Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kennedy and the Mass. race

One of the explanations if Scott Brown wins tonight will be that Massachusetts voters simply weren't that concerned with picking a Senator who would continue Ted Kennedy's legacy.

It's not that they don't look back on Kennedy fondly- 63% of them say they approve of the work he did in the Senate over the years compared to just 24% who disapprove. Even as independents split 2-1 for Scott Brown in the current race they also split 2-1 in favor of remembering Kennedy's tenure favorably.

In spite of that only 47% of voters say they want the state's new Senator to carry on Kennedy's legacy. Among those who do Martha Coakley unsurprisingly leads 88-8. But 53% of voters either don't want his replacement to continue Kennedy's work or don't care and with those folks Scott Brown is up 90-6.

It may turn out that Coakley's hope to maintain the Kennedy legacy just wasn't a very effective message with the state's voters.

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