The Campaign Spot

What Happened in Massachusetts?

One of my media guys, who follows Massachusetts politics closely, offers an assessment in response to my piece on unanswered questions of 2010:

The politicos in this state are crediting the Democrats’ romp to the party/union turnout machine. They got caught by surprise in January and vowed not to let it happen again.

I think there’s something to that explanation. On the afternoon of the election, one prominent Democrat consultant was panicked by turnout reports in the more-GOP-friendly suburbs. The turnout WAS, in fact, higher . . . . but many of those turning out were voting Democrat. All Democrat campaigns shared voter lists and info. They viewed the elections as one single race — not hundreds of separate ones. 

Adding to this theory is something Jeff Perry said this morning on the Cape talk station — that on Saturday, 10/30, his internals had him +2. He ended up losing by 4.5. A 6.5% turnaround in 3 days is monstrous, and can be attributed only to turnout (or lousy polling).

A Globe story said by Election Day, the Dem machine had contacted 800,000 voters either through phone calls or door knocks. That’s staggering, and the Republicans don’t have a machine comparable to that. BTW, Perry sounded like someone itching to get back into politics.

How many state Republican parties treated all of the races at all of the levels as one unified effort?


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