Analysis: Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren followed different paths to statewide victory in Massachusetts

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Here is a new piece I wrote looking at city and town election returns to examine where Ed Markey outperformed Elizabeth Warren and vice versa. It is interesting that both candidates achieved similar results by appealing to somewhat different demographics and constituencies.

http://massnumbers.blogspot.com/2013/07/democrats-ed-markey-and-elizabeth.html

The major finding is that Warren’s populist message gave her strong support in less affluent communities, whereas Markey’s gun control and women’s health message did better in more affluent communities. Geographically speaking, Markey outperformed Metrowest—unsurprising given the location of his Congressional district and his higher visibility and name recognition.

 

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8 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Can't a case be made that this just reflects turnout?

    With the urban numbers much lover than Novembers?

    Another component might be that suburban voters are less likely to vote party, and voted for the candidate they knew over the one they did not.

    There could be any number of factors. This article had a lot of data, but I’m not sure it makes the case along issues lines.

  2. Twqo questions

    How well does Markey-Warren difference correlate with per capita income? Is it a strong correlation?

    Along the lines of Merimackguy’s q

  3. Two questions continued

    Sheesh, that new UI is freaky as heck.

    Along the lines of Merimackguy’s question, how does turnout correlate with income?

    • Not income, but political leaning

      My post argues that turnout was way down everywhere, but more in conservative-leaning towns and not as much in highly Democratic towns (most extreme examples, statewide turnout was down 48% from January 2010 level but Northampton turnout was down only 10% while turnout in Dighton, where Gomez won 65-35, was down 73%).

      I think Dems do best in extremely high turnout races, where many natural Dem voters actually show up, and extremely low turnout races where base/ground game count for more.

      • That may well be true

        I’m just questioning whether it was because of issues (your point) or something else.

        I know people that make this argument:

        1. Brown won in 2010 because people believed he was a conservative.
        2. In 2012 he lost because he veered towards the center.
        3. Gomez lost because he wasn’t conservative enough.

        My opinion is that all the above is total crap.

        What I think is that there are “permanent” or “solid” voting patterns in the MA electorate, and then there are layers above that where the votes can be had.

        And that could depend on the person, the opponent, the national mood, etc.

        I’m not totally dissing your argument. I’m just looking for more support.

        Sidebar: NH has a much larger (percentage wise) swing voting population than MA. It will be interesting to see what happens to Sen Kelly Ayotte, because she is under fire from the center (and left of course) for her gun control vote and now is under fire from the right for her immigration vote.

        • My take

          I know people that make this argument:

          1. Brown won in 2010 because people believed he was a conservative.
          2. In 2012 he lost because he veered towards the center.
          3. Gomez lost because he wasn’t conservative enough.

          My opinion is that all the above is total crap.

          This wasn’t my argument. My argument was more like:

          1. Brown won in 2010 because he was the Republican candidate AND conservatives were energized to get the 41st GOP vote, take Ted Kennedy’s seat, start the 2010 cycle with a bang, and block Obama’s agenda.

          2. Brown lost in 2012 because, although (I’m reasonably confident) virtually all of the people who voted for him in 2010 showed up and voted for him again, but they were drowned out by a million extra, mostly liberal, votes in a high-turnout election with Obama on the ballot and a world-class GOTV operation.

          3. Gomez lost in 2013 because (as I argue in my other post) turnout was down more in conservative places than in heavily Democratic places. This might have been because, having won the Brown race and the House in 2010, then had two years of brinksmanship in DC only to lose badly in 2012, MA conservatives are not feeling it the way they did in January 2010. And some of them, perhaps, were miffed at Gomez for the primary and for veering toward the center. No question RMG has little use for Gomez.

          I think, when you look at the maps and the percentages, town by town, precinct by precinct, rather few Mass. voters are really swing voters. Winning here is less about convincing undecideds than turning out your voters. And enthusiasm, and thus turnout, can be strongly linked to the national mood, etc. If Dems are demoralized and the GOP is excited simultaneously, as in January 2010, the GOP can win a U.S. Senate race here. If not, probably not. A race for Governor, as we’ve seen, is traditionally a little more friendly to the GOP.

          • I agree with that

            It’s this I question:

            The major finding is that Warren’s populist message gave her strong support in less affluent communities, whereas Markey’s gun control and women’s health message did better in more affluent communities.

            I thought your post was about issues, but if it’s voting patterns, then I”m completely on board that they are important. I’m 100% with #2. As for #1, in some towns, in order to get to the Brown vote (for example in Tewksbury and Dracut, which are adjacent to my town of Andover) you needed 100% of the Republicans who voted, 100% of the unenrolled, and a chunk of the Dems. I’m not sure “conservative’ even enters that question. Gomez, well…. he’s was an amateur in a state mostly aligned against him. Not sure yet what that election means.

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