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Massachusetts Special U.S. Senate Election Exit Poll Print
By CFIF Staff
Wednesday, January 20 2010

Because the Massachusetts Special Election for the U.S. Senate was for so long considered a foregone conclusion, standard exit polling for the news media was not done.  At this point, there are only two publicly available exit polls, one by Rasmussen Reports and the one presented below, conducted by Fabrizio, McLaughlin and Associates, an independent polling firm, of which Tony Fabrizio is President.  Mr.  Fabrizio, separately and independently, is Chairman of the Center for Individual Freedom.  The exit poll is presented as it was issued to the media.
 

 

MEMORANDUM

TO: Interested Parties

FROM: Tony Fabrizio

RE: Massachusetts Election Night Survey

DATE: January 19, 2010

 

Fabrizio, McLaughlin and Associates completed a survey of 800 voters who voted in today's U.S. Senate election statewide in Massachusetts. What follows are the key findings:

Health Care was the TOP issue in this race and voters were voting AGAINST the Obama health care plan

» Unprompted, fully 48% of voters say that health care was THE issue deciding their vote today. When combined with their second choice issue, health care mentions reached 62%

» Brown's health care position/opposition to Obama health care plan was the TOP reason for voting for him by wide margin

» Plurality of voters said their vote was a vote to STOP the President's health care plan - more than those saying it was a vote against his policies in general

» Majority of these voters OPPOSE President's health care plan AND disapprove of the job he's doing on health care

  • Plurality of Brown voters said their vote was meant to send a message to Washington - not a vote for Brown's candidacy

     
  • Voters desire to send a message was so strong, Brown is elected despite President's higher than average image and job approval ratings and dismal job ratings for Congressional Republicans

     
  • Brown scored big with Independents and even edged Coakley with Union Households

     
  • Tea Party Movement gets mixed reviews, but Brown got overwhelming majority among its supporters

     
  • Despite Brown's victory, GOP shouldn't start dancing yet as their Congressional job approval is still dismal among Independents

Key Findings and Data:

Health Care was the TOP issue in this race and voters were voting AGAINST the Obama health care plan

» Unprompted, fully 48% of voters say that health care was THE issue deciding their vote today. When combined with their second choice issue, health care mentions reached 62%

It was far and away the TOP choice across party lines

"What SINGLE issue ABOVE ALL OTHERS helped decide your vote in this Senate Race today?"

 

Total

Republicans

Democrats

Independents

Health care reform

48

55

50

45

Economy

5

4

4

5

Time for a change//Wanted someone new

5

4

2

7

Democrats//Want a Democrat//Supports Obama

4

-

8

3

Abortion

3

1

3

4

Republican//Want a Republican//Opposes Obama

3

6

2

4

Like Coakley//Dislike Brown//Agree with Coakley's policies

3

1

4

2

Taxes

3

7

1

3

Agree with their policies//Like their stance (non specific)

3

3

4

3

Like Brown//Dislike Coakley//Agree with Brown's policies

3

4

1

4

Spending issues//Fiscal responsibility

3

2

1

4

National security

2

3

-

2

Jobs//Unemployment

2

1

2

2

War//War in Afghanistan

1

-

-

1

Honesty//Integrity

2

2

1

2

Negative campaigning//Attack ads

1

-

1

2

Experience//She is experienced

1

-

2

-

Education

1

-

1

-

Other

1

1

1

1

None//Nothing

3

3

6

2

Don't Know

3

2

3

3


COMBO FIRST/SECOND CHOICE:

"And if there was a SECOND issue that helped decide your vote today, what was it?"

 

Combo

Republicans

Democrats

Independents

Health care reform

62

70

59

61

Economy

11

9

11

11

Time for a change//Wanted someone new

10

13

5

13

Democrats//Want a Democrat//Supports Obama

8

1

14

6

Abortion

8

3

9

9

Republican//Want a Republican//Opposes Obama

8

16

4

10

Like Coakley//Dislike Brown//Agree with Coakley's policies

8

2

12

6

Taxes

7

15

4

7

Agree with their policies//Like their stance (non specific)

7

4

10

6

Like Brown//Dislike Coakley//Agree with Brown's policies

6

7

3

9

Spending issues//Fiscal responsibility

5

10

2

6

National security

5

11

1

5

Jobs//Unemployment

4

2

6

3

War//War in Afghanistan

3

2

3

3

Honesty//Integrity

2

3

3

2

Negative campaigning//Attack ads

2

1

1

3

Experience//She is experienced

1

-

3

1

Other

2

1

3

2

None//Nothing

18

13

21

17

Don't Know

6

5

5

6


» Brown's health care position/opposition to Obama health care plan was the TOP reason for voting for him by wide margin

Interestingly, it was the top reason even among Democrats and Independents who voted for Brown too

"What was the MOST important reason why you voted FOR Scott Brown today?"

 

Total

GOP

DEM

IND

Healthcare Stance/ Against Healthcare Reform

39

40

40

38

Republican/ Dislike Democrats/ Oppose Obama

17

21

17

16

Dislike Other Candidate/Coakley

17

9

24

19

Agree With Policies

12

12

15

11

Time For Change/ He Is Different

9

9

6

8

I Like Him

8

6

8

9

Honest/Integrity

6

5

3

6

Taxes/ Lower Taxes

5

5

5

4

Fiscal Responsibility/ Limit Spending

4

3

5

4

Vote Against Obama/Democratic Agenda

3

6

2

3

Conservative

3

4

3

2

Abortion/ Pro-Life

3

2

3

3

» Plurality of voters said their vote was a vote to STOP the President's health care plan - more than those saying it was a vote against his policies in general

A clear majority of Independents said they voted to STOP the health care plan


"Now more specifically, would you say that your vote in today's election for Senate was…"

 

Total

GOP

DEM

IND

Vote to Help STOP Obama's Health Care Plan

42

77

17

51

Vote to Help PASS Obama's Health Care Plan

31

2

53

23

Obama's Health Care Plan Not a Deciding Factor

23

17

27

23

Refused

3

4

2

3

"Would you say that your vote in today's election for Senate was…(READ ALL AND ROTATE 1-2, 3 Always Last )"

 

Total

GOP

DEM

IND

Vote in SUPPORT of Obama's Policies and Direction He's Taking Country

32

2

55

24

Vote in OPPOSITION of Obama's Policies and Direction He's Taking Country

38

82

14

44

Obama's Policies NOT a Factor in Deciding Vote

27

16

28

29

Refused

3

1

2

3


» Majority of these voters OPPOSE President's health care plan AND disapprove of the job he's doing on health care

Independents oppose the plan by nearly 2 to 1 and disapprove of the President's job on health care at a similar level

"Based on what you know, do you favor or oppose President Obama's health care plan currently being considered by Congress?"

 

Total

GOP

DEM

IND

Favor

41

2

69

32

Oppose

52

92

21

63

DK/Refused

7

6

10

5

Obama Job Approval on Health Care Reform:

 

Total

GOP

DEM

IND

Approve

45

2

74

36

Disapprove

51

96

20

60

DK/Refused

4

2

6

4

Plurality of Brown voters said their vote was meant to send a message to Washington - not a vote for Brown's candidacy

Half of both Democrats and Independents who voted for Brown say their vote was meant to send a message

"Which of the following BEST describes your vote today? Would you say it was…"

 

Total

GOP

DEM

IND

Vote FOR Brown

43

56

35

37

Vote AGAINST Coakley

5

2

9

6

Send Message to Washington

46

36

50

52

Other

4

5

3

3

Refused

2

2

3

2


Voters desire to send a message was so strong, Brown is elected despite President's higher than average image and job approval ratings and dismal job ratings for Congressional Republicans

Despite lower scores among Independents, the President still outscores the GOP in Congress by a wide margin

Obama Image:

 

Total

GOP

DEM

IND

Favorable

59

13

84

53

Unfavorable

36

79

12

41

No Opinion

5

8

3

6

Obama Job Approval:

 

Total

GOP

DEM

IND

Approve

55

12

81

48

Disapprove

40

84

15

47

DK/Refused

4

4

4

5

Congressional Republicans Job Approval:

 

Total

GOP

DEM

IND

Approve

29

62

14

31

Disapprove

59

32

76

55

DK/Refused

12

6

10

14

Brown scored big with Independents and even edged Coakley with Union Households

Brown won Independents by a 2 to 1 margin and captured 1 in 5 Democrat votes

"And which candidate did you vote for today?"

 

Total

Repub-licans

Demo-crats

Indepen-dents

Men

Women

Union HHs

Scott Brown

52

95

20

64

58

46

49

Martha Coakley

46

3

79

34

39

53

48

Joe Kennedy

1

2

1

2

2

1

1

Other

1

-

1

-

1

-

2


Tea Party Movement gets mixed reviews, but Brown got overwhelming majority among its supporters

  • Large base of support for Tea Party movement among GOP
  • Independents support Tea Party by 3 to 2 margin
  • Tea Party supporters deliver 79 point margin for Brown

"Based on what you know about the Tea Party movement, do you consider yourself to be (ROTATE) a supporter or an opponent of the Tea Party movement? If you have never heard of the Tea Party movement, just say so."

 

Total

GOP

DEM

IND

Supporter

27

51

10

31

Opponent

24

5

37

21

Never Heard

30

23

35

29

DK/Refused

19

21

18

19

"And which candidate did you vote for today?"

 

Total

Tea Party Supporters

Tea Party Opponents

Scott Brown

52

89

15

Martha Coakley

46

10

84

Joe Kennedy

1

1

-

Other

1

-

-

Despite Brown's victory, GOP shouldn't start dancing yet as their Congressional job approval is still dismal among Independents

Congressional Republicans Job Approval:

 

Total

IND

Approve

29

31

Disapprove

59

55

DK/Refused

12

14

Survey Methodology

This survey of 800 special election voters in the state of Massachusetts was conducted on the evening of January 19, 2010. All interviews were conducted via telephone by professionally trained interviewers using computer-assisted interviewing technology (CATI). Respondent selection was random within pre-determined geographic units utilizing a sample frame that represents actual voter registration and turnout throughout the state. The survey of 800 special election voters has a margin of error of +/- 3.46% at the 95% confidence interval.


Key Demographics:

 

Total

GOP

DEM

IND

Healthcare Stance/ Against Healthcare Reform

39

40

40

38

Republican/ Dislike Democrats/ Oppose Obama

17

21

17

16

Dislike Other Candidate/Coakley

17

9

24

19

Agree With Policies

12

12

15

11

Time For Change/ He Is Different

9

9

6

8

I Like Him

8

6

8

9

Honest/Integrity

6

5

3

6

Taxes/ Lower Taxes

5

5

5

4

Fiscal Responsibility/ Limit Spending

4

3

5

4

Vote Against Obama/Democratic Agenda

3

6

2

3

Conservative

3

4

3

2

Abortion/ Pro-Life

3

2

3

3

» Plurality of voters said their vote was a vote to STOP the President's health care plan - more than those saying it was a vote against his policies in general

A clear majority of Independents said they voted to STOP the health care plan


"Now more specifically, would you say that your vote in today's election for Senate was…"

 

Total

GOP

DEM

IND

 

Vote to Help STOP Obama's Health Care Plan

42

77

17

51

 

Vote to Help PASS Obama's Health Care Plan

31

2

53

23

 

Obama's Health Care Plan Not a Deciding Factor

23

17

27

23

 

Refused

3

4

2

3

"Would you say that your vote in today's election for Senate was…(READ ALL AND ROTATE 1-2, 3 Always Last )"

 

Total

GOP

DEM

IND

 

Vote in SUPPORT of Obama's Policies and Direction He's Taking Country

32

2

55

24

 

Vote in OPPOSITION of Obama's Policies and Direction He's Taking Country

38

82

14

44

 

Obama's Policies NOT a Factor in Deciding Vote

27

16

28

29

 

Refused

3

1

2

3


» Majority of these voters OPPOSE President's health care plan AND disapprove of the job he's doing on health care

Independents oppose the plan by nearly 2 to 1 and disapprove of the President's job on health care at a similar level

"Based on what you know, do you favor or oppose President Obama's health care plan currently being considered by Congress?"

 

Total

GOP

DEM

IND

 

Favor

41

2

69

32

 

Oppose

52

92

21

63

 

DK/Refused

7

6

10

5

Obama Job Approval on Health Care Reform:

 

Total

GOP

DEM

IND

 

Approve

45

2

74

36

 

Disapprove

51

96

20

60

 

DK/Refused

4

2

6

4

Plurality of Brown voters said their vote was meant to send a message to Washington - not a vote for Brown's candidacy

Half of both Democrats and Independents who voted for Brown say their vote was meant to send a message

"Which of the following BEST describes your vote today? Would you say it was…"

 

Total

GOP

DEM

IND

 

Vote FOR Brown

43

56

35

37

 

Vote AGAINST Coakley

5

2

9

6

 

Send Message to Washington

46

36

50

52

 

Other

4

5

3

3

 

Refused

2

2

3

2


Voters desire to send a message was so strong, Brown is elected despite President's higher than average image and job approval ratings and dismal job ratings for Congressional Republicans

Despite lower scores among Independents, the President still outscores the GOP in Congress by a wide margin

Obama Image:

 

Total

GOP

DEM

IND

 

Favorable

59

13

84

53

 

Unfavorable

36

79

12

41

 

No Opinion

5

8

3

6

Obama Job Approval:

 

Total

GOP

DEM

IND

 

Approve

55

12

81

48

 

Disapprove

40

84

15

47

 

DK/Refused

4

4

4

5

Congressional Republicans Job Approval:

 

Total

GOP

DEM

IND

 

Approve

29

62

14

31

 

Disapprove

59

32

76

55

 

DK/Refused

12

6

10

14

Brown scored big with Independents and even edged Coakley with Union Households

Brown won Independents by a 2 to 1 margin and captured 1 in 5 Democrat votes

"And which candidate did you vote for today?"

 

Total

Repub-licans

Demo-crats

Indepen-dents

Men

Women

Union HHs

Scott Brown

52

95

20

64

58

46

49

Martha Coakley

46

3

79

34

39

53

48

Joe Kennedy

1

2

1

2

2

1

1

Other

1

-

1

-

1

-

2


Tea Party Movement gets mixed reviews, but Brown got overwhelming majority among its supporters

  • Large base of support for Tea Party movement among GOP
  • Independents support Tea Party by 3 to 2 margin
  • Tea Party supporters deliver 79 point margin for Brown

"Based on what you know about the Tea Party movement, do you consider yourself to be (ROTATE) a supporter or an opponent of the Tea Party movement? If you have never heard of the Tea Party movement, just say so."

 

Total

GOP

DEM

IND

Supporter

27

51

10

31

Opponent

24

5

37

21

Never Heard

30

23

35

29

DK/Refused

19

21

18

19

"And which candidate did you vote for today?"

 

Total

Tea Party Supporters

Tea Party Opponents

Scott Brown

52

89

15

Martha Coakley

46

10

84

Joe Kennedy

1

1

-

Other

1

-

-

Despite Brown's victory, GOP shouldn't start dancing yet as their Congressional job approval is still dismal among Independents

Congressional Republicans Job Approval:

 

Total

IND

 

Approve

29

31

 

Disapprove

59

55

 

DK/Refused

12

14

Survey Methodology

This survey of 800 special election voters in the state of Massachusetts was conducted on the evening of January 19, 2010. All interviews were conducted via telephone by professionally trained interviewers using computer-assisted interviewing technology (CATI). Respondent selection was random within pre-determined geographic units utilizing a sample frame that represents actual voter registration and turnout throughout the state. The survey of 800 special election voters has a margin of error of +/- 3.46% at the 95% confidence interval.


Key Demographics:

Party Registration:

 

Total

Republican

13

Democrat

35

Independent/All Other

50

Refused

1


Ideology:

 

Total

Liberal

23

Moderate

47

Conservative

27

Refused

3


Age:

 

Total

18-34

7

35-44

14

45-54

19

55-64

22

65+

35


Race:

 

Total

White

85

African-American

3

Hispanic

1

Asian

1

Other

4

Refused

5


 
             Religion:

 

Total

Protestant

17

Catholic

48

Jewish

4

Atheist/Agnostic

9

Other

9

Refused

12


Union HH:

 

Total

Yes

18

No

80

Refused

2


Gender:

 

Total

Male

49

Female

51


Media Market:

 

Total

Boston

79

Springfield

10

Albany

2

Providence

8

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