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.
|Abolish the MA Income Tax||Yes||No||No|
|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.