January 21st, 2010
11:18 AM ET
8 years ago

Is Massachusetts vote a sign of things to come?


Is Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts a sign of things to come? (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - Political analysts say that emotions played as big a role as issues in Republican Scott Brown's earthshaking win this week in traditionally Democratic Massachusetts.

Related: Mr. Brown goes to Washington

And those emotions will appear likely to influence the rest of the political season into the November midterm elections.

"People are so angry out here in the real world they can't see straight," political analyst Jennifer Donahue said.

Independent voters can break an election. It happened in 2008 and once again in 2010.

A day after his victory to fill Ted Kennedy's old Senate seat, Brown said Wednesday the one thing he heard the most during his campaign was that people were tired of business as usual.

"That means the behind-the-scenes deals. ... They want to make sure that their elected officials are doing things in a transparent manner, and doing it with the best interests of our state and mine."

Full story

Related video: What's next for health care?

Follow Ed Hornick on Twitter: @hornickcnn

Filed under: Massachusetts • Scott Brown
soundoff (192 Responses)
  1. southerncousin

    Obama and his leftist cronies and supporters are blaming George Bush for their loss. That is how out of touch they are and always have been. If it hadn't been for the money supplied by the trial lawyers and George Soros and all of the cheating by SEIU/ACORN, this bozo would not be our president. Obama one and done.

    January 21, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. Eddie

    Obama and the Dems need to wake up! If they want to spin this upset as "the same cry for change which swept Obama into office" they will lose again and again....big time! What the American people are saying is they do not want anything to do with Obama's big government as reflected in the attempt to take over Health care as they have with GM etc!!!

    January 21, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  3. GB

    They were calm with eight years of disaster under Bush, now they are mad as hell after one year of Obama, I wonder why.

    January 21, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. Gary

    Yes, this vote is a sign of things to come....us independents want to #1 get the economy on track and get more jobs. #2 cut spending, cut taxes and cut the deficit. #3 keep Gitmo open, try terrorist in military tribunals #4 Come up with an alternate energy policy that encourages alternative, clean fuels but does not impose more taxes on people or companies. #5 sign healthcare reform that includes malpractice reform, elimination of preexisting conditions and drug reimportation from Canada without a public option.......

    Please try to stay away from taxing hard working people more to pay for lazy people who refuse to work. Everyone should work! Everyone should pay some taxes. It's only fair.

    January 21, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. TexasJack

    LORD PLEASE, let it be so.

    January 21, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. louise

    What? Wake up people, Obama can not fiix overnight , what Bush destroyed in 8 years. Where were you when we were sending billions to Iraq, with no accountability, not to mention the loss of lives for his needless war. How do you think we got into this shape?. Obama needs time and support from all of us, and you all go out and elect a Grand Ole Obstructionists. Expect nothing to get done.

    January 21, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. Obama 2.0

    Ok people, this is the deal. I am an Independent and stay up on my politics & world events. And I am also a regular guy with a regular job and a regular income. This is what I know. Obama has his work cut out. He is trying to do a lot of things to fix the economy. Dems took a majority and squandered it for left to center disagreements. The GOP had two choices. 1. Work with POTUS and get something done. @. Bet he will fail and get back in the game when he does. They choose the 2nd one. The first one while good for you and me was not good for them, so they thought because if Obama does good then they never get back in the majority or the WH. They were wrong, and insulted our inteligence. They are waiting for him at our expense and we know it. We will vote anyone out that does not work and show something for it DEM or GOP. We want Prescritpive Candidates. Candidates that are specificly choosen by the people not the "parties."

    January 21, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. Thank you Massachusetts!

    Of course it's a sign of things to come. It's not that "voters are so angry they can' t see straight", it's that voters are so angry now that they see what Obama meant by "change". He wants to change this nation into a Socialist (or worse) society and the voters do NOT want that. We want to keep the freedoms that the constitution allows for. Few people knew who Obama was and what his intentions were before the election; now that people are finding out, they are jumping ship.
    Please post this comment CNN. Don't try to bury the truth.

    January 21, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    After the MA upset, it is apparent, that the majority of my fellow citizens are indeed content to stand by while others less fortunate die. I now see the majority of this country is truly about “me” and keeping almighty dollar. We as a majority are no longer a compassionate sect interested in helping others. We are just a swamp of bottom feeders, circling for the next kill.

    It both saddens and depresses me that this once great country has fallen to such a level and as such, I cannot continue to come to this blog and watch others gloat over how they have supported and achieved the deaths of fellow citizens that were “unworthy” at least in their eyes.

    Altho, it has been fun, now that I do realize my “liberal” views really are in the minority, this shall be my final comment as I will try to avoid all news of what this country has truly become.

    This “liberal socialist always waiting for a welfare hand out” is blessed with a job and it pays enough to more than meet my basic needs for food and shelter. This “heathen” was indeed taught that yes, I am my brother’s keeper, which means once my basic needs are met, I am to help others less fortunate and help to clothe, shelter and feed them. I am not only glad, but in my belief, I am obligated to pay taxes, and since I cannot possibly help all those in need in this country, the government will use those taxes to assist those in poverty to achieve their basic needs. It may not be a perfect system but instead of ending it, I want the corruption rooted out, not to “starve” the system into non-existence. It is not my place to judge, why the folks are in a different place in life than I. I do not recall any teachings that said help those less fortunate, but only if I deem they are worthy of my help.

    So, this “heathen” will continue to try and follow the lead of the original “liberal” while you “christian” cons are merely the 21st century version of the money changers He chased from the temple.

    One day we will be divided into two groups, one that tried to promote the “liberal agenda” in our short time here, and one that elevated pride and personal greed to an art form and fought to actively limit the help to the poverty stricken by not only ignoring the poor’s basic needs for food and shelter, but sanctioned the deaths of 45,000 less fortunate Americans every year, all so you could keep more of your “gold coins“ in your own pocket.

    The Shepherd will decide which group contained the sheep and which group contained the goats.

    January 21, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. DanfromKentucky

    The anger brigade needs to get a clue. They voted for change last November and when someone tried to give it to them, they rejected it. The Republicans are giving them business as usual. This group thinks that tort reform is health care reform and the Dems need to do a better job of publicizing how cozy the GOP is with the insurance companies (and the Chamber of Commerce), at least the ones who aren't in the same pockets (the AMA backs the plan–who do you trust?) Unfortunately, all the GOP has is anger. They are devoid of ideas and when people are whipped into a tizzy, they tend to vote in nut cases who promise change, but fail to deliver. Remember the Termlimitistas in the 1990s? How many of them abandoned that pledge once they got comfortable in their jobs? How many of them are still there?

    So they don't want the goverment to touch their healthcare, but it seems like they expect the government to find them jobs. And while we're on the subject, where are the people who are uninsured and should be out there screaming from the rooftops in favor of health care reform? Do they not exist or are their voices simply drowned out by the shrill voices of the Republican party? And furthermore, how did the GOP become the party of prudent spending? I guess it's OK to run up a huge deficit for an illegal war, but when someone tries to actually do something for the people, Republicans somehow manage to convince them that they are better off with nothing.

    January 21, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. HarryB

    No more than their past moves when they elected Bill Weld, Paul Celucci, and Mitt Romney as Governor. The first two were moderate Republicans. It's hard to tell what Mitt it. It depends on what way the wind is blowing. Worst case, however, is that he's not a wingnut Right Winger.
    Let's also remember that in the past, Massachusetts was represented in Congress by esteemed individuals like Leverett Saltonstall, Edward Brooke, and Silvio Conte. Of course, that was before the GOP lost it's collective mind.

    January 21, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  12. Reagan raised taxes

    The voters just dont know how to get to the true villians that cause their pain.The peoples enemy,"the big banks and globalist corporations" are insulated from their wrath by the two party system they have bought out and have in their pockets.The only President that ever really scared them was Teddy.

    January 21, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. william Brogan

    I voted for Brown just for these reasons. God bless MA

    January 21, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. Eli

    Sure it is! Americans have the short memory of a squirrel, and they will vote again for the party which put them in this situation. Obama is not transparent enough! Not like Nixon, Bush or Reagan for sure!
    I still remember journalists never enquired them because they were SOOO transparent! What a nice group of professionals, the jopurnalists! Andwhat about economic policies SOOO successful! That's why after only one year from the mess Republicans put as all in, Americans will vote again for Republicans!! It makes a lot odf sense for a country with this level of scolastic achievement! Clinton brought a huge surplus, but Americans don't care about it!! The vote for Brown came from a State with public Health option. Now they should stick to it and cancel the public Program. O, wait, they did NOT care about the Healt care National plan BECAUSE THEY ALREADY HAVE A PUBLIC OPTION! I'm just happy that when I became an American citizen I kept my right to be assisted in the best European clinics for free! Never seen a more selfish country and shortsighted than this! Good luck to you all....you will need it!

    January 21, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  15. Vicki

    The new senator from Massachusetts will soon NOT be an anomaly. There is a grassroots movement all across this nation to move the incumbents out. Coakley represented the OLD; Brown the NEW.
    Senator McConnell should not be celebrating, as he along with Senator Reed and others, from both big parties, should be packing to go.
    American citizens want ALL of their Senate and House seats back, and for anyone that does not think it can be done, look at last year's presidential election.
    Voters are FED UP with the same ole same ole.

    January 21, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  16. yuri

    Why do we get the feeling that we had heard this kind of harnessing public anger on the ruling govt., towards winning elections?

    Eric Cantor says arrogance was another reason. There is plenty of arrogance and hubris going around theses days. GOP goons were arrogant, too. How can they comfortably forget that?

    They (the GOP) are not angelical saints, trying to, allegedly, speak the minds of Americans, and save them from the clutches of sufferings. They were also (ir)responsible for the reckless behavior of Wall Street villains who created this Gordian knot of financial crisis.

    January 21, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  17. Jimmy James

    Keep blaming "the last 8 years". That includes Obamas 1st year. Voters simply said we will keep voting for change till it happens. Obama ran and was elected on change and has shown none. He and the left took it as a mandate to take the country to the left. It wasn't about that. The country didn't like what Bush and the Republicans had done. They did it with a smaller majority than Obama has. Stop blaming the past. Start fixing the future. This country is a center right country. I know liberals can't believe that but it is. Most Americans believe in government like our founding fathers built and strived to achieve. Enough fighting and finger pointing. Take this election as a sign and work together. Pass what you agree on now ( be it healthcare or the economy) and then fight over the extra details both sides wants. If not the Democrats will lose big in the fall. If you think it can't happen , look at Mass. The bluest state electing a Republican to replace "The Liberal Lion".

    January 21, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. Terry B., Lexington Ky

    I for one am not sure what "independent voters" really want and what do they expect to get by one election being so pissed they throw one party out of office and then in the next election they put the party they just threw out back in. IF, independent voters really wanted to have change then they should elect a "real independent candidate" and not someone who has an (D) or (R) at the end of their name. I wonder, if by 2012 when Sen. elect Brown has to run for re-election and he hasn't kow towed to the "independent voters" will they turn on him?

    I personally think that "independent voters" are simply conducting an "autonomus wet dream" by wanting it all in five minutes and when they don't get it, they get pissed and start the vicious cirlce of throw the bums out but put the old bums back in routine. Sure they are having their "15 minuets of fame" and this is why mainstream politicians will only take them serious enough for now yet at the same time know that within the next three years they will have splinterd so bad by not being able to agree on anything that they will go the same way they did in 96 and after the Jessie Ventura comedy act in Minnesota and that is in the toliet...

    January 21, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. mikl

    Yes, i am angry at Obama and democrat. I vote for Obama. He promise me change. What i got. ?. Sleasy deal, no C-SPAN, spend money like drank sailor."change" my a...

    January 21, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  20. not alone

    Time to throw out all the cornies on both sides. The BUMS must go.

    January 21, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  21. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    Gotta love dem strategists, trying to blame the deficit and economy on Bush while they claim to be "paying it down". How is INCREASING the deficit and debt ceiling "paying it down"?

    The American voters have a short memory. Blaming Bush for all the ills in the country may have worked for them a few years ago, but doesn't fly anymore. Obama has been in office a full year now and the dems have controlled both the House and Senate since 2006. If anyone's to blame, it's the dems‼

    January 21, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. T'SAH from Virginia


    I am a DIEHARD DEMOCRAT and I did not agree with the "behind the door deals" either. I did not like the fact that LIEBERMAN had a final say in the bill. I did not like the fact that Olympia Snowe had to be BOUGHT before she agreed. SO THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT GOTTA GO!!!

    Health Care Reform will get passed and it's time for the RepubliCAN'Ts to realize that and jump on the Band Wagon!!!

    January 21, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  23. David Kelley

    In your lead in to this story you implied that independent voters are somehow confused or flippant and determine their stance on major issues of the day based on which side of the bed they awoke to. Shame on you, the fact that my views don't fit the increasingly NARROW "Vision" of either party doesn't mean I have no opinion,or that my views are somehow less valid. Independents vote for the candidate that seems to be most competent, and just may represent the majority of their personal beliefs. When your party deserts common sense and resorts to unilateral action or obstructionism, independent thinking replaces blind loyalty.

    January 21, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  24. Garland

    I think elections will teeter back and forth for the next year or so until Obama has time to accomplish some things. Besides, Brown didn't blow Coakley away. I think the Republicans are overly excited at this point.

    January 21, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. Hammerer

    Apparently the Obama administration has not admitted the message that the voters sent from Mass.
    Either he is not as smart as the media sold him to be or he is so arrogant that he will not listen.
    The message is very simple. No government take over. No bailouts. No handouts. No terrorist brought to the US for any reason.
    So far his agenda has a "systematic failure" filled with incompentent appointees.
    The time has come for the media to quit being a public relations arm and start holding them accountable.

    January 21, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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