As a Massachusetts conservative watching the national media go wild about the election of a Republican Governor completely ignoring the lack of coattails (hell the lack of coat) is a source of frustration.
Charlie Baker is a nice guy and he means well but his election is not likely to have more than a cosmetic effect
The best way to explain the problem is to think of Baseball and the difference between buying a championship and building a dynasty.
In Massachusetts there are two conflicting views of the party, the establishment that is interested in the top of the ticket. It produces for those at the top patronage and excellent resume fodder in the hopes of getting a national political position.
Because of that goal they can’t take the time to build a farm team, every year that passes brings up a crop of people in Red States vying for those same jobs with resumes filled with actual positions in government.
They need that governorship today, they can’t wait around for the GOP to start winning seats in the statehouse, in fact a strong GOP controlled house and or senate will simply mean a crop of rivals with strong resumes in government as well.
Then there is the grass-roots Tea Party activists. They aren’t looking for a job from the government. They are looking to be able to keep their own jobs and business intact and be able to afford to have a decent life to raise their children here without either being hit in the pocketbook or because of their religious & social values.
For them it’s the bottom of the ticket that matters since until there is a change in the state senate and house all a GOP Governor can do is delay the day of reckoning.
So the idea is to start at Single A, city councilors, school committees. Recruit candidates to fill those spots. Then in four or five years those people can run for mayor, country offices, register of probate etc. the Double AA of electoral politics at the state level while a new grew group of people are recruited for the single A offices. After a few years the AA polls will start running in the state house and senate and positions like secretary of state & AG and within a few years viola you have a full slate of viable candidates not only for the Governor’s office but for congressional and senate seats.
Until the Massachusetts GOP decides to embrace the base GOP leaning votes will continue to leave the state and sooner or later there won’t be enough left to allow even a Republican as socially liberal as Charlie Baker won’t have a prayer ever again.