Poll undermines conservative claim that Brown victory is a rejection of health care reform

››› ››› GREG LEWIS

Numerous conservative media figures have suggested that a victory by Republican candidate Scott Brown would indicate massive popular rejection of health care reform. In fact, election night polling by Rasmussen Reports undermines this claim, showing that a higher percentage of Martha Coakley voters than Brown voters said that health care reform was the most important issue in determining their vote.

Numerous conservatives call Brown victory a rejection of health care reform

Beck: "Health care is at stake" and Democrats could "lose Ted Kennedy's seat ... on this issue." On the January 19 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, Glenn Beck stated:

BECK: This is Ted Kennedy's seat. Health care is at stake. The progressive movement is at stake. This presidency is at stake. If they lose, this is catastrophic for them. This isn't a small, little thing.

If you lose Ted Kennedy's seat at this time in history on this issue, how are the rest of the Democrats going to fare in the rest of the country?

Rove: Democrats should "take from this" that "people have rejected their health care reform." On the January 19 broadcast of Fox News' Happening Now, Karl Rove said that Democrats should "take from" a Brown victory that "people have rejected their health care reform and step back and actually govern from the center and work with Republicans and Democrats to fashion things."

Bill Kristol: "The voters of Massachusetts are well aware that this is a national referendum on the health care bill." On the January 17 edition of Fox News Sunday, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol stated that "the voters of Massachusetts are well aware that this is a national referendum on the health care bill and on Obama's general big-government liberal program, and they don't like it. And that's Massachusetts."

Krauthammer: "[E]ssentially, it's a referendum on health care." On the January 17 edition of Fox News Sunday, columnist Charles Krauthammer said that "essentially, it's a referendum on health care. It's a referendum on the Obama agenda. And Obama's up there [campaigning for Coakley] because everything hinges on this election."

Carl Cameron: "This is a national referendum" on health care. On the January 18 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron called the race "a national referendum in the sense that this liberal state is having very big doubts about health care."

Steve Doocy: "[T]his looks like a huge repudiation of health care." On the January 18 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy stated: "You know, the people of Massachusetts elected Barack Obama, I think by 26, 27 points or something like that -- was the margin of victory for him, and now fast forward, here we are a little more than a year later and suddenly, this looks like a huge repudiation of, you know, health care, one vote down in Washington, one party vote down in Washington."

Nina Easton: "This is a referendum, very much on the health care plan that's moving through Congress." On the January 19 edition of Fox News' Happening Now, Fortune magazine's Nina Easton stated that part of the "big story" of the campaign was "health care. This is a referendum very much on the health care plan that's moving through Congress."

Rasmussen poll undermines conservative claims that Brown victory is a rejection of health care reform

Rasmussen election night poll shows more Coakley than Brown voters said health care reform most important factor in determining their vote. A Rasmussen Reports election night poll in Massachusetts found that 63 percent of Coakley voters said health care was the most important issue in determining their vote, while 52 percent of Brown voters said it was their top issue. As Media Matters for America has documented, Rasmussen previously reportedly worked for President George W. Bush's re-election campaign and for the Republican National Committee in 2003 and 2004.

Unlike most of America, Mass. already has universal health care

Romney advisor Kaufman on why many Mass. voters oppose health care reform: "They already paid for it." From a January 13 article at The Daily Caller:

Romney adviser Ron Kaufman, a Washington lobbyist who has been working with the Brown campaign in an unofficial advisory role, said that the people of Massachusetts are "satisfied with what they got" but that they are angry about the federal bill being debated because it would force the state to pay for something they already have: nearly universal coverage.

"They already paid for it," Kaufman said.

Brown said much the same thing during his interview on Fox.

"Why would we subsidize and why would we pay more for something we already have. It makes no sense," he said.

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