Well the Massachusetts & New Hampshire Primaries are over and I have thoughts about the results
1. I think Martha Coakley has one advantage over Steve Grossman when it comes to facing Charlie Baker, because she has lost a race to a republican she is unlikely to take him lightly. Granted it’s unlikely the prospect of a national GOP wave will make any difference in Massachusetts, if you are a Democrat the last thing you want to do is let your guard down. Coakley has been burned once I doubt she’ll let herself get burned again.
2. Mark Fisher drew 25% of the vote. One must assume that this is the Tea Party ceiling in the state, 39,545. Charlie Baker didn’t need these votes to win the primary but he is definitely going to need them in November.
3. If you want to get an idea of how uphill a fight Baker has. with 98% of the vote in Baker drew 114,461. Don Berwick The Third place finisher in the Democrat primary who you likely never heard of drew 113,296. Think of it. Baker’s 74% of the GOP vote only outpolled an unknown democrat by 1,165 votes.
4. Let’s put it another way, it’s been suggested that a lot of conservatives took Democrat ballots to vote against Coakley. If every single one of those Grossman votes go to Baker and all of Berwick’s votes go to Coakley Baker loses by over 30,000 votes unless he draws those Fisher votes. This is what you call a rock and a hard place.
5. The most interesting result of the night in the state was Seth Moulton unseating Rep John Tierney in the 6th district drawing over 49% of the vote to Tierney’s 41% (three minor candidates drew a combined 9.7%
6. Tierney’s wife’s conviction for tax evasion should have doomed him in 2010 but he won re-election by 13 points that year and 1 point in 2012. The lesson? Voters in Massachusetts 6th district would rather elect a known Democrat Crook than any republican, conservative or liberal.
7. I’ve not seen a Democrat with a more attractive resume than Seth Mouton, businessman, Marine with 4 tours in Iraq however as I look at his issue page all I see a liberal who supports Obamacare, wants more gun laws and thinks Climate Change is the #1 issue facing the world. On the plus side he loves his country enough to fight for it and isn’t a crook.
I’m old enough to remember when those two sentences would have been almost a given for a democrat, now it’s extraordinary.
8. If Richard Tisei couldn’t beat John Tierney he has absolutely no prayer against Mouton. On social issues there is practically no difference between them (Moe Lane is dead wrong here) so Mouton’s 4 tours as a Marine in Iraq will be the deciding factor but that’s not as fatal as his but , particularly given that Tisei’s boycott of the convention was an embarrassment to both the party & Baker. While it was overshadowed by the party’s foolishness vis a vis Fisher there are people in the establishment with long memories who haven’t forgiven him.
7. With the house safely in GOP hands no matter what happens in Ma-6 the national party which might have kicked in a few bucks vs Tierney isn’t going to waste a penny in the impossible task of defeating Mouton.
8. In New Hampshire I was sad to see Andrew Hemingway lose the GOP primary for governor. He is a dynamic young man who would have been a great candidate.
9. The single most important number in Scott Brown’s victory yesterday is 49%. If NH had a runoff system like Mississippi Brown would have to face Jim Rubens head to head. That would have been an interesting race
10. Brown’s ability to get almost 50% in a contested GOP primary suggests that NH is at the tipping point. Within a generation or two NH will not be an acceptable destination for conservatives wanting out of Massachusetts & it wouldn’t surprise me to see them start fleeing NH for red states.
11. On the plus side for the GOP Brown’s large campaign chest is going to force Democrats to devote millions to keep NH from giving the GOP any bit of wiggle room if they take back the senate. (That alone should be enough of an argument for conservatives to unite behind Brown. Every dollar spent in NH by the left is a dollar they can’t spend to defend in NC LA or anywhere else.
12. The most hopeful result was Marilinda Garcia’s victory in the nh-2 congressional race. I’ve been following Garcia for a while and she is the real deal. I suspect the left will go all out to stop her even beyond Brown.