Friday, September 24, 2010

Cahill in Chaos

Stop press!

Tim Cahill's campaign manager and another senior advisor have resigned over the past 24 hours. Campaign consultant Tom Weaver resigned citing that Cahill could not realistically win and was aiding Governor Patrick by staying in the race.

This may well result in further bleeding of both voters and fundraising potential for Cahill. I think he will stay in the race, but will diminish as a factor. The recent polling suggests that Cahill's voters, if pushed are splitting slightly in Baker's favor so at least the conventional wisdom would suggest this would be a plus for Baker.

We shall see...stay tuned.

The Prof

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fearless Predictions!

46 days to e-day and after gazing into my crystal must be noted that University of Virginia's Larry Sabato says that those who live by the crystal ball end up eating ground glass. Nonetheless, my initial predictions for the statewide and congressional offices are going up.

Tuesday's Primary turnout was a little over 14% which was quite low by Massachusetts standards. The lack of a contested gubernatorial race for either party likely depressed voter interest and intensity. However, turnout was higher in areas like the 10th Congressional District where there were spirited primaries for both parties.

*Note on the predictions for the below races - the likely victorious candidate's party will be indicated by Republican Red or Democratic Blue.

State Constitutional Offices

Governor - I will write more on this in the next few days, but suffice to say the latest Rasmussen poll published today indicate that it is neck and neck between Baker and Patrick (Patrick is up by 4 points, well within the margin of error) and that Cahill's support is beginning to fade. However, I still have to give Deval the edge as he has consistently led in pre-election polling, but this can go either way and will be fought bitterly down to the wire.

Prediction - 53% chance of a Patrick victory (Cahill is officially at 0% viability now)

Treasurer - This race lines up Shrewsbury Rep Karyn Polito against long-time Democratic party activist Steve Grossman. Grossman will have a considerable financial edge, but Polito is an attractive outsider in what is gearing up to be an outsider year.

Prediction 55% chance of a Polito victory

Secretary of State - Long-time incumbent William Galvin should have little difficulty dispatching Woburn Republican William Campbell.

State Auditor - Suzanne Bump dispatched Guy Glodis rather easily in the Democratic Primary drawing upon the liberals who typically dominate these affairs. She won by large margins in the "Happy Valley" and leafy Boston suburbs and by decent margins in most communities outside of Worcester County. Glodis did win many of the communities in his Worcester County base, but underperformed on his own "turf" and only won his hometown of Worcester by a dozen points.

She will face off against Republican Mary Z. Connaughton on November 2. I see this being a slight advantage for the Republican with her outsider status (Bump has a long history on Beacon Hill). I also think that some disgruntled Glodis supporters in Central Mass may throw Connaughton their vote.

Prediction: 60% chance of a Connaughton victory

Congressional Seats

1st District - This liberal Western Massachusetts district will send John Olver back for another term.

2nd District - Democrat Richard Neal will defeat newcomer Tom Wesley, but it may be a closer race than usual for the longtime incumbent

3rd District - Incumbent Jim McGovern will beat Marty Lamb (a Tea Party favorite), but like Neal he will have to work at it. Without his base of Worcester and Fall River securely in his pocket, McGovern would have a real fight on his hands.

4th district - Barney Frank, longtime bane of conservatives will beat newcomer Sean Bielet, but may be held under 60% of the vote for the first time since 1982 when he was first elected.

5th District (The Prof's home district) -This could be a competitive race. Incumbent Niki Tsongas has the edge, but the Merrimack and Nashoba Valleys are conservative (by Massachusetts standards) regions. This may provide hope for Republican Jon Golnick who will have some national party backing.

Prediction: 65% chance of a Tsongas victory

6th District (The Prof's former home district) - like the 5th, Essex County is one of the more "conservative" regions of the commonwealth. Incumbent John Tierny has not had a serious race for some time, but will have one this year against Bill Hudack.

Prediction: 60% chance of a Tierney victory

7th District - The Dean of the Delegation, Ed Markey will have no problem winning re-election against Gerry Dembrowski.

8th District - Mike Capuano is unopposed.

9th District - Steven Lynch survived a primary challenge from the Left and will defeat Vernon Harrison.

10th District -This is where the fireworks will be! This wide-open district (incumbent William Dellahunt is retiring) will be a true barn burner. Republican State Rep Jeff Perry of Sandwich brings a populist conservative message and some personal baggage that is already being raised as a campaign issue by Democratic nominee Norfolk County DA William Keating. Republican and Democratic turn out was almost even in the primary which tells me that South Shore and Cape Republicans are highly energized and the national Republican Party will pour money into this race to try and steal a Massachusetts seat. It just may work too..

Prediction: 51% chance of a Perry victory. (This is really a toss-up, but felt like using red font)

Onwards to November!

The Prof

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Massachusetts 2010 Primary Results

PlaceHolder posting... to be updated shortly...

Primary results will be in this evening along with my take on how the night unfolded. Additionally, I will go out on a wire and make some predictions for many of the "down the ballot races" in November.

Vote early and often (just kidding - often is all that counts)

The Prof

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Debate #1 - grades

And it's a wrap on the first gubernatorial debate!

First off, John Keller gets an A for moderating and keeping the contestants under a modicum of control.

The debate ranged from carefully planned and delivered sound bytes to a wideranging and spirited discussion. No major mistakes were evident and all four candidates were prepared.

Deval Patrick ended up with a B plus bordering on A minus. He is an experienced debater and for the most part was in command of the facts. He was able to avoid many (but not all) of Charlie's jabs. He clearly was talking up accomplishments (as he sees it) of his administration. He was under attack from the Left courtesy of Jill Stein and constantly attempted to remain the "reasonable" one in the room. Patrick is very skilled at this and acquited himself well. He may be losing some of the more left-wing Democrats to Stein, but most will come home by November.

Charlie Baker positioned himself as the only major candidate not currently on Beacon Hill. He took heat from all the others on his tenure at Harvard-Pilgrim and rising health insurance premium costs along with his ties to the Big Dig. However, he was able to parry those for the most part and tried to keep the debate framed as a race between him and Patrick whilst trying to either ignore Cahill or tie him to the power machine of Beacon Hill. He fired numerous jabs at Patrick and showed more spirit than I had anticipated. Solid B Plus.

Tim Cahill had me thinking that he was trying to channel Ronald Reagan on fiscal policy and certainly positioned himself as Mr. Conservative. How successful he was at this remains to be seen. He was not as aggressive as Baker or Patrick and directed more of his fire at Baker as they are going after the same type of voters. Overall he may have captured some of the more disillusioned voters, but I am not sure that he catapulted himself as a truly viable candidate. The Prof gives him a gentleman's B minus (almost a C plus, but I am in a good mood) for committing no major gaffes, but it also reflects a lack of aggressiveness and the jury remains out on whether or not he really wants the job.

Jill Stein gets a well deserved A minus, not due to any ideological lean (The Prof is oh so boringly non-partisan in this blog) but due to command of issues (Green Energy being overstated a bit after an hour) and the passion of a true believer. She likely earned some points among true liberals and she forced Patrick to cover his left flank.

I will be attending next week's debate as it is open to the public. 'Tis the season...


The Prof

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

61 days to E-Day

Just a short update for today...back to teaching for the semester but will have a lot to share over the next several weeks regarding "E-Day" on November 2. My plan is to keep following the local Massachusetts races and also to take a detailed look at the nationwide races for the Senate and House.

What happens in November will directly impact how the Obama Administration finishes the final years of its initial term. Partisan control of Congress switching in one or both houses will impact what the President can - and cannot do going into his own reelection in 2012.

Will "Tea" be on the menu after November? Methinks it is a distinct possibility...


The Prof