Thursday, May 23, 2013

MA Special Senate Election - Markey-Gomez Sparing Ads, Gomez Agrees to Debate, Markey Polling Single Digits – Electoral Dysfunction Weighs on Race

The Candidates - Race is not a given for Markey - image ABCNews

Gabriel Gomez, the MA Senate GOP candidate has begun to run adscountering rival, Ed Markey’s (D-MA) somewhat misleading advertisements. ( Markey’s ads suggest that the ex-Navy Seal, Gomez, is over the top for not supporting certain aspects of a gun bill, which, since Markey is vying for a Senate seat he should be aware that any gun legislation died in the Senate.

In viewing the two ads, the difference is in the delivery: Markey’s dark and foreboding ad suggests that Gomez is the root cause of the Newton School Shoot(Video – Ed, while the Gomez Advertisement calls out Markey for being over-the-top in his advertising, makes a few digs regarding Markey’s 37 year career in politics, and goes to upbeat in a heartbeat(Video via YouTube).

Looking at these particular two ads, one can see a stark difference between the two candidates – and in State that has over 50% of the electorate as “unenrolled”, the upbeat plays better, and has in past elections, regardless of political affiliation.

However, Markey maintains a slight lead over Gomez in the race, according to Mass Live, the Springfield Republican’s website the last national poll, from Public Policy Polling, has Markey leading by 7 points, and somehow pulling Republican’s, which sounds like a stretch, even in Massachusetts. The Poll data heresuggests all is not smooth sailing for the Democrat, regardless of the local polls showing double digit leads, and the boost the media tends to give any Democrat in MA (or elsewhere, for the most part). In the marginals one finds that the race is tight, with Markey leading 48 to 41, with 11% undecided. Additionally, the favorability rankings are telling, Markey has a rating of 48 positive, 40 negative and 11% unsure, while Gomez has the a ranking of 42 positive, 34 negative, with a whopping 24% to convince. The poll was taken May 13th, and has a plus or minus 3.3% margin of error. (PPP document via Scribd)

Those numbers aside, the problem will be the general malaise that surrounds the special – there simply isn’t much enthusiasm – period. Unless both campaigns go on a major media blitz soon, one might suggest that over half of the electorate has no clue there is a race, and as avoiding the news, right, left, or center, has become an art form, only those who are even halfheartedly interested in the state politics, will hit the voting booths. That leaves little room for error, even with the dead voting.

Then there is the whole mess in Washington DC, with the IRS hearings taking place, Benghazi still on the burner, and the harassment of journalist by the Administration (Fox, AP, CBS)- and the public can’t help but be aware of what’s going on, regardless of party. The latest Jay Leno Monologue(here), is a scathing rebuke of the Administration. and Leno is not alone. Jon Stewart ”unloaded” on the President over the IRS Scandal. - Finally, Bi-partisanship.

Using tactics that would make Nixon blush, and bungling right and left through the maze of simple questions posed by Congress, (and both parties are asking), the risk of the President remaining unscathed through he Memorial Day Weekend, even in Massachusetts are less than average.

Markey on the Campaign Trail - (image Huffington post) compare to

Martha Coakley on the campaign trail against Brown -image Huffington Post

That helps Gomez as he recently had a visit from John McCain, who is popular with a few Republican’s in the Bay State, but not as popular as say, Marco Rubio would fare. (That’s among the Republican base – which is limited.) Gomez has the opportunity from now until the election to answer attacks with fact ads, going to upbeat – with an opportunity to pull those 11% undecided’s in to his fold. The results, if the polling stands, and the environment continues, should show a 2 to3 point victory. One thing about Massachusetts Democrats – in recalling the 2010 race between Coakley and Brown, Democrats bailed on Coakley – either staying home and/or voting for Brown. It was basically a personality problem, and Martha is charismatic compared to Ed Markey (see photos above). Union membership, as well, does not indicate how one will vote when push comes to shove.

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