Could Obamacare Drive Another GOP Upset in Massachusetts?

by Jim Geraghty

Also in today’s Morning Jolt, a look at a GOP candidate who ordinarily would have no shot, and who still remains a longshot. But in a post-Obamcare world . . . 

Obamacare Drove One Big GOP Win in Massachusetts. Could It Happen Again?

A week from tomorrow, voters in Massachusetts’ Fifth Congressional District will go to the polls in a special House election. Ed Markey represented this seat from the beginning of time 1976 until August, when he became a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts.

The Democratic candidate is state senator Katherine Clark; the Republican candidate is Frank J. Addivinola Jr. This candidate does not lack for brains:

For six years, Frank worked and taught in biomedical research as a doctoral candidate and fellow in Molecular and Cell Biology with dissertation advisor Nobel laureate Marshall Nirenberg at the National Institutes of Health. He graduated from Suffolk University Law School where he received his JD and then Master of Laws in Biomedicine and Health Law.

Have no illusions, this is a deeply Democratic district — D+16 in the Cook Partisan Voting Index. (Massachusetts as a whole is D+10.) But this might be another corner where a Republican could overperform because of the resonance of the issue of Obamacare — even if Massachusetts is familiar with life under the individual mandate because of Romneycare. Addivinola’s message on health care:

The best way to make health coverage more affordable is to reduce health care delivery costs. Costs can be reduced by tort reform, tax reform, expansion of community health centers, encouragement of preventative care and other actions targeted on making health care less expensive. I oppose any health care legislation that is designed not for the benefit of American people but for the benefit of big government, bureaucrats and special interest groups. I oppose any legislation that forces consumers to buy goods and services because it is against the fundamental values of our nation and the Constitution. I also oppose any health care “fix” that will end up costing a fortune to taxpayers or will deprive one group of individuals in order to benefit another.

The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.