Comments: Thoughts on Massachusetts Senate

"And this has a lot to do with the general idiocy of the Democratic party in Massachusetts, which manages to very frequently blow elections in one of the bluest states in America, by fighting contentious primaries and nominating weak candidates."

Agreed, though in this case a more contentious primary might have helped - the compressed primary season gave Coakley an advantage b/c she was the only one of the candidates who had run statewide before (albeit in a barely contested race - when she ran for AG in 2006, Coakley was unopposed in the primary and faced only token opposition in the general). The others were also reluctant to go after her too strongly b/c they didn't want to be tarred and feathered for going negative and out of fear that they'd suffer a backlash for attacking a female candidate. If the other candidates had been more aggressive (and if they had had more time), the result might have been different.

Of course, one could make a case that the primary was over-contested in the sense that opposition to Coakley was divided among three candidates. Coakley won the primary with 47% of the vote vs. 28% for Capuano, who came in second. I suspect that Capuano would have beat Coakley in a two-person race, as most of the voters who backed the other candidates wouldn't have supported Coakley in any event (why else would they have backed unknowns like Khazei and Pagliuca?).

Another sense in which the MA Dem Party blew it was in passing the 2004 Senate succession law that made all of this possible - the law was intended to help Dems by preventing Mitt Romney from naming a successor to John Kerry, and it ends up giving the GOP a Senate seat it never would have had if Deval Patrick had been able to appoint a Dem who would have held office until 2012 (rather than a temporary placeholder like Paul Kirk).

Posted by Joe at January 21, 2010 10:55 PM

She called Curt Schilling a Yankees fan. She deserved to lose.

Posted by LiLB at January 22, 2010 11:13 AM
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