Poll Data Demonstrate That Tisei’s Convention Boycott Was a Dumb Move

(You don’t win people over to your point of view by boycotting them and calling them extreme. – promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)

The day before the March 2014 convention, Richard Tisei announced that he would be boycotting the following day’s events.  He appeared on local TV news and spoke with the Globe about his dissatisfaction with the GOP platform.   http://www.bostonglobe.com/met…   I posted my own thoughts on Mr. Tisei’s boycott that evening.   http://redmassgroup.com/di…

Turns out, I was right.  Mr. Tisei’s boycott was a dumb idea.  In early April, Emerson College polled the 6th Congressional District race.  http://www.theecps.com/#!polls…  One of the questions polled was whether respondent knew about Mr. Tisei’s boycott and whether it would influence their vote in the fall election.  Were it the case that Mr. Tisei’s boycott won over voters troubled by the GOP platform, then one would expect that voters aware of the boycott would be more likely to vote for Mr. Tisei.  In fact, the survey found evidence to the contrary.  

Results from the Emerson poll appear below (look at the internals on the Emerson website for this data).    

Question: If you knew that Republican candidate Richard Tisei boycotted his Party Convention last month for its position on marriage and abortion, how much, if it all, does this influence your vote?

A lot”   25.7% favorable (n=18) / 50.0% unfavorable (n=35) / 24.3% don’t know (n=17)

“somewhat” 45.1% favorable (n=37) / 17.1% unfavorable (n=14) / 37.8% don’t know (n=31)

“not at all” 44.9% favorable (n=66) / 26.5% unfavorable (n=39) / 28.6% don’t know (n=42)

“total” 40.2% favorable (n=121) / 29.4% unfavorable (n=88) / 30.1% don’t know (n=90)

Instead of motivating voters, Mr. Tisei’s convention boycott has turned them off.  Those who were most aware of his boycott had the most unfavorable views of Mr. Tisei.  This is consistent with two possibilities.  One is that his attacks on the GOP platform have turned off GOP activists-the one’s most likely to be paying attention to the events around the convention.  The other is that the voters that paid the most attention to his boycott were Democratic party activists that were not going to vote for him anyways.  Either way, whether he’s turned off his base or stirred up a hornet’s nest, the attack on his party’s platform was not a good move for Mr. Tisei.  

I should also point out that although the number of respondents is small, the differences in favorable/unfavorable is large and highly significant.  For those that cared “a lot” about the boycott, you can reject an even split in opinions of Mr. Tisei at the 1 percent level.  

I will now add a fifth reason that the attack was a dumb move.  It is a dumb move for Mr. Tisei to try and distance himself from his party because fundamentals are moving in the GOP direction.  Even the Washington post recently acknowledged that the Republican Party’s favorable “GOP brand surges” are rising while more Americans view the Democratic Party in an unfavorable light.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/…  

Finally, I should point out that I am not writing out of malice towards Mr. Tisei.  I was a Tisei donor in 2012.  I have no problem with gay marriage though like three in four Americans (including young people) I reject the abortion in all circumstances views of the Democratic Party.  I am writing because I have little patience for those who seek to continue the shootout in the proverbial Mass GOP lifeboat.  That goes double for those in the public eye like Mr. Tisei or Mr. Gomez.  http://redmassgroup.com/di…    

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