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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 30, 2013

Wild card race

Voters go to the polls today in what is likely the most bizarre special election in Massachusetts history.

Several of the deadly plagues have been about the only things missing during this three-month run-up to this star-crossed primary to choose Democratic and Republican nominees to fill John F. Kerry's former Senate seat.

From the Hamlet-like moves of former Sen. Scott Brown, to the winter of our discontent followed hard by the retirement of Boston Mayor Tom Menino and the Marathon bombing tragedy, this has been a race that failed to find traction with voters.

It did not help it is the fourth race for the two US Senate seats since 2009, where Brown swooped out of seeming oblivion to capture The People's Seat after the death of Edward Kennedy, only to lose it two years later when Elizabeth Warren emerged from nowhere to take it away.

Secretary of State William Galvin predicts an abysmal turnout that will be large;y driven by which candidate has the best get out the vote apparatus.

On the Democratic side, all polls, except for Stephen Lynch's internals, suggest Ed Markey will take home the brass ring. In keeping with the bizarre twists, a stomach bug kept Lynch o the sidelines for most of the day when his presence was needed to rally the troops.

Republicans face the supposed specter of former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez closing the gap on one-time US Attorney for Massachusetts Michael Sullivan. Polling has been virtually absent in this contest as well -- at least any that can penetrate the crowd of copy generated by 24 Boston mayoral hopefuls.

Sullivan is believed to have the edge based on the fact fact he actually collected his nomination signatures himself, rather than have a firm pay for it, a sign of a better organization.

Sullivan's hardline stances on guns and abortion are also thought to make him more appealing to the hard core voters who take Republican primary ballots. But the Republican Party's unofficial house organ keeps trying to send the message to the electorate that Gomez is the second coming of Brown.

This likely won't be a late night. Unless voters surprise the experts and come out in droves.

I think the odds of a Dan Winslow win in the GOP primary is more likely than surge in turnout.

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