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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Enough already -- just vote

When the (mercifully) final debate of the Democratic US Senate primary includes comparisons to Sarah Palin and Mr. Spock I think I made a wise choice to spend my hour somewhere else other than taking in the discussion.

The only thing I can say I have truly learned since the start of the debates is the Steve Pagliuca no longer agrees with everything Mike Capuano says.

Although some internal polls suggest the race may be tightening (hardly surprising if not exactly solid evidence), the only clear message is that none of these gabfests have featured an egregious gaffe, particularly on the part of front runner Martha Coakley. So while she may not have moved voters to her side of the ledger, she hasn't chased them either.

The same can't be said of either Pagliuca or Capuano after their attacks on each other last night.

And no one has lit a flame under likely primary voters. The turnout is probably going to make the 30-something percent turnout in the Boston mayoral election seem high -- particularly if there are any flakes or rain drops in the air.

This race will clearly be determined by turnout -- and Coakley is the only candidate who has an long-established statewide organization. While Alan Khazei has a history of grassroots organizing and a committed base, it hasn't been battle tested.

Capuano has been strong in the 8th Congressional District but was unknown across wide swaths of the state. Union endorsements (and workers) will help, but some union members will also cast their support for and with Coakley.

Pagliuca? Well he has an organization of about 30, if you count Danny Ainge and Ed Lacerte. He's lavished millions on radio, TV and the web but that's mainly bought name recognition. Whether it bought an organization remains to be seen.

Yes, I know I lamented there was too little happening in the race a mere six weeks ago. I plead guilty to be careless in what I wished for.

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