The Moran Square Diner has been a Fitchburg fixture for decades host


hosting locals. Years ago Senator Edward Kennedy put away a Cheeseburger and a dog at this corner booth during his visit.

With election day 24 hours away Senator Scott Brown Bus came to Fitchburg

and after speaking to the crowd

sat in that very same booth

The Kennedy booth becomes the People’s booth

greeting voters and talking to people at lunch turning the “Kennedy” seat into the “People” seat as he seeks re-election and a full six year term to represent the people of Massachusetts.

It’s not surprising he would find himself in Fitchburg, and not just for the incredible breakfasts and lunch that owner Chris Giannetti has been serving to hungry customers for years.

or the hot chocolate that his daughter enjoyed after a brief interview:

good reasons thought they are.

It was because Fitchburg was one of the key cities that took Brown over the top, shocking pundits nationally and locally with his special election win in January 2010 which was the harbinger of the electoral pounding the left received 10 months. Inspiring GOP challengers such as Jon Golnik running in districts like Ma-3 where once the left once ran unopposed.

His 2010 victory remains a driver as the nation heads for the polls in 2012.

Gail Huff, wife of Senator Scott Brown greets a voter

It’s not an easy road. Incumbency is one of the few advantages Senator Brown brings to the race in 2012, this time around. Massachusetts remains a deep blue state (+25 registration advantage for democrats), instead of a special election with only his race to be decided he faces democrats above and below his spot on the ticket all trying to drive the faithful to the polls and finally he faces in Elizabeth Warren a person with a national following and reputation and millions of dollars to back her from some of the biggest donors the Democrat party has.

GOP candidate for Ma-3 Jon Golnik greets voters in Fitchburg before the Arrival of Senator Brown

These are tough hills to climb for Senator Brown and a source of comfort for Elizabeth Warren

But alas for Professor Warren, Senator Brown counters with two other advantages she cannot match for all the Hollywood dollars she may have to spend. He comes bearing a record as one of the most moderate Senators in the congress at a time where gridlock is a dirty word and “bi-partisan” is the favorite phrase of the media. He spoke of this in his initial remarks:

It’s very hard to condemn your opponent as an “extremist” when he votes against his own party 40% of the time.

Secondly there is Senator Brown demeanor.

Senator Brown has a well-earned reputation for listening to the voters no matter if they agree with him or no and being there when the voters need him. For years people on the right who wondered how Ted Kennedy kept his seat never taking into account his legendary reputation for constituent services. It is no accident that after being elected Senator Brown retained a fair amount of that Kennedy staff and shares that same reputation for listening to and taking care of the voters who sent him to Washington.

Senator Brown with a family at Moran Square Diner

This is why every poll of voters in the state during this race shows him drawing Democrats in numbers that no Republican in the country could ever dream of and why Fitchburg a city where, as Counselor at large Marcus DiNatale notes, Democrats have a 35 point registration advantage can be one of the cornerstones of Senator Brown’s re-election plans.

National Democrats considered this race their linchpin to retain the US senate in 2012, But as the latest polls and Senator Brown’s dogged campaign shows millions of dollars from the biggest elite donors from around the country will be hard pressed to counter a hand shaken in person and an ear willing to listen to a voter, any voter no matter what the party affiliation.

Democrats were shocked at Scott Brown taking “the Kennedy Seat” but as Senator Brown finished his meal in the booth once graced by his illustrious predecessor the left’s shock in 2010 is slowing becoming their resignation of 2012.

Today we have a special Bonus commentary where I go through the choices on my ballot and tell you who I will be voting for and why.

As you might guess there are not a lot of surprises here but if you want to know the reasoning behind it here is your chance.

“I don’t make that tax pledge to just Grover Norquist, I make that tax pledge to every hard working man and women in this room here today!”

Jon Golnik at yesterday’s debate

Yesterday Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and challenger Jon Golnik met for their third and final debate before the election next month at Fitchburg State University.

The Crowd outside was loud

And there was some Gary Johnson supporters in the crowd too:

And the Crowd inside was not bad either

And included some local pols

The Panel represented the Sentinel & Enterprise and the college:

As for the debate itself I thought Golnik has his best debate, helped by an active crowd, he pressed his advantage on several questions such as Libya

and Taxes:

and I thought his Are you better off than you were before theme continues to score point in a community that is frankly depressed:

Tsongas’ best moments were concentrating on her service, on Military students:

And Transportation:

There was real substance in this debate and a real contrast between the candidates. Golnik had the line of the night when challenged over signing the Norquist pledge

“I don’t make that tax pledge to just Grover Norquist, I make that tax pledge to every hard working man and women in this room here today!”

I think Golnik clearly won this round but his biggest problem is getting his message that has appeal in this district out there. Considering that Scott Brown took the district by 15 points that Brown’s name was not invoked AGAIN by him totally confuses me.

Golnik is underfunded by a National GOP that doesn’t see the opportunity in this district, he can win if properly backed in the home stretch to get his message out. Will they and can he will be the deciding factor in this race.

Here are the remaining questions from the debate: Continue reading “Golnik Tsongas Round 3 in Fitchburg the Video”

My latest for the examiner Will Niki Tsongas be better off than she was two years ago? highlights a rather amazing answer to a question during the October 10th debate against GOP opponent Jon Golnik.

Ms Donelan asked if we are better off than we were two years ago, and the congresswoman’s answer was this:

“I absolutely believe we are better off than four years ago”

And she followed up this answer giving credit to the president’s policies for producing the result she touted.

In a solid blue state a democrat might attempt to make such a case with a straight face but nationally an attempt to say such a thing is a recipe for disaster.

And considering the reaction from the Jon Golnik campaign, it might not be that safe a case to make even here.

When asked for comment Alicia Preston adviser for the Golnik campaign said this:

“That makes as much sense as saying social security is solvent. That’s the problem with living in an ivory tower, you are thoroughly out of touch.”

In just over three weeks we will find out if the district agrees.

If there was ever an opportunity for Mr. Golnik to make up his 7 pt deficit this is it.

While the rest of the known world was following the Scott Brown/Elizabeth Warren debate in Springfield Niki Tsongas and Jon Golnik were at Devens for the 2nd of 3 debates in the 3rd district race.

Just like last time there were plenty of signs

for both sides

I spoke to a Golnik supporter

a Tsongas Supporter

And took a peek outside

At a little after 8 PM the candidates were ready

The Panel from the Sentinel & Enterprise, The Sun and the AP was ready

And the Q & A began:


Continue reading “Golnik Tsongas Rnd #2 plus bonus State race!”

As we get ready for tonight debate here is my examiner piece contrasting the two debates in Massachusetts I covered this week, Brown v Warren & Tsongas V Golnik:

On Sunday afternoon incumbent Niki Tsongas running to retain her seat in the newly redrawn 3rd Massachusetts district faced Jon Golnik in the first debate of their rematch of the 2010 race at the Concord Carlisle High School.

On Monday Evening incumbent Scott Brown running to retain his seat in the US senate faced Elizabeth Warren in their second debate at the Tsongas Center in Lowell.

Both debates where an hour long and both featured the respective nominees of the Republican and Democrat Parties but there the similarities ended.

We focus on the big races, Romney vs Obama, Brown vs Warren but there are hundreds of house races flying under the radar that the future of the next president’s terms will depend on.

Please click and read the whole thing, it’s the easiest way to put 3/4 of a cent in my pocket short of hitting DaTipJar

Today at Concord Carlisle HS Jon Golnik and Nikki Tsongas had the first of four debates on a cold rainy day while the NE Patriots were destroying the Buffalo Bills:

I arrived in the rain

People signed in up front with an area for press I was one of only three people were listed.

There was not a big crowd to start

With the combo of a football game and a rainy sunday a large crowd was unlikely. I stated interviewing people

The debate was only scheduled for an hour, after opening statements from Niki Tsongas

and Jon Golnik

The debate started with an odd format, the moderator posed a general subject with several questions and the candidates picked and choose and then answered

I found it weird way of doing this, it made for less direct contrast

Basically allowing each candidate to go where they wanted

regardless of what the other said

When the final question of that segment was completed

Questions from the audience were asked

They were selected by the moderators

I thought this was also a bad choice

It left the decision of what was acceptable to the people running the debate

I found this was to the advantage of the incumbent both in the choice of questions and the format

When the questions were done closing statements were given, both my Rep Tsongas

And Mr. Golnik

and I spoke to both of them after the debate, only briefly to Rep Tsongas

and slightly longer for Mr. Golnik

While not agreeing with the political sentiment of Mary Ann

I do think Rep Tsongas came out ahead, the format helped her a bit, the one question where Mr. Golnik was delayed due to notes looked poor, he landed a few shots but not effectively enough as a person who is behind in a district that favors the left. Of course there are three more debates and this one was lightly covered so there is plenty of time to change the path. Meanwhile both sides held signs outside

and awaited the next clash, you can see the full gallery below the jump
Continue reading “Jon Golnik & Niki Tsongas Debate #1 Concord Carlisle HS”

Later Today Jon Golnik will be holding his first debate against Nikki Tsongas in the 3rd Mass Race but yesterday he was at the Scott Brown event and spoke to me about the election:

If you want to help send a member of the GOP to congress in Massachusetts in my district click here.

I just received a new poll for Ma-3 (My congressional district) that says a lot about the races in Massachusetts.

This is a district that is newly formed so there are not concrete numbers available for the party splits (I am systematically calling each town in the district to get the numbers hope to have them by the end of the week). But while we don’t have the party splits we DO have the numbers from the Scott Brown election for the district in 2010:

Brown 57% 129521
Coakley 42% 95820
Kennedy<1% 2181

There are of course three races going on here the first is for president:

Barack Obama – 52%
Mitt Romney – 44%
Undecided – 4%

This at first glance looks like bad news for Mitt in Mass, To even have an outside chance of winning in Massachusetts he needs big numbers in areas outside of Boston, Worcester & Springfield.

Meanwhile in the Congressional race looks very similar

Niki Tsongas – 52%
Jon Golnik­ – 45%
Undecided – 3%

Tsongas is running even with Obama but Golnik is already closer than the last time he faced her. Can he he close a 7 pt gap. It should be doable, it will take hard work and turnout but it CAN be done.

Meanwhile here is are Scott Brown numbers these hold the key for all the races we have talked about.

Scott Brown – 54%
Elizabeth Warren – 42%
Undecided – 4%

At first glance this poll might be encouraging to Elizabeth Warren, she is still even with Martha Coakley and Brown would have to that 3 out of the remaining 4 pts of undecided to match the last go around. But there are several reasons to worry here if I’m Warren first comes this split in the polls

Female – 55%

Male – 45%

Yes you read that right, you have a +10 pt gap women vs Men and yet Scott Brown out polls that champion of women Liz Warren by 12 points (and remember this was taken BEFORE the law license revelations of today)

“But DaTechGuy”, you say, “didn’t you teach us not to jump until you see the splits what were the splits on this poll?”

I’m so glad you asked here are the splits in this poll:

Democrat – 31%
Republican – 17%
Independent / Other – 52%

That’s +14 for dems in a +24 state (-4 dem vs +6 GOP compared to statewide, undeclared is the same) This is a much more GOP section of the state but I’ll need till the end of the week to confirm by how much but lets note the following:

In a sample that is +14 dem & +10 women

Barack Obama only has an 8 point lead on Mitt Romney
Nikki Tsongas only has a 7 point lead on Jon Golnik

And Scott Brown leads Elizabeth Warren by 12 points! Twelve POINTS!

Brown needs a good gap here to win in Mass and for Mitt to have any chance at winning the state he has do to better but to pull these kind of numbers with a -14 disadvantage if extrapolated statewide & nationally says a lot about both Warren & Obama and none of it good.

While all of that is important lets look at this congressional race and the numbers involved.

Favorable/Unfavorable

Tsongas is +22 with a 57% Favorability Ratings. She has a famous name and is a sitting congresswoman but more importantly she is a pleasant person. Additionally only 8% of the electorate dosn’t have an opinion so that’s a real advantage.

Her Opponent Jon Golnik has a +16 Favorability Ratings, that’s nothing to sneeze at particularly in a -14 poll sample but the big difference here is 34% of those polled either haven’t heard of him or haven’t made up their minds.

This is his opening, 7 points is extremely doable and Golink has several things he can do

1. Obamacare: Remember Obamacare was the reason Scott Brown did so well last time, Nikki Tsongas has (to her credit) not run away from her vote for the Unpopular law. Golnik needs to tie her Obamacare so tightly to Nikki Tsongas that if she fell into the water she could use her vote as a flotation device.

2. Brown/Golnik Warren/Tsongas: Scott Brown was an early endorser of Jon Golnik, he needs to play up, it must be Golnik & Brown vs Tsongas & Warren. If Scott Brown so much as goes stop to go get Gas anywhere in the District Golnik needs to sanding next to him. Any Brown event in Ma-3 HAS to be a Golnik event meanwhile all over Fitchburg I see Nikki Tsongas & Elizabeth Warren signs together, great, link them by the hip.

3. Positive Positive Positive: Hitting a 66 year old widow of a beloved figure in the state isn’t going to do the trick, the instinct to go negative needs to be resisted (and no tying her to Obamacare is not negative advertising, that’s the truth)

The case to make is this: Nikki Tsongas is a nice person and an honest person, she just wrong. That’s the ad: Nikki Tsongas & Elizabeth Warren, wrong on Obamacare, wrong on Taxes and wrong for the 3rd District. Jon Golnik like Scott brown believes lower taxes, ending the Mandate of Obamacare and will fight to bring jobs back to new 3rd district.

This race is completely winnable by Jon Golnik with some hard work and some smart moves but if you are the left consider this:  In Massachusetts with a +14 D sample and a +10 Women sample  has an opponent in striking range.

If this is the situation in Massachusetts what must it be nationwide in states where Obama is not as popular?

And it shouts to the right loud and clear:

“Ride right through them, they’re demoralized as hell”!

If I was the left, I’d be afraid, VERY afraid.

Yesterday I went to Fitchburg State University to cover the debate between GOP candidates Tom Weaver and Jon Golnik.

When I arrived it was clear which candidate had more organization as a large standout for Jon Golnik in front of the venue.

and a fair amount of signs as well:

I interviewed one of the people standing out:

The number at the standout increased as the night went on.

Tom Weaver had already arrived:

I interviewed him before the debate

The Panel asking questions represented Fitchburg State which hosted the event along with the Sentinel & Enterprise and the Fitchburg Republican City Committee which sponsored the event.

I interviewed Professor Weizer before the debate:

along with Steve DiNatale the Democrat rep for Fitchburg:

I then saw Jon Golnek and he gave me some time before things started:

FSU’s president moderated the debate:

Unfortunately due to water main break phones and internet is down but a reporter from the Sentinel/Enterprise with an air card was live tweeting

The candidates sat next to each other

I took a pan of the crowd

and things got underway

Continue reading “Ma-3 GOP Golnik/Weaver debate DaTechGuy Coverage”