EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

November 7, 2012

Some say entitlements led to Obama, Warren victories

NORTH ANDOVER — For some local folks, the results of Tuesday’s election signals a shift in the country toward an “entitlement society.”

“There are more people in the United States who lean on the government and fewer people who want to be independent,” said Leo Jesudian, 61, of North Andover. “I moved here in 1971 from India and I didn’t come here to get a job or go to school. I came here to be an American.”

Others, however, say the election is an affirmation of President Obama’s policies over the last four years.

“I voted for Obama,” said Militza Rivera, 32, of Lawrence, who works at Panera Bread in North Andover. “He’s done a lot for kids who are trying to make a better future.”

The mother of four children, she said she likes Obama’s health care plan as well as Michelle Obama’s emphasis on children’s health and nutrition.

“She’s been a good role model,” she said.

Nationally, interviews with voters leaving polling places on Tuesday showed the president with a 10-point lead over Romney on the question of which candidate is more in touch with people like them. Of those holding that view, 91 percent voted for Obama.

If nothing else, Tuesday’s election showed that the country, and even people right here in the Merrimack Valley, are politically divided.

Not only did Obama win the national vote, but he won big in Massachusetts, and took every community in the Merrimack Valley except for North Andover.

Perhaps riding his coattails were people like Elizabeth Warren, a first-time candidate for elected office who defeated incumbent Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Wrentham. Brown won every community in the Merrimack Valley, except for Lawrence, where he lost by nearly 10,000 votes.

In a surprise to many people, another winner was John Tierney, the embattled Salem, Mass., congressman whose wife spent time in jail. His opponent was moderate, gay Republican Richard Tisei. In the Merrimack Valley, Tisei won every community that is in that congressional district.

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