Keys to Brown's success: Indies and opposition to Obamacare
There were no formal exit polls from the race last night - no one thought it would be close enough to make the expensive venture worthwhile.
But trust Scott Rasmussen to fill the gap. The pollster has some interesting breakdowns of the vote on his website today:
In the end, Brown pulled off the upset in large part because he won unaffiliated voters by a 73% to 25% margin. The senator-elect also picked up 23% of the vote from Democrats. [Our polling shows that 53% of voters in Massachusetts are Democrats, 21% Republican and 26% not affiliated with either party.]
Coakley also barely carried a usually reliable Democratic constituency. Union workers went for her by just six points, 52% to 46%.
Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters in the state say health care was the most important factor in their voting decision. Brown made it clear in the closing days of the campaign that he intended to go to Washington to vote against the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats.
Twenty-five percent (25%) of Massachusetts voters say the economy was most important.
Forty-seven percent (47%) favor the health care legislation before Congress while 51% oppose it. However, the intensity was clearly with those who are opposed. Just 25% of voters in Massachusetts Strongly Favor the plan while 41% Strongly Oppose it.
Fifty percent (50%) say it would be better to pass no health care legislation at all rather than passing the bill before Congress.
Looking back, 30% say the bank bailouts were a good idea. Thirty-four percent (34%) say the same about the auto industry bailouts.
Today's voters in Massachusetts are evenly divided in their opinion of the Tea Party Movement.
Twenty-eight percent (28%) say Brown is Very Conservative politically; 44% say he's Somewhat Conservative, and 22% view him as a political moderate.
That's 72% of the Massachusetts electorate who saw Brown as at least "somewhat" conservative - and voted for him anyway.
That noise you just heard was Ted Kennedy rolling over in his grave.