Nancy Pelosi, Psephologist?

>> Friday, January 22, 2010

There are several reasons why Massachusetts elected the Republican on Tuesday, a topic I hope to cover if I have the time. However, one reason certainly isn't this bullshit explanation offered by Nancy Pelosi:

“There’s some fundamentals in there [the Senate HCR bill] that make it problematic for our members,” Ms. Pelosi said. “Some members say, and I respect this, some of the concerns that were expressed in Massachusetts were about certain provisions of the Senate bill. We want, obviously, to hear and heed what was said there and what is said across the country.”
Some of the concerns that were expressed in Massachusetts? If I interpret this correctly, she is, in effect, implying / suggesting that some people voted for Scott Brown because, after studying the details of the two bills, found the Senate version inferior to the House version and in opposition to their liberal proclivities, hence elected the Republican candidate to the Senate?

This reminds me of a line in the first season of The West Wing, the box set of which I have been plowing through the past week or so: "We don't need an opposition party; we're our own best opposition party".

UPDATE: Holy crap, a marginal percentage of voters for Brown did, in fact, follow the logic that Pelosi outlined above [see comments for details]. Astonishing, and Mea culpa. I still believe that, in this instance, the Dems should pass the Senate version, flawed as it is. Of course, Congress and the Administration are backpedalling from even that. In the bigger picture, the Administration should be more aggressive, a post I was working on this morning before lecturing . . .

. . . and this is consistent with a protest vote thesis, for which special elections are prime electoral contexts. I do wonder just how salient the preference for the public option was in these Brown voters however.


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