< .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Massachusetts Liberal

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

Thursday, March 07, 2013

None of the above

What if you threw an election and voters didn't have a clue who anyone was? Welcome to the race to replace John Kerry in the US Senate.

Ed Markey appears to be the clear leader in the Boston Herald-UMass Lowell poll. That's because about 50 percent of the potential voters have heard of the Malden Democrat, a 10 percent advantage over his Democratic foe, Steve Lynch, who is known to 40 percent of the electorate. And its a landslide over the three Republican hopefuls whose names register with at best 20 percent of the electorate.

No wonder Gabriel Gomez, Michael Sullivan and Dan Winslow are willing to accept out-of-state special interest cash. They are going to need a lot of television time to make their names known -- or tarnish the names of their foes.

Of immediate concern for Lynch, the South Boston Democrat, is a yawning 50-21 percent gap between him and Markey in the Democratic primary, where presumably the committed, active Democrats plan to cast ballots.

The thing that has to trouble all the candidates is they can't say it's early. Yes, nominating papers were only due last week, but we are less than two months from the April 30 primaries. That's not a lot of time to do the grassroots work necessary for success in a primary.

And based on the totally non-scientific standard of Twitter, there is varying degrees of success at that with Markey and Winslow leading the pack.

But Winslow's efforts don't seem to be carrying much weight, given the fact he is unknown to fully 92 percent of voters. That's about the same percentage of people who hate the institution he hopes to join.

The numbers are by no means a sign that Markey will win in a cakewalk. In addition to his own visibility issues, his support is squishy among independents, who will hold the key to winning in June.

That means we are once again going to be bombarded with commercials, introducing candidates and trashing their positions. The importance of advertising is Markey's greatest advantage because he has a reported $3 million in resources he can spend to introduce himself to the public before Republican special interest groups try to tear him down.

But he is also the most vulnerable to negative attacks with a 36-year voting record to be pored over for inconsistencies. In that sense, Gomez and his blank slate is the early leader.

So stay tuned, this race isn't anywhere near over, despite Markey's yawning leads. The next major milestone: who can come up with an identity like Scott Brown's truck and barn coat persona.

As we have clearly seen, in short races gimmicks count.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home