Maddow watch: She may not know what she doesn’t know!


Has Scott Brown survived his stand: Who will win the Massachusetts senate race?

We have no idea. But in this morning’s Washington Post, Rachel Weiner reports that Scott Brown has now registered an eight to ten-point lead in the last three statewide polls. Beyond that, Weiner notes that Brown’s lead seems to have survived his stand in support of the Blunt amendment:
WEINER (3/6/12): Two polls out this past weekend show Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) pulling ahead of Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren in his reelection battle.

A Western New England Polling Institute survey taken Feb. 23 to March 1 has Brown beating Warren by 49 percent to 41 percent if the election were held today.

It was the third survey in a row showing Brown in the lead. A poll last week by the consulting firm Opinion Dynamics showed Brown winning by 52 percent to 42 percent; a Suffolk University poll in mid-February gave him a nine-point lead.

The most recent poll was taken after Brown backed an amendment allowing moral exemptions from prescription coverage—in what became a failed attempt to limit mandatory free birth-control coverage—suggesting that in the short term, that position has not hurt him.
Sometimes polls are wrong. It may turn out that Brown was hurt by his position on Blunt.

Still, our thoughts drifted back to Rachel Maddow’s air of certainty concerning Brown’s stand on Blunt. She marveled at the solon’s decision on the February 16 Maddow Show:
MADDOW (2/16/12): One of the Republicans who signed on to support the Blunt amendment is a Republican freshman senator named Scott Brown from Massachusetts. He’s being challenged in his re-election effort by our next guest, Elizabeth Warren, this November.

Senator Brown has tried to cultivate a sense, at least in Massachusetts, that he is a moderate, which is why a lot of people were surprised by this move against contraception. Those surprised included both the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald, which usually loves everything he does.

It also led to this rather devastating exchange between Senator Brown and reporter from the hometown news outlet New England Cable News.
Maddow played tape of the exchange which she considered “devastating.” After that, she showed how incredibly daring she is, contemptuously talking back to the videotape version of Brown, whom she bravely referred to as “Dude.”

You really could see that she's on our side! Two weeks later, out came a new poll with Brown in an 8-point lead.

Brown may not be in the lead. He may end up being hurt by his stance on Blunt. Then again, Maddow may not understand the way this issue appears to Bay State voters.

Maddow is always amazingly sure of herself. She tends to think that if an issue strikes her a certain way, it will seem that way to the voters.

Within the tribe, this air of certainty is a significant part of her entertainment value. But when it comes to grasping the outlook of everyday voters, she’s also quite frequently wrong.

As always, she seemed very sure of her take. As usual, was she wrong?

Regarding the Boston Herald: You always have to fact-check Maddow. “The Boston Herald” doesn’t seem to have challenged Brown’s stance on Blunt. On February 16, his position was criticized by columnist Margery Eagan, one of the Herald’s liberal-leaning voices. Just click here.

You always have to fact-check Maddow. Unless you just like thrills up your leg, you shouldn’t believe what she says.

(It's pretty much as we've always said: We could have a terrific election here—if it weren't for the voters!)


  1. Maddow can't help herself.

    She's a multimillionaire now.

    It feels good.

    Anything that comes out of her mouth that doesn't offend the powers that be means those dollars will keep flowing.

    That's what it's all about, baby!

  2. Absolutely mind boggling. Ice caps are melting, people are dying in wars, people are starving to death right here in this nation, and we are fighting a raging battle over who will foot the $30 monthly bill for birth control. The endless ability of this nation to be distracted from what actually matters never fails to amaze me.

  3. I can understand why it would appear obvious that a pro-Blunt stance will hurt Brown. A dear friend of mine, an ardent feminist, sees this issue as being for or against birth control. She sees the Blunt Amendment as anti-women. She can't imagine how a father of daughters could support this amendment.

    OTOH many Catholics see this issue as fundamentally one of Freedom of Religion. Massachusetts is over 40% Catholic. Furthermore, the ardent feminists were all going to vote for Warren, regardless of Brown's position on Blunt. OTOH the Catholic voters were up for grabs. So, ISTM that a pro-Blunt stand should be a clear vote-winner for Brown.

    In addition, there are people like Jayhawk, who have figured out that providing free birth control isn't that big a deal, since birth control is already pretty affordable.

    1. Of course it's a distraction, DinC. What are conservatives going to run on, the stellar success of their economic policies?

  4. For once in my lifetime, I think the saying, "It's not the money, it's the principle of the thing" might not actually be about the money.