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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Monday, August 23, 2010

Trending to conclusions

Aha! I think I have the secret formula: one example is a potential oddity. Two examples are more than mere happenstance Three? It's a trend!

The Globe gloms onto that formula today with a story about how three Massachusetts Democrats in swing districts are sliding to the center in the House and Senate races. Under the prominent Page One headline, the newspaper of record declares:
"For Democrats, a tempting tack to the right"
Only when you dig deeper into the story do you hit the really salient fact about this year's race for the Great and General Court:

This year, Republicans chose to recruit a smaller crop of qualified candidates, cognizant that they lost seats in 2004, when Governor Mitt Romney drafted a slew of candidates to run in any legislative race possible.

The quality-not-quantity strategy this year means 96 of the Legislature’s 179 Democrats are unopposed and will coast to victory in November, according to a State House News Service tally.

A better strategy? Perhaps. A tidbit totally missing that could have made for a more interesting story is a look at the number of vacant seats and the contests to fill the openings left when long-time lawmakers opted to hang 'em up rather than try again.

Oh well, it's late August. Even editors take vacations. Do I detect a trend?

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