Matt Brown's 24 Point Boost and a Change Election

In case you need any more convincing that 2006 is a change election, outsider Senate candidate Matt Brown in Rhode Island gained 24 points on establishment candidate and Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse.  And he did it with a $100K ad buy introducing himself and his stances to the voters.  His issues are reform and a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.  

And Whitehouse?  Well his consultants are Joe Hansen, direct mail racketeer, and Mike Donilon, of famous Shrum, Devine & Donilon heritage.  Man do those guys know how to blow a lead.

A 24 point swing is just amazing, and shows that outsider progressive candidates are quite viable in this environment.  In case you are wondering, yes, this does have strong implications for Connecticut.

UPDATE: I just noticed that the same dynamic is at work in MA, with progressive Deval Patrick closing a 31 point gap in a few months over Reilly in the gubernatorial primary.

Tags: Joe Lieberman, Matt Brown, Ned Lamont, Rhode Island, Senate, Sheldon Whitehouse (all tags)



Sheldon Whitehouse may not be bad

But I think most of us over here at the blogosphere can agree that Matt Brown on most issues is simply better. Better looking, more progressive, an 'outsider', ability to lead statewide (alongside with Whitehouse on this), and simply more charismatic.

by KainIIIC 2006-02-16 05:00PM | 0 recs

Isn't Matt an establishment guy as well?  I remember reading about him a few months back and it seemed like he had a bunch of Clinton and Kerry people working for/backing him.  

by Flatiron Dante 2006-02-16 05:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Matt Brown's 24 Point Boost and a Change Elect

thing is, hes not actually the more progressive candidate matt. I dont remember where i heard it, i think rollcall, that said that he draws more support from independents than whitehouse, so that there is no way that Brown and Chafee could make it out of the primary because indies only vote in one of the primaries and both needs indies to win. So, comparing him to Lamont of another liberal blogosphere favorite is a mistake

by yomoma2424 2006-02-16 05:57PM | 0 recs

This election IMO will enable stand-up, straight talking candidates with a message of change and reform an excellent chance. If their messaging is also tough against the FUBAR of Bush administration and the Republican-controlled Congress on everything from Iraq to terrorism and use the Katrina metaphor they'll capture the angst in the electorate.

Money may be less important this time. of course they'll need enough to introduce themselves and get their message out.

Charisma before boring position papers. Gut over intellect.

by ab initio 2006-02-16 05:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Change

I agree.  The most electable Democrats in the primaries this year will not be based on issues (yawn), but on the fearlessness and willingness of the individual candidate to stand up to Bush and the Republicorrupticans.

by jgarcia 2006-02-16 06:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Matt Brown's 24 Point Boost

As a Rhode Islander, and a strong progressive who supports Whitehouse, I would like to point out that all of those who call Brown the more progressive candidate in this primary is simply wrong.

Need proof? Check out this DLC-awarded "New Dem of the Week" award given to Brown. =252053&kaid=104&subid=116

In fact, Brown is the ONLY elected Dem in Rhode Island who is a DLC member. Whitehouse is the more solidly progressive candidate in this race. I would urge Matt and the rest of the MyDD community to rethink any support they have given to Matt Brown without really examining the race.

by RIDem88 2006-02-16 06:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Matt Brown's 24 Point Boost

I wanna contribute to one of them.  But I want to know where each candidate stands on choice and gay rights?

by jgarcia 2006-02-16 07:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Matt Brown's 24 Point Boost

If someone can't go to Matt Brown's Website for themselves and see that he is not a DLC Democrat, well, you are exactly what is wrong with the American Political system.  Matt Brown is a real progressive who is a breath of fresh air.  Look at his record, not what other's say about him.  He is nto the candidate who claimed to be "bread for the Senate."  He is not a career politician.  I have met Matt and he is running because there are many good things he wants to accomplish.  I encourage all to check out his website,  He has position papers on the war, energy, lobbyist reform and many others.  I encourage everyone to check them out.  Most seem to be under the press release page.

by Rhody Dem 2006-02-17 05:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Matt Brown's 24 Point Boost

I can only speak about gay rights but I've done some homework on Matt Brown as I can't find much information on Sheldon Whitehouse and what I've seen haven't been encouraged enough to call / email his campaign and ask.. But .. if you check out today's article in the edge ( ch=news)he states his views on gay marriage. The article does address his earlier stance that he was for civil unions thinking that it was the best chance at making sure same sex couples recieved the same benefits as heterosexual couples but as time has passed and situations evolved he knows the only way for all couples to have equality is for marriage to stop excluding same sex couples.

by GLBTQNavyguy 2006-02-17 09:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Matt Brown's 24 Point Boost

okay, so who then?  I don't give a shit about an article.  I am a gay man and I want to know who is more pro-gay.  That's all.

by jgarcia 2006-02-17 01:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Matt Brown's 24 Point Boost

That was from 2003, on a platform of Brown keeping people engaged in voting.  Silly, really.

by Matt Stoller 2006-02-16 08:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Matt Brown's 24 Point Boost

I've read about this before and it's completely ridiculous.  

Matt Brown is no DLC candidate or DLC member. look at the issues he's speaking out about - Iraq (in direct contrast with the DLC), lobbying reform, etc.

And who thinks civic participation is bad?

Remember like with Obama and Eliot Spitzer, the DLC just put a bunch of people on a list.  it means nothing.  

by ridemocrat 2006-02-17 05:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Matt Brown's 24 Point Boost

From now on I'm going to refer to Brown as "DLC Shill Matt Brown". LOL.

Just because I think it's a little ridiculous to call anyone whom they reward "New Dem of the Week" as sellouts, traitors, horsefuckers, or worse.  I don't think that a lot of these people apply for the recognition...

by HellofaSandwich 2006-02-17 07:33AM | 0 recs

No, no, not that White House, I'm talking Sheldon Whitehouse. As in, this post seems a bit anti-Whitehouse.

What gives? Just cause he's an "insider"?

by LiberalFromPA 2006-02-16 06:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Warned for this?

No more than you get tired of being an utter idiot, which is a chronic condition.

Then again, utter idiots, failing to be sentient wouldn't really get tired of it anymore than a paramecium tires of just moving around all day.

by ElitistJohn 2006-02-16 07:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Matt Brown's 24 Point Boost and a Change Elect

Has Whitehouse run any ads yet? If he has and still experienced the collapse you describe, then yes his advisors have messed up, but if not then your conclusion above over-reaches. That 24 pt swing is simply a demonstration of the power of television.

by blueflorida 2006-02-16 11:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Matt Brown's 24 Point Boost and a Change Elect

I don't think you can attribute 24 points to just 'television'.  I completely agree that television is powerful but 24 points

I think it's more likely to be a combination of tv and Brown talking about what's important to people -- Iraq, corruption and health care.  

by kojo 2006-02-17 05:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Matt Brown's 24 Point Boost

I think all of you have missed the point.  That being Bob Shrum's firm, that firm's track record and the fact that Whitehouse is currently being assisted by said firm.  Over at I talk about Shrum's reverse midas touch and the fact that Whitehouse chosing to associate with Shrum, Devine & Donilen brings his judgement into question.  Yeah, Corizine of NJ and Nelson of Florida got lucky but even a stopped clock is right twice a day.  My hope and dream is that Shrum and Lieberman find one another.  Now THAT would be a dream come true.  It has to give one pause now that its been pointed out Matt Brown is a DLC protege.  That is very troubling to the ears of most progressives.  If that is the case I hope Whitehouse can overcome the "Shrum curse."

by DuvalDem 2006-02-17 12:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Matt Brown's 24 Point Boost

As far as I am concerned, while I in the main prefer true progressives to DLC types, I have one litmus test in Democratic primaries. I find out if Bob Shrum is involved and if so on whose side than I vote for the other Democrat. This bastard  Shrum has ruined eight Democratic Presidential campaigns with his brilliant advice. He is locking horns with Chairman Dean because Dean wants to build a fifty State party infrastructure (BRAVO!) and Shrum wants to run the 18 state strategy with mass media getting millins in adds that he develops and places and for which receives millions more in fees that go into his pocket!  If Whitehouse is using Shrum than I say vote for Brown!

by politics64 2006-02-17 05:06AM | 0 recs

Please don't tar Sheldon by association with Shrum, at least on the 50 state strategy and being supposedly anti-Dean.  I understand that Whitehouse was a big early supporter of Howard's Presidential campaign.  I think you'll find a lot of establishment anti-Dean types on Brown's campaign as well.  A better way to analyze this would be to ask who has the support of the Clinton team?  If they're on one side I would surmise that the Dean people are on the other.

by Flatiron Dante 2006-02-17 07:13AM | 0 recs

Just to clarify, Deval Patrick has closed the gap with Tom Reilly without buying any advertising.  He did it by winning the Democratic caucuses and generating favorable news coverage at the exact moment when the Reilly campaign was imploding.

by sco 2006-02-17 03:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Massachusetts

Indeed.  Good blog to talk about the Reilly/Patrick race:

by a517dogg 2006-02-17 06:35AM | 0 recs
Change Election



by Bush Bites 2006-02-17 05:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Matt Brown's 24 Point Boost and a Change Elect
* Both candidates are pro-choice.
* Whitehouse supports gay marriage. Brown doesn't.

For those of you folks who don't follow the RI race except a litle here and a little there, a great majority of the progressive individuals (including prominent environmental, choice, labor, civil rights and latino leaders), organizations and elected officials are supporting Sheldon Whitehouse. Those that are not with Sheldon Whitehouse are supporting the "impeach bush" candidacy of the 3rd Democratic candidate Carl Sheeler.

Matt Brown does not have the support of progressives except those he's fooled from outside of Rhode Island into thinking he is a progressive. One piece of advice that I learned in the international development world is never believe the 'experts' that don't live in the community. Rather, look for the voices that deal with the problems everyday and listen to what they're saying.

by matthewRI 2006-02-17 05:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Matt Brown's 24 Point Boost and a Change Elect

You Should read todays Edge.

 According to them, Matt Brown does support gay marriage.  He was also the first Senate Candidate to call for a timetable to bring our troops home from Iraq, the first Senate Candidate in Rhode Island to propose tough lobbying reform calling for an independent federal ethics commission.  Yet again, people really should read for themselves.

by Rhody Dem 2006-02-17 06:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Matt Brown's 24 Point Boost and a Change Elect

Honestly, I find your post rather insulting.  Let me get this straight, anyone who supports Brown, is either not following the race closely or has been duped?  Nice.

I consider myself a progressive and am definitely supporting Brown -- as are a lot of people if you look at the polls that came out last week.

by kojo 2006-02-17 09:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Matt Brown's 24 Point Boost and a Change Elect

okay, if Whitehouse is for us to be able to marry and Brown isn't, then, for me, it's fuck Brown and I am writing a check to Whitehouse.  Thanks for the info, matthew.

by jgarcia 2006-02-17 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Matt Brown's 24 Point Boost

Former NARAL president Kate Michelman was just in Rhode Island last week supporting Matt Brown's candidacy.

He's the real progressive and stood up to the establishment when they tried to nominate an anti-choice Democrat to run against Chafee.  Matt was the only candidate to stand up against them when it mattered.  

by matt649 2006-02-17 06:37AM | 0 recs

I think this post helps to illustrate the benefit of primaries.  We're debating who is strongest on gay marriage and who will bring our troops home from Iraq sooner.  The longer these are debated in public, the more people we can win over by force of our arguments, and the stronger our candidate will be in the fall because he will have been forced to defend his position and articulate good reasons for it (at least that's the hope).  Although I am supporting Whitehouse in the primary, I am looking forward to watching this campaign develop over the months ahead and I hope that the best candidate wins.

by Flatiron Dante 2006-02-17 07:16AM | 0 recs
Why Olympia Snowe doesn't have it all wrapped up

This is an example of why someone needs to do something similiar here in Maine - change the dynamics a bit.

by ndawg 2006-02-17 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Matt Brown's 24 Point Boost and a Change Elect

I think a lot of people here are missing the point.

Brown and Whitehouse are very similar on the issues; it's not as clear cut as Reilly and Patrick in MA (where yes, Patrick is by far the better candidate).

I think what people really need to know is that Brown is running because he ardently believes in using the office to do good, while Whitehouse is running because he has the money to do so (this guy literally said "I was born and bred" to hold the office).

by Yoohoo 2006-02-17 10:46AM | 0 recs


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