Daily Video

January 21, 2010

What Issues Drove Brown’s Surprise Victory?

Senator-elect Scott Brown led the Republican Party to a surprise victory in Massachusetts this week, dealing a devastating blow to President Obama and the Democrat’s ability to pass legislation. In this short web video, NewsHour correspondent Hari Sreenivasan talks to reporter Dante Chinni about the issues that led to Brown’s supposedly unexpected victory.

With skyrocketing unemployment rates, Chinni argues that the people of Massachusetts wanted change in 2008 by voting for Barack Obama but also again in 2010 by voting for Scott Brown.

According to Chinni, many Massachusetts voters may not fully know what is being discussed in Congress in terms of health care reform, but they are familiar with the economic and unemployment problems that seem closer to home.

Quotes

“Forty years of political history in Massachusetts didn’t change in two years.” – Dante Chinni

“You can’t ignore that a lot of what’s going on is the economy.” – Dante Chinni

Warm Up Questions

1. What is current state of the American economy?

2. What is a recession?

Discussion Questions

1. Were you paying attention to the Massachusetts Senate race? Why was it important?

2. Do you think that a Republican victory in Massachusetts represents how Americans might feel about Democrats all over the country? Do they want “change?”

3. In the video, Chinni talks about how Massachusetts voters chose Scott Brown based on an issue that felt closer to home – economy – instead of health care. Why might they feel that way? Do you think one issue is more important than the other? How are they connected?

Additional Resources

Patchwork Nation Blog post

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