Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mass GOP Rallying

Long considered a fortress for Democrats in Congress (until Scott Brown's election in the beginning of the year, the state's delegation was uniformly Democrat), Massachusetts is witnessing a rise in Republican excitement potentially beyond even that of 1994 (emphasis added):

By last week’s filing deadline, 37 candidates qualified to run in primaries for the state’s 10 seats in the US House of Representatives, twice as many challengers as in recent years. That includes 24 candidates on the Republican side alone — meaning a party that has often had trouble fielding even a single candidate will now have some crowded and competitive primaries.

Just one House seat, held by Michael E. Capuano, a Somerville Democrat, is uncontested. Two Democratic incumbents, South Boston’s Stephen F. Lynch and Newton’s Barney Frank, are facing opponents in both the primary and, if they survive that round, in the general election in November...

The 2010 election features double the number of House candidates than have run in other election years this decade. Even 1990 and 1994, active years in state and national elections, had fewer candidates qualifying for the primary ballot, though it is not yet clear who among this year’s candidates can raise enough money and marshal enough volunteer support to mount serious challenges.

Moreover, in 1994, three Democrats were unchallenged (compared to only one unchallenged Democrat today). This year, Republicans are hoping to make a few gains. The 10th District, currently held by the retiring Bill Delahunt, is rated as a toss-up, and other districts could have vulnerable incumbents.

A Republican candidate for the 10th, Jeff Perry, suggests the psychological importance of Scott Brown's victory (Brown has endorsed Perry in the GOP primary):

“The best thing that happened to our ability to win was Scott Brown winning in January,’’ said Jeffrey D. Perry...

“His victory created an understanding that Republicans can win, even in Massachusetts.’’

Certainly, many Republicans in Massachusetts hope that Brown's election will represent the turning of the tide for GOP fortunes in the Bay State.

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