Republican presidential candidate John B. Anderson of Illinois says he sees a widespread disaffection of Massachusetts Democrats with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, and that many of them are telling him they are going to change their registration and vote for him in the primary election March 4.
Representative Anderson, talking to reporters over breakfast Jan. 16, said that in determining the reason for what he called the Democratic "Disillusionment" with Senator Kennedy, "Chappaquiddick has to be an important ingredient."
"I have been finding very very much to my surprise," Mr. anderson said, "that Kennedy is not held in high esteem in his own state."
He added that another element entering into Democrats' unhappiness with Senator Kennedy is that his position on women's rights "is not as strong as many Democrats in Massachusetts think it should be.
"I've been in the state [Massachusetts] a great many times," he said. "And I've talked to a great many different gatherings where I found many Democrats who are disillusioned with Kennedy, unhappy with [President] Carter, and who don't think [California Gov. edmund G.] Brown is realistic."
He said that many other Massachusetts Democrats were saying they were going to change their registration and vote for him because he is "making a clear break with the old politics of simply telling people what they want to hear."