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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It's in the air

That gloom afflicting liberals for the past two years may slowly be lifting.

The signs are faint, and subject to change over the course of the coming months, but they are unmistakable.

National polls show Barack Obama slowly building a lead over Mitt Romney, paced by a gender gap and a yawning likability gap. Locally, Elizabeth Warren smashed records in the "poll" that really matters in 2012, cash.

The Republican drive to Gender Armageddon that began in the primaries with an attack on a settled practice like contraception is now showing up as a significant gender gap. Obama leads among women by 19 points while Romney has an 8-point lead among men.

The incumbent also holds yawning advantages on who would do a better job of protecting the middle class, addressing women’s issues, handling international affairs and dealing with health care.

More significantly, he also holds 2-1 leads on "friendly" and "inspiring" as Romney continues the tradition of charisma-deficient Massachusetts nominees. And we know that played a major role in the losses of Mike Dukakis and John Kerry.

Obvious a lot can happen between now and November -- gas prices, war and economic slippage to name three. But a dispirited GOP may now hold the enthusiasm gap once assumed to be Obama's undoing. And the Supreme Court's health care ruling will be galvanizing.

In Massachusetts, Scott Brown may be holding slight leads in the see-saw polls but the fund-raising prowess Warren is showing may be sending them to the ad drawing board sooner rather than later to try and step up their attacks on someone they are trying to paint as a Hollywood-loving Harvard elitist.

Warren tried to silence one line of attack with her bifurcated announcement showing she raised more money than Brown within the Bay State -- and a lot more money outside.

Let's never forget Brown's own out-of-state fund-raising prowess during the special election that won him his Senate seat -- nor his dependence on corporate donations. This one is going to definitely set unfortunate records for spending and televised negativity.

Again, it's early and much can happen to change the equation. But I suspect there are just a few more faint smiles on liberal faces these days than one would have otherwise guessed.

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