Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Half Way to Rescue in Mass

The steady breeze you feel from Massachsetts is the collective sighing of happy liberal and progressive voters. Deval Patrick won the Democratic primary for governor last night.

He'll be coupled with lieutenant governor candidate Tim Murray. Together, they are the absolute best pair to haul us out of the economic, social and political mire of the past 20 years.

Later posts will analyze return results for these and other races. The key numbers for the top spots are Deval Patrick 50%, Chris Gabrieli 27%, Tom Reilly 20%; Tim Murray 43%, Deborah Goldberg 34%, Andrea Silbert 23%.

Last night, even before an early declaration for Deval, Jon Keller and other pandering pundits were chanting Black-or-woman. Disregard any that stress how we are almost certain to come out of November with a first in one or the other as a governor here. With what's at stake, that a so what, a distraction.

What's real and obvious is that Democratic voters throughout Massachusetts, left, center and right, want a substantial change. Patrick for certain and Murray as his sidekick clearly represent that.

The real analysis will be how likely the Patrick/Murray team can convince our 49% fence straddling unenrolled voters of the same. Last night, Patrick's manager, John Walsh, stressed that they aren't going to suddenly shift what they say to suit this second half of the contest, the seven-week sprint.

We have a damned good idea of the messages and tactics likely to come from Republican candidates Kerry Healey and Reed Hillman. Those wheezing scare tactics about tax-and-spend ultra liberals have gotten one Republican administration after another into the executive offices, with dreadful stagnation resulting.

It's time a leader and visionary to bring real change. We're half way there.

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Anonymous said...

You know, no offense but I think this whole "unenrolled" thing is overdone. I'm sure you know this, but maybe some of your readers don't.

I don't know about the rest of the country, I suspect it may be similar, but here in MA the unaffiliated (or at least the unaffiliated who vote regularly) don't tend to be these completely untethered/Independent/indecisive voters who could go either way at any minute. The vast majority, in my experience, are people who don't want to actually call themselves Democrats or Republicans for whatever reason, but who tend to vote either Democrat or Republican all or most of the time.

Campaigns already target unaffiliated voters in primaries, the records of which ballots unaffiliated voters choose in primaries are public record. Campaigns get the lists, check who votes in the Democratic primary most or all of the time, and target them. Anyone who volunteers knows that their call lists will have tons of unenrolled on them, and many times they're unenrolled because they're too the left of the Democratic party, especially the conservative Dem establishment in MA.

I live in as Republican a town there is in MA, and even here our unaffilated tend to be more liberal than many Democrats, but also lately they're so anti-Republican they're more Democratic than many Democrats. "What? Third party? NO! That will throw the race to the Republican! Oh, he has no Republican opponent, still no! There could be a write-in! No more Republicans! NO!" lol Our turnout was high, we had a lot of unaffilated voters, and I never would have predicted Deval could win here (when I heard the target I laughed and said if he gets 50 votes it will be a miracle) but he did.

massmarrier said...

In many places, only registered party members can vote on the candidates for their party. That makes much more sense than what we do.

Ours are in fact hedging, calling themselves "independent". In fact, by voting patterns, these are more conservative than Democrats. They tend to be the ones who send the conservatives of both parties to the General Court as well as elect Republican governors.

We'll hear a lot about the unenrolled.