Monday, May 06, 2013

Trouble in Beantown! MA 2013 Senate Race - Markey up by Only 4 Points over Gomez – Michelle Obama to Boston for Markey Fundraiser on May 29th

Markey (left) and Gomez (right) - image AP via Politico

Ed Markey, the long-serving Democrat Congressman from the Massachusetts 5th District, is up against some narrow odds against newcomer, GOP candidate, Gabriel Gomez. A national poll from PPP (which is a Democrat leaning pollster), has Markey and Gomez only 4 percentage points apart – with a margin of error of 2.5%.

Gomez is starting out as a pretty popular candidate, with 41% of voters rating him favorably to 27% with an unfavorable opinion. Beyond having good numbers with Republicans he's at 42/24 with independents, and actually seen narrowly positively even by Democrats at 33/32. Voters meanwhile are more divided on Markey, with 44% holding a positive view of him to 41% with a negative one. He's at 31/50 with independents.

For a Republican to be competitive in Massachusetts they need to win independents by a hefty margin and get a fair amount of crossover support from Democrats, and right now Gomez is doing both of those things. He's up 47/31 with independents and winning over 21% of Democratic voters. Both those numbers suggest that some folks who supported Stephen Lynch in the primary are being a little reticent about supporting Markey in the general.

The pollster goes on to note that the good news for Markey is that Obama is very popular in Massachusetts. However, that did not work out so well for Martha Coakley who ran against Scott Brown in the 2010 special election.

Coakley was considered to have made mistakes, gaffes such as being unable to name a sports team; however, one might also point to the fact that in yet another high profile race, Markey is nowhere near the 15 point lead that Coakley had out of the gate. Coakley was known statewide, while Brown was little known. In this instance, Gomez had been working the state in person for months, as well in advertising buys introducing himself during the primary, to households throughout Massachusetts. Markey on the other hand, is not that well known, and his advertising amounted to little more than Al Gore like claims and the usual pro-choice messaging. Social issues are not a pivotal issue in this particular race, as Gomez is the candidate the Democrats wish they had.

Gomez is young, Hispanic, smart, successful and a former Navy Seal – compared to Markey, who looks like a great-grandfather of NARAL.

How much trouble is Markey in? Given the popularity of Obama in Massachusetts, the Boston Globe is reporting thatMichelle Obama will be headlining a fundraiser for Markey on the 29th of May – the ticket is priced at $37,600. The Globe goes on to note that the White House is prepared to do anything to help Markey – a reliable progressive voice in the Congress. The problem with Markey is he won by a margin of 58 to 43 percent.(Boston Globe) which sounds like a solid Democrat lead, however, those Lynch Democrats, and the Republican’s, and Independent's that voted for Lynch as a Blue Dog Democrat, will, in all likelihood, end up in the Gomez column.(See PPP Poll for Verification.)

Again, as a reminder, Obama personally came to Massachusetts to campaign for Martha Coakley in 2010, and that did not work out as well as expected. (Politico) That may necessary again, considering the circumstances – Gomez is not Scott Brown, he is extremely aggressive, out of the gate, with in-state and out-of-state ground troops that came in during the primaries. Brown did have ground troops, but that came weeks before the special election. There isn’t justification to compare Brown to Gomez (yet, so many articles in the news are dubbing Gomez, the next Scott Brown), they are in no wise similar, the only link is that they both are – Republican’s in Massachusetts, and Gomez is, of all things, an Hispanic Republican.

While Markey represents everything that is wrong is Washington – the status quo.

The only attributes that would make Gomez even more dangerous to the Democrats – if he were a woman and African American, making him a representative of the three “guaranteed Democrat voting blocs”, but one, being Hispanic is dangerous enough. What next? With Texas Senator, Ted Cruz, making a dent in the Democrat “owned” demographic,

Democrat heavyweight William Blaine "Bill" Richardson III has openly questioned the legitimacy of Texas Senator Ted Cruz's Latino heritage based solely on the Texas senator's politics

(On ABC This Week – Richardson stated :)

"I don’t think he should be defined as a Hispanic. He’s a politician from Texas, a conservative state...."

Perhaps Richardson ill need to make a trip to Massachusetts with Michelle Obama to remind the base that Gomez isn’t really Hispanic, he’s a Conservative….

Of course, as the progressives try and paint Gomez as “Tea Party”, which is laughable, they may indeed attempt to lump Gomez, with Cruz, Rubio, Martinez – all Hispanic Republican’s – who, despite some Tea Party support for the later three, those Hispanics that are conservative are no different than anyone else who finds that defending their political points of view, comes with labels, some of which have overtones of racism. Democrats (national) for all their party of inclusion hype, are starting to sound a lot like the narrative one hears about the counter-party – racist, angry old white men.

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