Monday, June 21, 2010

Not in the Bag

Charles C. Johnson has a telling piece at the National Review on the obstacles facing Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's opponents in November---despite Patrick's low approval ratings:
Despite the best efforts of a renewed Massachusetts Republican party, Patrick seems to be on his way to a second term. A recent poll shows him with a 14-point lead over his closest challenger, Charlie Baker, former Harvard Pilgrim Health Care CEO. Baker has outraised Patrick nearly two to one, but despite a new slogan — “Had Enough?” — he still can’t break away from the most unpopular governor in America.

And it isn’t for lack of trying. Hoping to play a social-liberal/fiscal-conservative line, Baker picked Richard Tisei, a progressive and openly gay Republican state senator as his running mate, even going so far as to march with him in a gay-pride parade. Much good it did him. Mass Equality gave its endorsement to Patrick anyway, for the simple reason that Tisei “is not running for governor.”
State Treasurer Tim Cahill, a Democrat-turned-independent, is running as an outsider concerned with the state budget and has raised considerable concerns about the sustainability of Massachusetts' health-care program.

Meanwhile, Republicans have spent plenty of money attacking Cahill, a move which seems only to have improved Deval Patrick's approval ratings.

Though reelection efforts are often viewed as a referendum on an incumbent, the mere unpopularity of a political figure is not always enough to guarantee his or her defeat at the polls---a fact that Massachusetts Republicans and Republicans nationwide will need to take to heart.

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