Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Few, the Special-Election Voters

OK, December 8th:
  • Gen. George Washington led his retreating army across the Delaware River from New Jersey (who of us haven't fled from Jersey?) in 1776
  • Coaxial cable patented in 1931
  • In Japan, it's the annual Enlightenment of Buddha Day
  • Massachusetts has some election in 2009
Surely this shouldn't be amusing that we who pride ourselves on political savvy and civic engagement are missing at least the last observance. Pity it would be, young Jedi, decided this race by voters few.

The word at the Herald and WHDH on the Suffolk U. poll is that we don't know squat about the special election primary to put a new butt in Ted Kennedy's U.S. Senate chair. (Suffolk seems to be running on college time and doesn't make the whole poll available on its site yet.) According to the tabloid's Jessican Van Sack:
An astounding 93 percent of Democratic voters couldn’t pinpoint the exact date of the Dec. 8 primary - and 73 percent didn’t even know in which month the primary will occur, according to a 7News/Suffolk University poll conducted over four days beginning Nov. 4.
We who eat this race on Wasa every day for our political diet are mildly astonished. Moreover, as a city poll worker, I intend to back both a good book and a couple of FT cryptic puzzles for the primary.

Granted, there will be another six weeks following the primary before the January 19th (Robert E. Lee's birthday coincidentally and probably without meaning). Yet, it should make a difference to us. The winner of the Dem slate will have the thrill of crushing the Republican (certainly Scott Brown and not Jack. E. Robinson).

Our senior Senator following Kennedy's death is about as dynamic as I — not very. Unfairly, we should want someone with the personal power of Ted. Hence, we should migrate as a massed electorate to decide this on the two dates, those being 12/8 and 1/19, ahem.

Over at Left Ahead!, we got Mike Capuano. We're angling for Alan Khazei soon. So far, Martha Coakley's people have ignored us, but we'd happily let her make her pitch. We honestly do think this primary is important.

Moreover, John Galligan at Chimes at Midnight commented a few weeks ago when he was a guest that voters likely will choose the Senator on different criteria than Boston's Mayor or Councilors. He analyzes that on-the-job-training is less acceptable for national slots.

That remains to be seen. What has been important so far is that Coakley bolted from the gate early, gathering momentum. Also, the slick broadcast presentations from Khazei are racking up his favorable ratings. Meanwhile, Steve Pagliuca appears to be running only a vanity race.

The polls so far say this is Coakley's. Experience makes Capuano the only logical choice. Yet Khazei seems to entrance those put off by Coakley's coldness and Capuano's brusqueness.

Probably Capuano's best day would be if only a few voters showed. They would likely be older and those who tend to vote for proven candidates. Coakley need only avoid any more major blunders and hope that those who give her mild huzzahs convey their butts to the polls to convey hers to the January final.

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