Essentially, the attackers criticized that our poll showed nearly 26 percent of blacks voting for Brown, the Republican. As it turned out, a post-election analysis showed that in some of the heaviest African-American locations in the state, Brown received support well into the teen percentiles. But the natural presumption that all African-Americans vote Democratic was used to discredit our poll. By the way, blacks only make up 7 percent of the voters in Massachusetts. So it really was not going to be a determining factor in the race anyway.
But it didn't stop there. Our poll showed the youngest voters supporting Brown. "How could that be?" the critics cried. Well, given that many polls show that younger voters often are the ones having the hardest time finding jobs, and seem to be drifting away a bit from the Democrats, is it not just possible that our poll was right on that count, too?
Then, of course, I was personally attacked for having been Newt Gingrich's onetime political chairman. But these critics didn't bother to point out that I was the same pollster that, for this same Washington-based news organization, showed Barack Obama carrying critical swing states like Florida, North Carolina and Virginia in the 2008 presidential general election. No one from the Democratic National Committee was calling me a plant by the Republicans back then.
The nit-picking went on and on. And in my state of feverish illness, I let down this Washington publication, one of the best in the nation, by not being more lucid in defense of our poll.
But, guess what: The poll was right. It was the only poll that showed the exact final percentage won by Brown. The fact that Coakley came up from 43 percent to 47 percent -- bid deal, right? -- is likely because she regained some Democrats and undecideds who got over her slight to the Red Sox and her weak campaign overall.
I still feel badly for the publication I polled this for -- not because the poll wasn't darn good, but because I wasn't there when they needed me. But I'll be damned if I'll be attacked for my firm's integrity when the fact is that Coakley's stands on health care, the economy and federal spending caused her to lose the Senate race.
Next time, don't shoot the messenger. Especially when he's right.
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