The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Massachusetts Senate race reveals much

Last Tuesday, the voters of Massachusetts
shocked the political world when
they voted Republican Scott Brown into
the United States Senate. This is the first
time a Republican has taken a Massachusetts
Senate seat since 1972. Brown
takes the place of staunch Democrat Ted
Kennedy, who left behind the Senate seat
he had filled for more than 45 years.

The election of Brown has thus become
a hot topic, with political experts
and media pundits questioning why he
beat his Democratic opponent, Martha
Coakley, who seemed to have a comfortable
lead in the polls going in to the election,
and what this means for President
Obama and the Democrats as a whole.

Some believe this election signals
that voters are unhappy with President
Obama due to his recent action of sending
more troops to Afghanistan and
his plans for healthcare reform, among
other issues. While this may have been
a factor, as Obama’s approval rating continues
to dip, it is not the main reason
Scott Brown was elected.

Scott Brown’s win has more to do
with Coakley’s failed campaign than
it has to do with the American public’s
frustration with Obama.

When a candidate holds a double
digit lead over an opponent in the polls,
it takes a lot to lose the entire election.

And yet that is exactly what happened
to Coakley. One of her first mistakes
was calling former Red Sox pitcher Curt
Schilling a Yankee fan. Although this
statement had nothing to do with politics,
Coakley drew a lot of criticism for this
and lost points in the polls. Meanwhile,
Scott Brown spent New Year’s day at Fenway Park, rallying the fans when the Bruins played in the NHL’s Winter Classic.

Another key mistake was the way
she interacted with potential voters. Critics
of her campaign stated that she was
not personal enough in her approach to
the people. She rarely shook hands with
anybody, limited her outdoor appearances,
and drew major criticism when
she did not offer a fallen journalist a
hand when he was pushed down by one
of her supporters.

Two of her political ads also came
under fi re. One misspelled the word
“Massachusetts” and the other used
stock footage of the 9/11 attacks to
compare what Scott Brown would do
to Wall Street if elected.

While President Obama’s approval
ratings may be down, this election is
surely not a referendum on his policies.
Even if it was, the Democrats still hold
a majority of power in the House of
Representatives and the Senate. Where
the Democrats did fail was in choosing
Coakley as their candidate.

This election showed that her campaign
skills are weak and that the people
prefer a more sociable candidate like
Scott Brown. While it may be big news
for Massachusetts to have a Republican
senator, it is surely not as large as the
conservative politicians and media are
making it out to be.

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