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The race for the MA Senate special election is on and it's a three-way race between Independent Joe Kennedy, Republican Scott Brown and Democrat Martha Coakley. 

Invariably the old cliche of the independent "stealing" the Republican votes will surface and early discussions are already hinting that animosity towards those supporting the third party is on the rise.  This of course assumes an age old fallacy.

The assumption is that the candidate "stealing" the vote is extremely similar to the candidate whose votes are being "stolen".  This is a big assumption and varies from race to race. 

I have presented a table below with three candidates and several major positions that affect Massachusetts, federal policies and general attitudes.   I have compiled the information primarily based on the candidate's websites, public statements and interviews. Examine the table and I will meet you down below.









Issue














Abolish the MA Income Tax
Yes
No
No
Support RomneyCare
No
Yes
Yes
Federal Income Tax
End It
Status Quo
Status Quo or higher taxes
MA Sales Tax rollback to 3%
Yes
No
No
Support Prop 2.5 Override
No
Yes
Unknown
Illegal Immigration
Make it harder to collect social services, but make contributing to society easier.
Stronger border enforcement, opposes amnesty.
Unclear, but stresses equality for all regardless of race or origin.
Health Care
Wants to make private insurance cheaper, supports HSAs, repealing federal regulation and replace government agencies with free-market alternatives.
Believes every American deserves health coverage.
Believes every American deserves health coverage.
Social Security
Make voluntary, protect existing retirees through shared sacrifice. 
No position.
Protect and maintain Social Security
Education
Dismantle the Department of Education, return education to state level.
Passionate about improving public schools. 
Deeply committed to public schools
Welfare
End the welfare state by encouraging job growth through sound lending
No position
No position
Same-sex marriage
Not the business of government.
Only between a man and a woman, should be left to states
Supports equal marriage.
Environment
Force government to clean up it’s own pollution
Supports reasonable federal policies on green technology.
Supports Cap and Trade

According to this table it would appear the first two candidates are extremely different, while the last two candidates are extremely similar.  Operating on the assumption of stealing votes due to similarity it becomes rather unclear as to who would be stealing votes from whom.  I would also suggest not to use the term stealing, as stealing implies that some candidate is losing entitled votes.  No votes are entitled and all votes must be earned.

If you believe the candidate in the first column more accurately reflects your position - then you need to vote for Joe Kennedy
If you believe the candidate in the second column more accurately reflections your position - then you need to vote for Scott Brown.
If you believe the candidate in the third column more accurately reflections your position - then you need to vote for Martha Coakley.

You do NOT need to vote for the lesser of two evils, nor do you need to vote based on who you believe will or will not win.  You must cast your precious vote for the person you believe best deserves your support. 
"It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” - M. Rothbard