Scott Brown's positions on the issues

Could Scott Brown Return to the Senate?

If John Kerry is confirmed as the next Secretary of State, there will be a special election in Massachusetts to fill his seat in the middle of 2013.  Scott Brown could be one of the names put forward by the Republican Party as he has already served in the Senate and won a special election in 2010 to fill the seat vacated by Ted Kennedy.  If he decides to run, he has a number of factors that could help him re-join the Senate.

While Massachusetts is a solidly Democratic state, in 2012 Brown lost to Elizabeth Warren by a much closer margin (53-47) than that of his counterpart for President, Mitt Romney (60-38).  In an election not held in conjunction with a race for the Presidency, the electorate should likely be more favorable to Brown’s chances. And his success in the 2010 senate race showed that he can mobilize his supporters to get out to the polls in a special election.

Some of the data points from the 2012 exit poll also show that Brown is still quite popular among Massachusetts voters.  The first positive sign for him is that Independents supported him.  In the 2012 Senate election, 45% of the voters were Independent and they supported Brown 59-41.  For a Republican to win in Massachusetts they have to win Independents by a wide margin and Brown has shown he can do that, even in a presidential election year.

The second positive sign for Brown is that in the 2012 general election, he was viewed favorably by 60% of the electorate.  This was actually higher than his Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren and only slightly less than Barack Obama at 63%.

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The third positive sign is that when asked about Brown’s positions on the issues, 50% of voters said that his views were “about right”.  This shows that even though Brown is a Republican in Massachusetts, voters view him as someone who is not very extreme in his views.

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Although these advantages exist for Brown, there are also some negative factors working against him.  The first negative sign is that the 2012 campaign for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts was very bruising.  When we asked voters if either of the candidates attacked the other unfairly, 61% answered that Scott Brown attacked Elizabeth Warren unfairly.  Even with Brown’s high favorability rating, if the electorate views him as someone who attacks his opponent unfairly, it could tarnish his image as a moderate.

The second negative sign is that when we asked voters what candidate quality mattered most in deciding how they voted, 32% said “Cares about people like me”.  Of those 32%, Brown received less than a quarter of their vote.  If the people of Massachusetts don’t think he cares about them, they might find it harder to vote for him.

As Scott Brown weighs his decision on whether to run in a special election for John Kerry’s senate seat there are both positive and negative data points that he can look at.  Special elections are more likely to be decided on who can get their voters out to the polls and Brown has shown that he can do that and according to our exit poll the people of Massachusetts view him favorably.  If he decides to run he will be a formidable opponent against whomever the Democratic Party nominates.

The Wall Street Journal on how Edison Weathered Sandy During the Election

The Wall Street Journal wrote an excellent article covering Edison’s efforts to conduct the National Exit Poll in the wake of Sandy. Memorable quote of the article, from Edison’s Joe Lenski: “The saddest sound in the universe is the sound of your Aerobed inflating next to your desk for eight straight nights.” Read the full article here.

Hurricane Sandy and the Exit Polls

Here’s a fantastic article at Huffington Post on how Hurricane Sandy affected our preparations for exit polling the National Election. Yes, we had air mattresses in our office. Read the full article here.

An Election Night Wrap-Up [VIDEO]

We at Edison Research are enormously proud of the role that we play on Election Day as the sole providers of exit polling to major news organizations in the U.S. and across the globe. While our exit polls do play a role in allowing our network clients to project the outcome of races on Election Day, the real legacy of our work is to provide Americans with a lasting record of who voted, and why. It’s a charge we take very seriously.

At Edison’s election headquarters we have a bank of television sets, each tuned to one of our clients–so we were watching everything that you were on Election Night. Of course, we were hard at work compiling and analyzing all the data we collected throughout the day to spend too much time watching TV, but every time the exit polls were mentioned, we all felt a little flush of pride.

For the next four years, the changing patterns in our electorate are going to be analyzed, debated and ultimately incorporated into the American dialogue for many elections to come. For our clients at ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and the Associated Press (along with a host of newspapers, local television stations and international news organization clients) our work on the exit polls will spark conversation, opinion, and–ultimately–insight into what the American electorate thinks and feels on Election Day.

We’re proud of that.

Whether you are Republican, Democrat or an Independent, our work on Election Day will be part of the American conversation for the next four years and beyond. So, here’s a brief snapshot of the conversations that our exit polls sparked and informed. Enjoy, and thank you for watching.

Some stats on our Election Day efforts:

The U.S. election exit polling effort is the largest single-day survey research project in the world. The national exit poll survey includes 26,565 interviews with voters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The interviews were conducted at 350 polling locations on election day, along with 4,408 telephone interviews of absentee and early voters. In addition, Edison staffers collected over 90,000 additional interviews across the country to provide election analysis of dozens of state-level elections. In total, over 3,000 Edison staff members collected nearly 120,000 interviews, all within the span of 16 hours. As a result, our network clients and the AP were successfully able to call not only the national Presidential race, but also every state and senate race, a number of House and Gubernatorial races, and several important referenda.

Edison Successfully Conducts The 2012 National Election Exit Polls

Edison Research, the sole provider of election exit polling data to all major U.S. news networks since 2003, successfully conducted the 2012 National Election exit polls on Tuesday, November 6th. Using a combination of exit polling and telephone polling in states with significant early voting, Edison provided crucial data to ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC and the Associated Press, as well as newspapers and television networks around the world, all leading to the projection before midnight Eastern that President Barack Obama had been reelected.

The National Election exit poll has been entrusted to Edison since 2003, and represents the sole, lasting record of who voted, and why. This information was used to provide valuable, new information on America’s ever-changing electorate, and will be the subject of media and academic analysis for several years to come.

The U.S. election exit polling effort is the largest single-day survey research project in the world. The national exit poll survey includes 26,565 interviews with voters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The interviews were conducted at 350 polling locations on election day, along with 4,408 telephone interviews of absentee and early voters. In addition, Edison staffers collected over 90,000 additional interviews across the country to provide election analysis of dozens of state-level elections. In total, over 3,000 Edison staff members collected nearly 120,000 interviews, all within the span of 16 hours. As a result, our network clients and the AP were successfully able to call not only the national Presidential race, but also every state and senate race, a number of House and Gubernatorial races, and several important referenda.

Edison’s real-time election data system tracked nearly 100 races for our network clients and the AP, allowing every client to make every call accurately and correctly. Since Edison became the sole provider of exit polling data in 2003 neither we nor our network clients have ever miscalled a race based upon our projections.

Full Exit Poll Results:

ABC

CBS

CNN

FOX

MSNBC

Associated Press

New York Times

Washington Post