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TPM: Word on the ground in West Roxbury, Hyde Park and Somerville, Mass

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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:20 PM
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TPM: Word on the ground in West Roxbury, Hyde Park and Somerville, Mass
An update from someone working the past 2 days in suburbs around Boston and the high-turnout neighborhoods of West Roxbury and Hyde Park.
There has been a huge uptick in activity by Coakley supporters over the past 48 hours, especially grassroots progressive groups and the well-oiled, disciplined and certain-to-vote unions who came out big for Coakley in the primary: SEIU has quietly conducted numerous GOTV-prep sessions numbering several hundred volunteers each; teachers in Brookline, Newton and Watertown conducted day-long phone banks and canvassing; pro-choice womens' groups (including a large contingent of nurses) have been running an intensive outreach to female voters.
I've also been receiving a deluge of emails and text messages from individuals and groups who have been quiet since the primary, all urging me to vote, volunteer, etc. My sense is that the progressive majority here has simply been procrastinating on this, the fourth election since October, and are now clicking into action.


What follows is my update from Mass, which is colored by my phonebanking experiences and thus may be anecdotal.
Voters increasingly seem to know how consequential the race is, which is certainly a good thing from Coakley's perspective. That would have been enough to ensure her victory a week ago holding everything else constant. Unfortunately, though, she's made some horribly off-message comments---like suggesting that Catholics shouldn't work in emergency rooms and that Curt Schilling is a Yankee fan. I'm not certain those things matter in and of themselves, but they're part of a developing narrative that she's out-of-touch. So, I think the best that can be accurately said is that it's a dead heat---the DNC did what it needed to do in framing the issues and knocking Brown's favorables down. There appear to be very few undecideds.

Unsurprisingly, then, it will all come down to turnout. Coakley's GOTV people were very successful in the primary---she outperformed her polls by at least ten percent---and they're the same folks who drove Hillary's surprising (and big) win in the Democratic primary. They've been helped by the fact that Mayor Menino was just in a close race in November, so all of his voter contact information is up-to-date. Given the horrendous economy, and the tendency of poorer voters to either move or have their phone service cut off, that's hugely important in bringing out votes in Boston.
I am not familiar with Brown's GOTV operation, but anecdotally, his conservative-leaning supporters are incredibly excited to be able to cast a meaningful vote. Of course, in Mass., that will not be enough. He also needs the support of moderate indies, whose enthusiasm may have been dampened by Coakley's negative advertising. That's the hope, at least.

As a disappointing aside, Mass's Congressional delegation has been nearly invisible over the past week. Markey's been out a little bit; so too has McGovern. But I live in Somerville, Capuano's home territory, and he should be holding fifteen rallies this weekend. He's been invisible---almost figuring that he'd be well-positioned to take on Brown in 2012. That's inexcusable given the stakes. The same goes for Steven Lynch in Southie---hell, Brown's most aired advertisement shows him "winning over" some voters there; Lynch should be hitting back, but he's nowhere.

Keep up the good work, and keep an eye on Worcester County on Tuesday. If Brown wins there, he may have won it.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. Here's some pics from a Mass resident,
outside of the Coakley Rally..

Cross post from GD
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Kdillard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:03 PM
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2. Fingers crossed. Things seem to be clicking.
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Narraback Donating Member (510 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 11:42 PM
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3. Ed Markey was out in Revere with Coakley tonight.
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