On Thursday, UMass came out with a poll about Massachusetts voters' thoughts about their two senators, Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren. The poll found that Elizabeth Warren was far better-known and more popular and viewed as more empathetic and effective than her colleague.
However, I would like to highlight a different part of the poll. The UMass poll also asked voters what they thought about Ed Markey's "present" vote on the September 2013 resolution in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee authorizing Obama to launch a military strike in Syria. 56% of those surveyed opposed this vote, with one-third strongly opposed. Only 31% supported Markey's vote.
What do we learn from this? Absolutely nothing.
Did the people who opposed Markey's "present" vote want Markey to vote "NO"? UMass didn't ask.
Did the people who opposed Markey's "present" vote want Markey to vote "YES"? UMass didn't ask.
Did the people who supported Markey's "present" vote prefer a "present" over a "NO," or did they want a "NO" but were fine with a "present" as a second best? UMass didn't ask.
Never mind that, the pollsters feel confident in the deep insights:
“Male voters appear to have been particularly frustrated by Markey’s non-vote on the Syria resolution, perhaps indicating a preference for a senator who takes a strong stand one way or another,” said Schaffner.
Said Nteta: “In responding to criticism emanating from his ‘present’ vote, Senator Markey has said that he ‘wanted to make sure what we vote for on the Senate floor is something that reflects the values of the people of Massachusetts.’ The opposition to Markey’s vote expressed by the state’s residents indicates that he may not have his finger on the pulse of the Commonwealth.”