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin, Tim Kaine beat George Allen in Virginia, Jon Tester held in deep red Montana, and Heidi Heitkamp won in North Dakota.  The only slight disappointments were Jeff Flake winning in Arizona when it seemed that Richard Carmona might actually have a shot, Deb Fischer beating Bob Kerrey in Nebraska (the GOP’s only Senate pickup), and Shelley Berkley failing to unseat Dean Heller in Nevada, but those races were always a real stretch.  Net result: Dems pick up 2 seats, assuming King caucuses with the Dems, in a year in which the Republicans were supposed to have a great chance at taking control.

The House was less awesome, with very little overall change in the chamber’s composition and Republicans still firmly in control.  But there were some very bright spots: in Illinois, Tammy Duckworth booted the wretched Joe Walsh; and in Florida, Alan Grayson is back in, and Allen West probably lost.  And I must give a shout-out to Raul Ruiz, about whom I’ve written before and who looks on track to unseat Mary Bono Mack in California’s 36th district (the race remains too close to call as of now), which would be a big and awesome upset.  Let me know if I missed any especially noteworthy races.

Beyond the candidates themselves, there were more winners and losers.  Let’s have a look at a few of them.

Winner: The People’s Pledge.  In an unprecedented and very gutsy move, Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown agreed early on that their campaigns would pay a substantial financial penalty if any third-party group ran broadcast, print, or online advertising on their behalf.  Many thought the deal wouldn’t hold up when the going got tough.  But it did – there were a few very minor violations, but we, alone among tight Senate races in the country, were spared the onslaught of negative TV ads from Karl Rove and the rest of the Super PAC gang.  Yes, there are some loopholes that could be tightened up (direct mail and robocalls come immediately to mind).  But by and large, the agreement was a huge success, and both campaigns deserve hearty praise for agreeing to it, and for sticking to it.  Scott Brown in particular should be proud of standing by a principle he had clearly stated even when it became clear that doing so was probably hurting his reelection chances.  One hopes that the Pledge will serve as a model in future races here and elsewhere.  We actually beat Citizens United.

Winners: Nate Silver, Sam Wang, and other statistics geeks.  I wrote this issue up a week or so ago in a post entitled “the epic showdown of 2012: geeks vs. pundits.”  And the result is crystal clear: the geeks won.  Both Silver and Wang consistently showed Obama ahead, and by the weekend before election day had him as a prohibitive favorite to win, which he did.  Furthermore, Silver’s final map of which state favored whom exactly nailed how the race actually went, and Wang’s was off only because he gave Florida to Romney by a whisker – an entirely defensible call, since the polling showed it a dead heat and, in fact, the state hasn’t actually been called for Obama yet (although he holds what appears to be a small but insurmountable lead).  So they were right about who would win, and they were basically right about how he would do it.  They were also both very close to the actual popular vote totals.

Winner: polling.  I’ve said this after every major election since this blog has been in existence, and I can say it again today: polling works.  Not every individual poll nails it, of course, but on the whole, the enterprise works remarkably well – particularly when you are smart about ignoring internal polls and polls conducted by obviously biased operations.  The geeks like Silver and Wang depend on pollsters basically doing their jobs well, and the fact that the geeks were so successful is a testament to the fact that most pollsters are pretty good.

Winner: Public Policy Polling.  Some pollsters are better than others, and this cycle, Public Policy Polling had an exceptionally strong track record.  They were just named the most accurate pollster in the country by a study out of Fordham University.  More importantly, their polling in the swing states nailed just about every result, and usually was pretty close to the actual margin.  They also hit most of the big Senate races, and even got several notoriously-difficult-to-poll ballot questions right.  They are always identified as a “Democratic” firm (I’m not sure exactly why), but this cycle should cement their reputation as generally doing an excellent job.

Losers: Gallup and Rasmussen.  Gallup is the most famous pollster in the country, but this year its record was awful.  For almost two weeks before its operations were interrupted by Hurricane Sandy, its national tracking poll of “likely voters” was showing Romney ahead from 3 to as much as 7 points.  No other head-to-head pollster was seeing results like that; most of them showed a dead heat, or one candidate or the other up by 1 or 2 points at most.  The disparity was so obvious that Nate Silver devoted a long post to it.  Gallup missed several days right before the election but published a final poll on Monday, which showed Romney up by 1 point, 49-48.  Closer, but still no cigar: in the final analysis, Obama won by over 2 points and got over 50% of the total votes cast.  Interestingly, Gallup’s “registered voter” numbers were much closer to the other pollsters’ down the stretch, and to the final results.  Perhaps Gallup should look into refining its “likely voter” screen.

Rasmussen has a reputation for favoring Republicans, and this cycle it showed again that it’s well-earned.  Rasmussen’s final takes on VA, OH, WI, IA, and CO were all wrong in favor of Romney (showing either a tie or Romney ahead), sometimes by quite a few points.

Winner: Suffolk – in Massachusetts.  David Paleologos at Suffolk University continues to have an excellent record polling Massachusetts races.  His bellwether polls (of Waltham and Gloucester) were right, accurately predicting that Elizabeth Warren would win, and his last statewide poll pegged Warren’s lead at 7, only 1 point off her actual margin of 8.  For Massachusetts races, Suffolk continues to be the gold standard.  However…

Loser: Suffolk – everywhere else.  Paleologos made a huge mistake by announcing publicly, almost a month before the election, that Suffolk was pulling out of polling VA, FL, and NC because Romney was a lock to win all three states.  Obama of course won VA and will probably end up winning FL, and NC was down to the wire.  In addition, Suffolk’s bellwether polls of Ohio and New Hampshire both blew it, incorrectly predicting that Romney would win both states.  New Hampshire wasn’t even close.

Losers: right-leaning pundits who saw what they wanted to see rather than what was real. I’m looking at you, Michael “Gallup says Romney’s winning so he has to win” Graham, George “Romney will even win Minnesota” Will, Peggy “all the vibrations are right” Noonan, and many others who wanted to push Obama out of the White House so badly that they refused to look at what should have been painfully obvious: Obama held modest but consistent leads in most of the key swing states in the week or so prior to election day, and if anything the polls were trending slightly toward Obama.  Republicans have often been fairly criticized for not being “reality based,” and this is a good example of that unfortunate tendency.  The polls were not skewed, and numbers don’t lie (if they are crunched properly).  These guys all just refused to look at them, and now they look ridiculous.  Along similar lines, don’t miss Slate’s excellent “Pundarts” pundit scorecard, done up as a dart board.

UPDATE: Holy crap, they are still doing it.  Check our Byron York’s post-mortem, posted Wednesday morning:

Before Sandy, Romney’s aides had watched him move up, point by point, in the national tracking polls.  After Sandy, Romney slipped, Obama rose, and the race became a virtual tie.

False.  False, false, false.  This is the “Ro-mentum” myth that has long since been repeatedly and hilariously debunked by the geeks.  Romney’s post-Denver momentum ended at least a week before Hurricane Sandy was on anyone’s radar.  Moreover, the race has never been a “virtual tie.”  But the wingers just can’t accept any of that, because it would mean that Obama’s reelection was not an unfortunate coincidence, but rather a failure of their candidate and their message.

Losers: hysterical right-wing online media.  By which I mean outfits like Breitbart.com, the Drudge Report, Legal Insurrection, and even our good friends at Red Mass Group, who about once a week breathlessly announced that they had discovered the previously-undisclosed hidden skeleton in a Democrat’s closet that would finally, once and for all, reveal said Democrat as the cheating, lying fraud that they always knew in their gut that he or she was.  Problem was, nobody cared.  Whether it was Elizabeth Warren’s “scientific misconduct,” or Barack Obama’s hugging critical race theorist Derrick Bell, or any of Drudge’s made-up bombshells, or Warren’s law license, or any of a host of other nonsense issues, the wingnuts could never get any traction either with the mainstream media or with normal voters, who can see through BS like this much more effectively than many people (including many politicians) give them credit for.

Winner: marriage equality.  Before yesterday, marriage equality had had a rough time at the ballot box, losing something like 30 straight contests when it came to state ballot questions.  That streak ended yesterday: Maine, Washington, and Maryland approved laws that will authorize same-sex marriage, and Minnesota rejected a state constitutional amendment that would have banned it.  Of course, it is only a matter of time before this issue is resolved the right way once and for all, and the time may come sooner than anyone thought.

Winner: John Walsh.  The chair of the state Democratic party showed once again that the best way to win an election is to figure out who your voters are, and ask them – repeatedly, and in person – to show up.  He also showed that he knows how to assemble an extremely effective system for doing exactly that.  Result: another clean sweep for Democrats in Massachusetts.

Loser: Bob Maginn.  The chair of the state Republican party, in contrast, showed that he knows how to assemble a lot of web videos that nobody watches and how to send out a lot of hysterical direct mail attack pieces.  Unfortunately for him, it seems that those things either don’t convince anyone of anything, or they don’t persuade people to show up on election day, or both.

That’s my list.  What did I miss?

Recommended by jasongwb, somervilletom, johnk, kbusch.



Discuss

53 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. But David...

    …you still haven’t made a comment on Elizabeth Warren’s law license! I know, because Eabo has been keeping you on the top of his “five things” list for weeks! It seems that you’re the only arbiter of law license malfeasance in the state, when are you going to comment on it?

    Oh wait, you called it a nonsense issue above – never mind! ;)

  2. Since you mentioned NH and ME

    New Hampshire Winner Down Ballot – The New Hampshire Democrats flipped the House of Reps by 115 members on Election Day. Dems now control the House 217-1777 with six races still being recounted. For good measure Democrats in the State Senate took a Republican supermajority of 19-5 and turned it into a slim Republican lead of 13-11 on Tuesday.

    New Hampshire Loser Down Ballot – now former Republican House / Tea Party Speaker Bill O’Brien who held onto his Rep’s seat by 25 votes and lead the Republicans down the path of massive losses. Out as Speaker.

    Maine Winner Down Ballot – Maine Democrats who took back Leadership of both the House of Representatives and State Senate last night. Making Maine Republican Governor Paul Lepage a lame duck with 2 years left in his term.

    • Got a good site for these results

      Admittedly I haven’t looked hard, but I’ve yet to find a good site for the 2012 results for state legislatures. Got one?

      • I don't

        Was worked involved with New Hampshire and Maine so I
        had that available. CNN story has Democrats taking 8 States Legislatures back.

  3. 217 -177 . . .

    that should read

  4. NH Governor

    I don’t think Hassan can be the first woman because wasn’t Jeanne Shaheen governor before she was elected to the Senate?

    • The first

      is having a woman as Governor and having an all-female Congressional delegation at the same time. Both Senators (Shaheen and Ayotte) and both Representatives (Shea-Porter and McLane Kuster).

      That is a first.

  5. Surely Eric Fehrnstrom is the biggest loser, for setting the tone of this hideously offensive GOP campaign with his thankfully disastrous strategies for both Mitt Romney and Scott Brown.

  6. The House is hard to flip

    because the 2010 Tea Party stuff happened at exactly the wrong time. GOP state legislatures were able to redistrict in a way that favors GOP reps.

    PPP is called Democratic because they were most often hired by Democrats and first became known for their polling of the 2008 Dem primaries. Many of their polls this year were commissioned by SEIU and Daily Kos, which lean left. Nate Silver once said they had a Dem house effect, but it seems to me that’s diminishing and they’re just accurate.

  7. Derrick Bell

    Whether it was Elizabeth Warren’s “scientific misconduct,” or Barack Obama’s hugging critical race theorist Derrick Bell…the wingnuts could never get any traction either with the mainstream media or with normal voters, who can see through BS like this much more effectively than many people (including many politicians) give them credit for.

    Derrick Bell was my teacher and I worked as his teaching assistant for a semester. He was passionate about racial justice but he was far from a fire-breathing radical.

    Prof. Bell was outspoken in later years about not having all the answers, particularly because he felt Brown v. Board and its aftermath, which felt like a great victory at the time, may have led to even greater self-segregation due to white flight. I found him to be a person of great nuance and wisdom, with a generous and gentle nature.

    When most of my fellow students were ready to label most working-class white people racist for not liking affirmative action and busing, he made the case for those people in very human terms. Many of my law school classmates were convinced all white people were privileged in every way, because most of the white people they knew were.

    Prof. Bell stressed that, while the poorest white person had some advantages over even the richest black person, working-class white folks struggling after 25 years of Reaganomics were perfectly justified in not seeing themselves as particularly privileged.

    The right-wing loonies would have benefited from an hour with Derrick Bell.

    • Oh, don't get me wrong.

      I knew Professor Bell too, and do not for a second buy into the right-wing caricature of him. That’s actually my point – Breitbart thought they had this huge smoking gun with “the hug,” whereas in fact Bell was a very mild-mannered guy who had some controversial views but was assuredly not, as you say, a fire-breather.

      • I don't expect people here buy it

        but I was kind of shocked the right would make a big deal out of Obama giving the guy a hug. He was a prominent black professor at HLS when Obama was one of the few black students. But hell, I hugged a right-wing professor when I went back to my law school. Doesn’t mean a thing.

  8. How about a Big Condolence Hug for Linda McMahon

    She spent $70+ million of her own money to try to buy a senate seat in CT. One day I got 3 expensive color glossy mail pieces from her attacking Murphy. And the TV commercials were relentless — sometimes two of her ads would air sequentially during one commercial break. So sick of seeing her cross eyed face.

    Hope she got her money’s worth. :-)

  9. I nominate Karl Rove

    Rove’s Crossroads organizations spent in the neighborhood of a billion dollars on the presidential and other races. How’d he fare? From Bloomberg:

    The return on investment for American Crossroads donors was 1 percent, according to an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington-based group that advocates for open government. The group calculated the number based on how much of the money was spent supporting winners.

    For donors to sister-organization Crossroads GPS, the success rate was 13 percent, the group said. That’s a lower return than for donations to the National Republican Congressional Committee and to the two major Democratic congressional super-PACs, according to Sunlight.

    Rove’s hilarious meltdown on Fox News after their people called Ohio for Obama was just icing on the Schadenfreude cake. If the so-called businessmen who donated to Rove have a lick of investment sense they’ll never send him another dime.

    • I nominate Rove, too, but as a winner

      The fact that he could hoodwink so many top GOP donors out of their money, a large chunk of which he pockets for himself, when his results are so piss poor is an epic win… for him.

      RyansTake   @   Thu 8 Nov 12:30 PM
  10. I agree that John Walsh is a wizard. But let’s not forget the woman behind the scenes: campaign manager Mindy Myers, who brought Elizabeth Warren to that great victory. Once again, Mindy developed a strong and steady game plan. Staying calm and focused and consistent, she ignored distractions and executed the plan. Mindy deserves much more credit and thanks than she’s gotten so far!

  11. Winner: Our own Doug Rubin

    Doug ran a masterful campaign for Elizabeth Warren. His candidate did precisely the right things at precisely the right times. The timing of her moves was perfect. The campaign turned the heat on at the right time, sprinted when it needed to, and rolled into the election with her momentum increasing every day. At no time did the campaign ever go negative, and in so doing made the contrast with its opponent all the more striking — the expertly executed political jujitsu turned his attacks into a closing-stretch advantage for the Warren campaign. The angrier he got, the more support she gained. Another sweet victory accomplished by a Democratic campaign grand-master.

    Great job, Doug.

    • Negative campaigns

      I don’t think it’s bad to ‘go negative’ if the negatives have a bearing on the actual election — like, say, Scott Brown’s votes. Rubin’s never been afraid to do that and I’m with him there.

      What Rubin does do, for good reason, is stay out of the gutter… far away from the likes of Kerry Healey’s garage ads and Scott Brown’s lying liar asbestos and Native American ads.

      Moreover, if a Rubin candidate is going to call out an opponent over their votes or policies, from what I’ve seen, they’re going to do so out in the open, with the candidate out in front making the points, not leaving it to shady scary-voice/jarring camera tv smears and radio shock jock ads.

      All of that silly-scary stuff, IMO (and as Healey and Brown have found out), hurts more than it helps.

      RyansTake   @   Thu 8 Nov 5:52 PM
      • Agreed

        I meant down in the gutter when I wrote “negative”. I’m totally on-board for negatives that are true and relevant.

        I enthusiastically agree with your comment.

  12. Indiana Republicans

    The Indiana Senate seats was only open because stalwart Dick Lugar lost a primary battle to Mourdock. Of course I have no crystal ball, but with Indiana being Romney country, I can’t imagine Lugar losing the general, and he certainly would not be making assinine rape comments. Thank you, Tea Party for helping the blue team flip what should have been a lay up retention for Republicans.

    • Mourdock would not have lost

      the general if he’d avoided that one comment. He seemed to be narrowly ahead until then.

      • hard to say...

        Mourdock would not have lost(1+ / 0-) View voters

        the general if he’d avoided that one comment. He seemed to be narrowly ahead until then.

        …since I don’t think one comment, especially a religious comment expressed on the buckle of the bible belt, would have cost him that dearly. And even if he hadn’t said it, since haters gotta hate, his issues mighta expressed themselves in some other way. But, absent the comment, it quite possibly would have been closer.

  13. Don't forget in the Loser column: Shawmut Group

    Who would hire Eric Fehrnstrom now?

    • I don't know

      but I sure can hope.

      The man was a gift.

    • not very many candidates ever really did

      Mitt Romney essentially self-funded Fernstrom’s little team. I wonder if that will continue now…

      RyansTake   @   Thu 8 Nov 5:53 PM
    • Yvonne Abraham in yesterday's Globe

      One victory does not a genius make After Scott Brown pulled out that shocking win over Attorney General Martha Coakley in 2010, his strategist, Eric Fehrnstrom, became a national star. Calls flooded in from Republicans hoping he’d work similar magic on them. What followed was a string of defeats. Tuesday brought two more losses, big ones, with both Brown and Romney going down. Also: that spectacular Etch-A-Sketch gaffe. Seems unlikely that the phones over at his Shawmut Group are running hot today.

  14. Biggest Loser?

    Biggest loser IMHO is none other than Mitch McConnell.

    He has no credibility; he has no party to speak of; but he still has Obama in the WH.

  15. Winner: Women

    Women voters won by showing their power at the ballot box, defeating whack jobs who thought the definition of rape was up for grabs and that contraception was some kind of ebil thing no women should be able to get, never mind the right to choose.

    Women candidates had an exceptional night at the ballot box, from Tammy Baldwin and Liz Warren, the first women senators from their states, to NH, who is sending an entire delegation of females to DC, to Senator McCaskill winning by wide margins (when people were writing her political obituary months ago), to Hirono winning the Senate in Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard taking Hirono’s current congressional seat, and other congressional candidates winning like Tammy Duckworth, etc.

    I’m sure I’m missing a few, too.

    RyansTake   @   Thu 8 Nov 12:28 PM
  16. Huge Loser: David Paleologos

    I think you’re being too kind to Paleologos and Suffolk. It’s one thing to miss a call, but it’s another thing entirely to go on a partisan talk show a month before the election and declare that you were pulling pollsters from certain states and “painting them Red,” only to have them go the other way. That defies logic and should forever tarnish his credibility.

    This is more than just a polling mistake- it was a calculated decision, followed by an even more calculated public announcement. If I were associated with the university, I would demand an internal investigation.

    • Suffolk badly damaged nationally

      Paleologos & Suffolk really look bad. It’s not just that he did a bad job in a poll, he actually said he didn’t need any more polling for a whole month be for the election to know for sure what would happen- he undermining his own existence! One most useful things for polling in an election is to see how things are changing.

      I wonder if Suffolk just didn’t have the funds to keep polling all those states, but Mr. Paleologos didn’t want to want to say that on national tv and risk looking small-time. So he rolled the dice on FL and VA coming back to their red roots & and a bold sounding guess. But that didn’t happen and he ended up looking even more small-time. Irony.

      Suffolk has built a strong record locally, but nationally they have not been basically flailing. Maybe Paleologos and Sufflolk should stick a strong niche in one state, like the Dem Moise Redgisters polls of Iowa.

      • oops

        correction-

        nationally they [Sufflok] have been basically flailing.

      • I doubt he did have the funds to keep polling those states

        and you know what? There’s no shame in that.

        If he simply stopped polling them, it never would have been a problem. Since polling is expensive, few pollsters are going to poll anything without someone paying for that poll (like a campaign or media outlet).

        What Paleogolos did was take advantage of his lack of funding and make up an excuse for why he wasn’t going to poll, so he could go on a national TV show and make a partisan foray into politics, one that (as has been noted) undermined his own profession — taking the pundit stance in the divide between the geeks and pundits that David’s been pointing out.

        He never had to do that… he *wanted* to do that. It was unprofessional and IMO disqualifying. Suffolk really should investigate what it can do to regain its credibility, at the very least demanding Paleologos make a public apology and a promise that he’ll stay away from entering into the partisan fray again.

        RyansTake   @   Thu 8 Nov 6:01 PM
  17. Winner: Sen Patty Murray

    As Rachel Maddow pointed out on her show last night: in 2011 Harry Reid asked three OTHER senators, including Chuck Shumer and Al Franken if they wanted to run the 2012 DSCC efforts; with 23 Democratic seats up against only 10 Republicans it was considered, not without reason, an utterly thankless, perhaps even a hopeless, task. Keeping the Senate is, frankly, a miracle. And, more credit to her, with such long odds she went out and swung for the fences.

    You can say that she had a great deal of assistance from many of the Republican candidates themselves, and so she did, but her clear decision to recruit and run many female candidates, a decision made well before the Republican war on women came into such sharp focus, seems darn near prescient.

    • Winner: People of Massachusetts

      We have a senator who understands macro and micro economy, how policy actually affects real people, a senator who cares about people and who gets that the return on investment when the government invests can exponential. We have a senator who is as ethical as anyone in government. A senator who has all the courage anyone could want to take on any issue, person or institution.
      And we have a senator who is as likeable as the day is long.
      Yep, we win.

  18. Another big winner -- Sherrod Brown

    Honestly, other than Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin, I was most hoping that Senator Brown would win reelection. It would have been a huge loss to not have him in the Senate, especially given the insanity of his opponent and the tsunami of Citizans United $$ spent against him.

    I’m really psyched that these 3 (Warren, Brown and Baldwin) are now in the Senate together, along with several other tremendous folks. It’s like there’s a bloc now of super smart, strong progressives in the Senate — so refreshing!!!

    • There was only ONE Sen. Brown

      we wanted to keep, and that’s how it worked out!

    • You can add Hirono to that list

      She doesn’t get as much attention because she’s all the way in Hawaii, but she’ll be right up there with anyone on someone who will champion progressive causes.

      While our majority in the Senate may not be as strong as when Obama was elected four years ago, certainly the make-up of it is superior in almost every way. Substituting Murphy for Lieberman, Baldwin for Kohl and Warren for Brown are giant, giant wins for progressives — and that’s just for starters.

      Kaine for Webb even feels like a slight upgrade (Webb was really a big disappointment for me — I never expected him to be a super liberal, but I did expect him to be better than he ended up being.)

      Then, add to that wins in places like North Dakota and Indiana, and things are starting to look very solid. We’ll have to see how well those Dems perform, but I have hopes they’ll be better than some other Dems that have come from that region in the country, like Ben Nelson.

      I even think McClaskill will be a better Senator on the issues in this coming term than the last one, after discovering that she could win on some traditional ‘liberal’ issues. Heck, on that point, you have Senators like Harry Reid who were conservadems and now have much, much more liberal records from the past year or so. I actually believe Harry Reid’s statements today that he wouldn’t put Social Security reform on the table in the “fiscal cliff” debates during lame-duck sessions.

      RyansTake   @   Thu 8 Nov 6:17 PM
      • Amen re: Hirono

        Saw her @ Netroots Nation & was so incredibly impressed. She is an amazing person with a great record. It’s like an embarassment of riches we have here :-)

      • I consider Hirono

        a worthy successor to Akaka if not an upgrade. Agree Kaine is an upgrade over Webb. Warren vs. Brown, King vs. Snowe, Murphy vs. Lieberman, Baldwin vs. Kohl, all very good.

        Heitkamp vs. Kent Conrad, we’ll see. Conrad infuriated me at times. She’s certainly better than Rick Berg would have been. Ditto Donnelly. We’ll see what happens with Claire McCaskill. It’s becoming a pretty red state and she can’t count on such a huge gaffe by an opponent next time. But next time is in SIX YEARS!

        • My point with McCaskill

          was that she really won because of traditional socially liberal democratic policies, so I’m hoping in that she’ll realize she’s better off — even in a ‘red state’ — to continue on that same trajectory.

          I by no means expect her to become some liberal stalwart or something. I’m just hoping for some marginal improvement. Even in Missouri, she’ll be better off if she does.

          RyansTake   @   Fri 9 Nov 12:43 PM
  19. Winner: Equality

    Marriage equality won across the board, I believe.
    Loser: Bigots. Bigotry doesn’t get you 50%+1 anymore in our country.

    sabutai   @   Thu 8 Nov 4:52 PM
  20. How about UNH polling for Globe?

    If we’re going to talk pollsters who got it wrong, we have to bring up UNH’s polling of the US Senate race for the Globe. They had Brown up 2 on October 29 while everyone else had Warren up around 5-6-7. David Bernstein at the Phoenix had some questions back in June about Andrew Smith, the Globe’s pollster at UNH and unfavorable things he said about Warren in the Herald — looks awfully like Smith kept getting the poll results he wanted instead of an accurate reading of the electorate. I’m guessing that the Globe has a different pollster working for them in 2014.

    • Yes, that's a good addition.

      In fact, both Boston dailies published pretty crappy polling this cycle. As you say, the Globe/UNH polls were often out of step with other pollsters, and the last one was probably way off. Similarly with the Herald, UMass’s polling was out of step and way off base down the stretch.

  21. GOTV

    Maybe its been done to death here, but the fact that we pulled out numbers bigger than in 2008 seems like a pretty huge win to me.

  22. stomv was a winner

    bostonshepherd owes stomv dinner!

  23. Stomv,

    I assume you have seen the post wherein BostonShepherd has reached out to make good on the bet.

  24. a couple of light-hearted items

    Winner – Big Bird since PBS seems safe.
    Loser – Binders, at least those containing the resumes of qualified women
    Loser – Horses and bayonets as common military items

  25. Loser: Kimball Political Consulting

    They had a poll on Nov. 2 that said Brown was ahead by two points. They even showed Brown leading among women voters.

    They weren’t even close. Kimball PC is not just a loser. They are a joke.

  26. Winner: BMG readers

    We got an extraordinary trove of information, insight and even entertainment.
    Thank you everybody. I don’t know what I did without you.

  27. Mother Jones was a big winner . . .

    I can’t think of another media organization which had a bigger impact on the election.

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Thu 24 Jul 8:18 AM