Thursday, July 09, 2009

Republican Charles Baker, CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, Enters Massachusetts Governors Race.

Charles Baker image: healthcarelawadvocates. org

Charles Baker stepped down as CEO of Harvard Pilgrim’s Healthcare yesterday announcing his candidacy for Massachusetts Governor. Baker, who described his political think as similar to former Governor William Weld’s, is a fiscal conservative, socially liberal Republican. He will face Christy Mihos in the Republican primary. Mihos, who ran as an independent in 2006. Mihos characterizes himself as a “populist” Republican, and welcomed Baker into the race noting that “the best thing for the Republicans looking to win the corner office is a solid primary race.”

The winner of the primary will face incumbent Governor, Deval Patrick, who, according to the latest Rasmussen Pollwould trail both Mihos and Baker - Mihos currently had the edge, with favorables at 46% , compared to Baker at 37%. Patrick’s approval rating in March was at 33% (or roughly the percentage of enrolled Democrats in the State).

The addition of Massachusetts Treasurer, Tim Cahill, who left the Democrat Party this past week to run as an Independent against Patrick, will, in all likelihood, pull some fiscally Conservative Democrats away from Patrick, giving the edge to the Republican challenger. Cahill, who has served as the State Treasurer for the past 8 years, may be seen as a “Democrat Insider” by the State’s Unenrolled voters, who make up over 50% of the electorate.

That said, a three-way race for the Governor’s office, is what many pundits believe propelled Patrick into the office in 2006 – however, in 2006, Patrick won the Governor’s office with a final vote tally of 1,234,984, Healy, the Republican Candidate garnered 784,342 votes, while Mihos, running as an Independent took 154,628 votes. The numbers, as they say, don’t add up. Had Mihos not run as an Independent, the addition of 154,628 votes to Healy’s side, (938,970), still would have given Patrick a sizable lead of 296,014 votes. In 2006, the Republican “brand” was out of favor – times have changed. The further the Democrat’s Party Leader, President Obama, slips into the polls (refer to latest tumbling numbers via Rasmussen), the higher the unemployment rate rises, the economy will dictate a change in Brand. Although rare, this does occur in the State of Massachusetts, where the Brand is already suffering with a recent rise in the State Sales Tax of 25% (among other issues), coupled with a national view of the Democrat Party, will further serve to tarnish both the Governor and Cahill (guilt by association), leading to a Republican win in 2010.

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